Island Lecture Series – January 2021: “Music-making and the experience of community life on an Irish island” with Dr. Rory McCabe


Music-making and the experience of community life on an Irish island with Dr. Rory McCabe

VIRTUAL EVENT | January 19, 2021
Watch now on our YouTube channel

The Island Lecture Series January lecture featured Irish ethnomusicologist Dr. Rory McCabe discussing music-making as a fundamental part of island community life and an important measure of island vitality. Following his presentation, Rory was joined by Dr. Laurie Brinklow for a conversation and questions from the audience. 

This lecture presents an ethnographic account of music and social life on Clare Island (pop. 159), a small community off the west coast of Ireland. The details of music-making on Clare Island in the twenty-first century suggest that, against a changing social, economic, and technological environment, the universal themes of social bonding persist as core values in the island experience. Through this presentation, Rory McCabe will describe how music-making is a fundamental process in island community life and an important measure of island health or vitality.

This lecture was originally scheduled to take place while Dr. McCabe was on PEI as a visiting scholar to the Institute of Island Studies and UPEI in March 2020, but his visit was cut short due to COVID-19. Rory joined us live via Zoom from his home on Clare Island, and we are thrilled to have had the opportunity to host this lecture and discussion virtually!


Dr. Rory McCabe recently completed his PhD at the Centre for Irish Studies, NUI Galway. His doctoral research examined music-making and islandness within his home community of Clare Island. In March 2020, Rory was an Ireland Canada University Foundation visiting scholar at the Institute of Island Studies at UPEI.


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