The Atlantic Orchestra Project specialises in historically informed performance, and is an international mix of classical and traditional musicians, singers, a film maker and a storyteller, and very often special guests. The performances are created from scratch, and recount the story of an historical event through music, text, visuals song and spoken word. Central to the process are historians, local communities, folklorists, storytellers, libraries, librarians and invested others, depending on the project. Historically informed performance is an entertaining, informative, creative and multi-disciplinary way of bringing history to a larger audience.
Cannon In Sea - 2018
In association with Spanish Armada Ireland and the Irish Underwater Archeology Unit
This exciting piece was researched and written by Catherine Rhatigan with input from Dr. Connie Kelleher of the IUAU in 2018. The storyline focuses on three of the cannon recovered in Sligo Bay in 2015 and includes original footage of the gun recovery. Music, story, poetry, and storytelling performed on the grounds of Streedagh House within earshot of the tides that brought the Spaniards to their deaths in 1588 made for two very atmospheric performances, both of which received standing ovations from an audience which included members of both the Spanish and Irish Naval forces.
Meet the Performers...
The Atlantic Orchestra Project is made up of people who are all involved in other bands and projects, but their collective energy really swings in this one! Veterans of the international stage, (Japan, Europe, The U.S, South Africa and Australia), these musicians are both competent exponents of music from other folk cultures, as well as highly respected members of Irish traditional music at home and abroad. All are recorded artistes, and have been working together in various combinations since 1995.
Their collective résumés include appearances with legendary super-groups like De Danaan, Clanad, Chris de Burgh, and Alan Stivell, a tour of the U.S with The Chieftains, another with the award winning Druid Theatre and appearances in Zurich Opera House and Carnegie Hall, New York.
Catherine Rhatigan, Project Director/ Irish harp
Catherine Rhatigan, Project Director / Irish harp. A founder member of Tale of the Gael, she created and directed the 12 events for Yeats 150 Harp Festival of Moons which ran for a year. Most recently, she has scripted and directed productions with the James Joyce Institute Zurich, The Dept. of Foreign Affairs, as well as with universities in Switzerland and Germany. She has performed and taught harp music in the U.S, Europe, South Africa, Japan and of course Ireland.
Robert Tobin, Ireland, Silver flute, whistle
Robert Tobin, Ireland, Silver flute, whistle. Currently working and living in Helsinki, Robert toured Europe and Ireland with Tale of the Gael, and The Deirdre Starr Trio and has appeared in both the Zurich Opera House and Carnegie Hall during his career to date. He is an artistic co-ordinator of the International Tampere Flute Festival, and is interested in film making and restoration of vintage properties when not playing music.
Isabelle Hauser Switzerland, storytelling, narration
Isabelle studied storytelling with Liz Weir in Co. Antrim, Ireland, and is a founder member of The Celtic Fragment, a storytelling/music trio which has performed all over Switzerland, as well as in Austria and Ireland since it formed in 2017. She has participated in storytelling events in Italy, Ireland and Dubai and hosts her own storytelling podcast for stories in Swiss German.
Dave Aebli, Switzerland, Guitar, Double Bass, Irish Bouzouki
Dave Aebli, Switzerland, Guitar, Double Bass, Irish Bouzouki. Dave plays Greek, Balkans and Irish music with equal verve. His Balkan and Greek music can be heard with Chef de Kef, and he is a long standing member of both Tale of the Gael, and The Joe Mc Hugh Band. He has been part of the Rigiblick Theatre house band in Zurich for several years.
Prannie Rhatigan Ireland, Bodhran
Prannie Rhatigan Ireland, Bodhran. Prannie is best known these days for her work with seaweed cookery, and was a First in the World in 2019 for her latest book. In 2023 she was awarded Local Food Hero for Connaught. In another life she played percussion with a renaissance group, and accompanies Tale of the Gael on their various international tours whenever time allows.
Ray Coen, Ireland, Guitar, Fiddle, Vocals
Ray Coen, Ireland, Guitar, Fiddle, Vocals. A musician of many parts, Ray can show up anywhere in an ensemble. His singing ranges from full on rock to gentle ballads, and his fiddle style ranges from authentic Sligo traditional to improvised, as the occasion demands. He and Catherine performed a mix of traditional Sligo and 18th century music to great acclaim at the Tokyo Irish Festival in 2019. He plays guitar, fiddle and sings with the international touring band No Crows,
Felip Carbonell , Spain, vocals, Spanish guitar
Felip Carbonell, vocals, classical guitar. Felip grew up in Mallorca listening to various kinds of Spanish, Latin American and Catalan music, about which he knows an awful lot. His current projects include working with No Crows, Jazztalk, and Amy O Hara and A Band. He regularly gigs with his daughters at home and in Spain and also writes music.
Treasa Ni Mhiollain, The Aran Islands, Ireland, sean nós singing
Treasa Ni Mhiollain, sean nos singing. Treasa grew up on the Aran Islands where she learned her vast repertoire of Gaelic songs from her parents. Apart from performances worldwide and at home, Treasa has been entrusted with the job of teaching the art of sean nós to younger generations on all three of the Aran Islands. In 2011 she was artist in residence for the National University of Ireland in Galway, and released her second album in 2019.
Seamus Gallagher, Ireland, Percussion
Seamus Gallagher, Percussion. Seamus comes from a family of drummers and his experience ranges across every spectrum of music out there. Musicals, traditional, rock, pop, covers, Seamus has played it all at least twice over the last 30 years. His musical travels have taken him to several European countries, the US and South Africa.