I'm Brazilian, 20 years old, univeristy student and musician. I play mandolin, guitar and a little irish whistle (want to learn galician bagpipes, but can't afford it right now). Interested in Traditional Irish music, I have a band here in Rio de Janeiro named Café Irlanda (Coffee Ireland) - our youtube channel is www.youtube.com/cafeirlanda . We play irish, and brazilian music, with some tunes of other celtic nations such as galicia, french britain, wales and scotland.
Pedacinhos do Céu - Waldir Azevedo; Minhas mãos, Meu Cavaquinho - Waldir Azevedo; Fields of Ahenry - Pete St. John; Morrisson's Jig; irish and brazilian folk in general. Also rock and roll and heavy metal.
Christina Henri is a visual artist and has done a lot of work with the Female Factory. The Female Factory was where the female convicts were sent when they arrived in Tasmania. Most convicts were actually sent out to work for free settlers rather than being locked in a prison. The women would be chosen by free settlers and only returned to the factory should they commit another offence or no longer be required. Christina created a sculpture of bonnets that had been made in the memory of specific convict women and their children. These were made by decscendants of these people and other voulnteers, including the school students at the school my children attend. Both she and Pete St John heard the story of Mary Walsh and it resulted in Pete writing the Bells of Ireland and Christina trying to find out more about her life. Pete and some other musicians released a CD of songs about convict women and Christina recently travelled to Ireland where she mounted a display of her bonnets and Pete sang at the same event. I don't know much more than this but Christina could tell you more. I have sent her a message letting her know that you play the Fields of Athenry and that I have told you about Pete St John's desire that people mention Mary Walsh when they play the song. He does have contact details on his website if you want to contact him but I have also asked Christina to tell Pete about you.
The great thing about playing Irish music is that you do get to meet a lot of wonderful people. How fantstic that you have played with such great foreign musicians and that being the only band in your area that plays such music allows you to do this. The Blue Mosquitoes have been lucky to play as the support act for Peggy Seeger (sister of the legendary Pete Seeger) and also for the Saw Doctors (from Ireland). Probably their biggest thrill was playing with Dougie MacLean at the Cygnet Folk Festival in Tasmania. Together they performed his song'.This Love will Carry.
Caio, I am pleased to see that you are interested in history as I am currently a history teacher. I try where possible to link the personal histories of the children in my class to the larger events in history and encourage them to carry out their own historical research rather than just reading the work of other historians or a text book.
I enjoyed finding out more about your heritage and must admit I know very little about the history of your country. Australia has immigrants from many countries but Tasmania has less diversity than the other states. I am envious of your mixed heritage as I would love to have more than the Irish Scottish and English I have in my blood. The good thing is that my Cornish ancestors were singers and my Somerset ancestors were fiddle players so music has always been a big part of my upbringing. My wife is English but had Irish ancestors who moved to London and her family have always listened to Irish music. As a result our children have grown up with it.
I played in a band many years ago and have encouraged all of my children to learn music. It is my eldest, Chris, who plays mandolin, guitar, whistle, bodhran and keyboard with the Blue Mosquitoes. All of them have sung in school choirs and Chris sings with the Blue Mosquitoes. I play with them all sometimes in a band we call Beannacht (Irish for blessing).
Like your band, the Blue Mosquitoes do not only play traditional Irish music but it is a big influence in the original songs and tunes they have written. They also play covers of bands like the Dropkick Murphys, The Pogues, Cranberries, etc. Two of the other band members are the niece and nephew of my wife. It is her niece, Hannah, who plays fiddle. It was great listening to you playing the songs the Blue Mosquitoes play.
I am pleased that you will share the story of Mary Walsh. I will tell Christina Henri this and ask her to tell Pete St John that you are sharing Mary's story.
I am pleased to know more about you.
Caoi, You are right about Tasmania being a state of Australia and it was originally known as Van Diemen's Land which you may have heard mentioned in Irish songs including one by U2. I love the fact that you play many of the same songs as the Blue Mosquitoes and that you like bands such as Flogging Molly, Dropkick Murphy's and the Dubliners. We listen to all of these bands. Van Diemen's Land was set up as a colony by the British as a place to send convicts as their prisons were overcrowded. In about a ten year period from the early 1840s until the early 1850s about 10,000 Irish were sent here as prisoners. One of them was my Great Great Grandmother Mary Ann Dalton who was from Dublin and stole a shawl because she was poor. I have always felt a connection to Irish culture. One of the convicts sent here was Mary Walsh and it is her story that has inspired Pete St John to write another song linked to the Fields of Athenry and also for those who play it to mention Mary when they play it. (I made a mistake in my last message when I said it was a new verse for the Fields of Athenry. It is actually a new song which mentions The Fields of Athenry and is called The Bells of Ireland.) There are a group of people in Australia and Ireland trying to find out whether Mary was ever reunited with her husband as he wrote a letter of love to her which she never received. I have put some of the lines from the letter to music and hope to be playing it in public soon. It would be great if you could mention the story of Mary Walsh when you play the Fields of Athenry. To read more about the letter go to http://www.tribune.ie/magazine/features/article/2009/aug/09/dear-mary/ Pete St John also has information on his website at http://www.petestjohn.com/2007/06/25/the-bells-of-ireland/
Welcome to Live Ireland Caio. I have just listened to Morrison's Jig on your youtube channel and also know the Kesh Jig. These are both played by my son's band, 'The Blue Mosquitoes'. You should upload some of your videos by linking from Youtube. Did you know Pete St John has written a new verse for the Fields of Athenry? This new verse is about an Irish woman who came to Tasmania as a convict. A Tasmanian artist has just worked on a project with Pete St John about this woman. Her name is Christina Henri and she is also a member of Live Ireland.
Goodbye for now,