Edel Sullivan (Courtesy of the Artist's site, 2006)
Not quite a biography but very interesting none the less.
Although composing and performing music is a great love of Edel’s, she is also passionate about enabling all society have the opportunity to engage in music making. To this end she has trained and worked as a music therapist, community musician and music teacher. Find out more below.
PERFORMANCE :: MUSIC THERAPY :: COMMUNITY MUSIC :: MUSIC TEACHING
PERFORMANCE_From Cork City, Edel originally studied classical violin at the Cork School of Music (commencing with the Suzuki Method) and Anglia University, Cambridge, U.K. Beginning to explore the Irish fiddle tradition as an adult, she has performed, recorded and taught extensively in this genre, including performances at a wide range of European folk festivals such as Folkest (Italy), and the Festival Interceltique (Brittany), touring the U.S. with Michael Flatley’s show Lord of the Dance and teaching at Wigmore Halls (London) Fiddle Days.
As well as holding a diploma in classical violin performance from Trinity College, London and a diploma in violin teaching from Cork School of Music, she recently graduated (2005) with a 1st class honours M.A. in traditional fiddle performance also from the Cork School of Music.
Active on the traditional scene in Cork City, Edel hosted the Fiddle Concert at the recent 2006 Cork Folk Festival , as well as featuring in the Tunesmiths Concert. Her website www.musicpresent.com enables the public to engage her services as a composer of tunes in the style of traditional Irish music.
However trad. and classical are not Edels only musical interests. Since her late teens she has also played in a variety of other contexts from rock bands, to swing and world music ensembles to performing and arranging string parts for singer-songwriters.
Her work on Cork-based singer-songwriter Ger Wolfe’s latest album, The Velvet Earth attracted the following comments from Irish Times journalist Siobhan Long, “The Velvet Earth” is his (Wolfe) fourth album outing and it thrives on some sublime string arrangements (album review, The Ticket, 21/4/06).
Other work in the realm of arrangement includes The Cork School of Music Sinfonietta String Orchestra commissioning her to arrange a set of Reels for their recent tour of the U.S. (April 2006).
As well as the musicians appearing on the album “In The Time Of” some of Edel’s other past and present musical partners include:
Ger Wolfe - singer-songwriter on whose four albums Edel has appeared, Ger is a widely acclaimed songwriter of beautiful and original songs.
Eileen Healy - multi-talented Eileen is, not only a singer, guitarist and fiddle-player but also a well-known figurative and abstract artist. Herself and Edel have played together in many combinations over the years including Ditherum (with Catherine Drapier) and Salamanca (with Noely Ward and Ilse deZiah), exploring a wide range of musical styles from gypsy jazz to Romanian Horos. Eileen’s latest band is the very hot, Polskadots featuring the amazing fiddling of Marja Tuhkanen.
Hank Wedel - one of the best front men there is and not a bad songwriter either, Edel first played with Hank in the rock band Prince’s St. when still a teenager and still loves doing the odd gig with him.
Gerry Diver and Tim Edey - these excellent musicians were her partners in the London-based trad. supergroup Airc back in the late 1990s. On occasion they were also joined by the great Ed Boyd of Flook.
Dave Robb, a Scottish singer-songwriter, now based in Belfast, whom Edel worked with in Edinburgh during the 1990ís. She appeared on two of his albums, Capture An Image and Prussian Blue. They recently teamed up again to appear on TG4’s Ardan to celebrate the launch of Dave’s latest album, Star in the Morning.
As a session fiddler, Edel has also worked with a range of other performers from Kila, Steafan Hannigan, Liz Doherty and Jimmy Crowley to Laurie Anderson and Donovan to name a few.
MUSIC THERAPY Following her graduation from Cork School of Music’s music teaching diploma and Anglia University’s B.A. Hons (1st) in Music, Edel moved to London to train as a music therapist at the Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Centre. Completing her training (Dip. N-R/RMTh) in 1994, she worked at the Centre and also with the Essex-based charity Open Door with people with disabilities over the next four years.
On returning to Cork in 2000, she set up music therapy practices at the Cope Foundation, Lavanagh Centre (Enable Ireland) and Grove House (Southern Health Board). She has written and presented her work at conferences, supervised trainee music therapists and lectured at the University of Limerick (M.A. in Music Therapy) and Cork School of Music (undergraduate introduction to Music Therapy).
For more information on music therapy in Ireland and Britain check out: www.iacat.ie and www.bsmt.org
COMMUNITY MUSIC In order to expand her methods of enabling inclusive music making Edel undertook the Music Tutor Training Course at Community Music Limited, in London during 1997/98. This training led to work with a broader range of society in a variety of ways.
Her community music projects have included composition and recording work (using a range of music technology) with young people, the composition of pre-recorded and live music for the specific abilities of participants, as well as general participatory music making workshops using percussion and voice from pre-school children to older adults.
Project partners have included Cork County Arts Office, Triskel Arts Centre, School of the Divine Child, St. Killian’s School, Cope Foundation and U4EA (Gurranabraher Youth Service).
She has worked alongside Dr. Evelyn Grant in the delivery of the Cork School of Music undergraduate introduction to community music on their B.Mus program.
For more information on the community arts in Ireland check out - www.communityartsireland.com and community music in Britain check out - www.soundsense.org
MUSIC TEACHING For many years Edel has been involved in music education in a variety of guises from one-to-one individual and group instrumental tuition (both classical and traditional fiddle) to musicianship class teaching. She is currently employed as a lecturer at Cork School of Music where a large part of her work is the delivery of musicianship classes to children. Her teaching methods are influenced by the music educators Kodaly, Dalcroze and Orff.
For more information on these teaching approaches check out - www.kodaly-ireland.com, www.iks.hu, www.dalcroze.org.uk and www.orff.org.uk.
You can listen to short samples from some of the tracks from this artist using the player below.
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