The Wild Bees’ Nest 
 Research and Performance Project, 
 2010 -2012

The Wild Bees' Nest  was a research and songwriting project involving a group of traditional singers from throughout Ireland. The project was conceived and devised by Michael Fortune and Aileen Lambert and supported by The Arts Council in conjunction with The Bealtaine Festival, The National Library of Ireland and the Irish Traditional Music Archive. 

Eleven singers involved were Luke Cheevers, Fergus Russell, Tim Lyons, Pat Burke, Anne Parsons, Niamh Parsons, Paddy Daly, Tony McGaley, Micheál Marrinan, Mick Fowler and Tim Quan.

Stage One of the project provided the singer the opportunity, through focused research, to gather further information on a song of their choice and in December 18th they performed the songs in question, at a concert in NLI

The second stage of the project involved the composing of new songs in the traditional genre and culminated with a concert in May 31st 2011 as part of the Bealtaine Festival.  



A CD of these songs was launched in 2012.
As I Roved Out
 Research and Performance Project, 
 2012

As I Roved Out’ was a traditional song composition project facilitated by Michael Fortune and Aileen Lambert and supported by the Arts Council of Ireland, in conjunction with the National Library of Ireland, ITMA and The Bealtaine Festival. 

The singers include Jerry O'Reilly, John Tunney, Brigid Tunney, Clíona Ní Shúilleabhán, Brendan Kennedy, Larry Joy and Roisín Gaffney.

For this project, the singers wrote seven new songs based on the theme of a journey and were premiered at a packed concert in the National Library on the 30th of May 2012. 

The concert was divided into two halves, where they also sung seven other songs from the living tradition which too featured or referenced a journey in its theme.

Video documentation of the concert, plus notes on the songs the singers sung and composed can be found on YouTube.
Man, Woman and Child (Part 1)
 Research and Performance Project, 
 2013

Man, Woman and Child is a research and performance project devised and produced by Michael and Aileen Lambert with the support of the Arts Council of Ireland, The National Library of Ireland, The Irish Traditional Music Archive, Age and Opportunity and the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance. 

The project is based around The Child Ballad Collection: a collection of traditional songs collected by the American collector Francis J Child in England and Scotland. Although many of the songs, or variants of them, are sung in the Irish tradition, no comprehensive study and performance of the ballads had been undertaken in Ireland prior to this. 

Part 1 Singers; Luke Cheevers and Niamh Parsons, John Tunney and Brigid Tunney, Mick Fowler and Rosie Stewart, Tim Lyons and Aileen Lambert. Forty-five songs from the collection were performed over four nights of concerts in the National Library, Dublin, in Nov and Dec 2013. The project also featured a talk on Child Ballads in Ireland by Dublin singer Jerry O’Reilly entitled “There was a Lord Who Lived in this town – Early Classic Ballads in the Irish Song Tradition”.

More info at www.manwomanandchild.ie
Man, Woman and Child (Part 2)
 Research and Performance Project, 
 2014

Man, Woman and Child is a research and performance project devised and produced by Michael and Aileen Lambert with the support of the Arts Council of Ireland, The National Library of Ireland, The Irish Traditional Music Archive, Age and Opportunity and the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance. 

The project is based around The Child Ballad Collection: a collection of traditional songs collected by the American collector Francis J Child in England and Scotland. Although many of the songs, or variants of them, are sung in the Irish tradition, no comprehensive study and performance of the ballads had been undertaken in Ireland prior to this. 

The 2014 phase involved singers: Grace Toland and Jim MacFarland, Sandra Joyce and Hammy Hamilton, Róisín Gaffney and Fergus Russell, Róisín White and Len Graham. 

The four concerts were presented in the NLI in November and December 2014 and in this case another forty-three songs were performed over the four evenings. Jerry O’Reilly again presented a talk on Child Ballads featuring recordings and live performances related to the songs selected by this years group of singers.

More info at www.manwomanandchild.ie
http://www.manwomanandchild.ieshapeimage_9_link_0
The Bird Song Project
 Research and Performance Project, 
 2015

The Bird Song Project is a celebration of traditional songs about birds devised and produced by Michael and Aileen Lambert for the 2015 Bealtaine Festival. Throughout the month of May, thirty-three older traditional singers performed at five concerts across the country, each with a unique line-up.  In addition, sixteen traditional singing circles, from Wexford to Derry, also participated by hosting their own 'Bird Song' night. 

A recent count confirmed that between the 1st and 31st of May 2015, over five hundred traditional songs were sung in Ireland that featured birds in them as a result of this project. The singers: Paddy Berry, Phil Berry, John O’Byrne, Mary O'Brien, Alanna O’Kelly, Gerry Cullen, Páidrigín Ní Uallachaín, John Tunney, Brigid Tunney, Jim MacFarland, Jackie Boyce, Grace Toland, Rita Gallagher, Maurice Leyden, Luke Cheevers, Niamh Parsons, Francy Devine, Tony McGaley, Tom Finn, Eugene McEldowney, Anne Buckley, Tim Dennehy, Larry Joy, Senan Lillis, Ann Mulqueen, Máire Ní Chéileachair, Michéal Marrinan, Tim Lyons, Mary McPartlan, Anne Skelton, Brian O'Rourke, Martin Ryan and Johnny Mháirtín Learaí. 

The Bird Song Project was commissioned by Age & Opportunity/BEALTAINE 2015 with the support of the Irish Traditional Music Archive and The National Library of Ireland. 
The 1916 Song Project
 Research and Performance Project, 
 2015-2016

The 1916 Song Project is a research and performance project which is being devised and produced by Michael Fortune and Aileen Lambert. The project features ten traditional singers from throughout the island of Ireland who will compose, research and present a body of traditional songs based on the 1916 Rising and the events surrounding it. These concerts will take place during Easter 2016, in Dublin City, Dun Laoghaire, Fingal, Meath, Galway and Wexford -  places where there was significant activity during Easter week. 

A meeting in the National Library in August brought the singers together for the first time, where they outlined their own personal interests in the writing and researching of these songs. Singers on the days spoke of their own connections to the project, through their own research, interest and family stories. The singers involved include: Mick Fowler, Paul O’Reilly, Rosie Ní Ghallóglaigh, Sandra Joyce, John Tunney, Fergus Russell, Paddy Berry and Larry Joy.

This project has been kindly supported by Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown, Fingal, Meath and Wexford County Councils, Galway City Council, the Arts Council of Ireland, the Irish Traditional Music Archive and the National Library of Ireland.