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A host of Ireland’s finest musicians have gathered in Galway’s intimate new arts space – and recorded ten weeks of special programs which will be broadcast on RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta every Thursday, starting tonight.

Cuan an Cheoil is the first radio series produced by Stiúideo Cuan, the new art venue and production company at the heart of An Sp Idéal.

The new ten-part series, which kicks off tonight at 7 p.m., will feature ten of the country’s best-known musicians, who will join Hot House Flower Liam Ó Maonlaí each week to perform and chat with him about various aspects of music and of life.

Liam describes the programs as “a musical conversation” between him and his guests.

They were recorded at Stiúideo Cuan in An Sp Idéal in a relaxed and open atmosphere, an attempt to recreate the informality of a group of musicians playing together at home, as opposed to a concert. The idea is to give musicians the space to be creative, improvise and compose on the spot, and the musicians who have participated in the series have derived great satisfaction and enjoyment from the process.

Síle Denvir and Barry Kerr will join Liam for the series premiere on January 20. Síle, from Conamara, is a member of the band Líadan and has also played with the Chieftains. Barry Kerr, musician, composer and painter, is originally from Armagh but now lives in Conamara.

Other musicians participating in the series include Colm Mac Con Iomaire, Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh & Nia Byrne, Peadar Ó Riada & Mick O’Brien, Mary Bergin & Conor Connolly, Johnny Óg Connolly & Liam O’Connor, Róisín Chambers & Maitiú Ó Casaide, Méabh Ní Bheaglaoich & Niamh Varian-Barry, Rónán Ó Snodaigh & Myles O’Reilly, and Caoimhe & Séamus Ó Flatharta.

A visual feed of this program will also be available online each week.

Stiúideo Cuan is a new creative arts and music center based next to Ceardlann, an artisan village of Spidéil in An Sp Idéal.

Founded by composer, violinist and pianist Charlie Lennon and his daughter, violinist Éilís Lennon, the studio was recently revamped to improve facilities which now include a performance hall, with rehearsal and production space, as well as guest rooms recording and audiovisual post-production facilities.

Cuan an Cheoil will air on RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta every Thursday from 7-8.30pm, starting tonight. See www.rte.ie/rnag for more information or to listen.

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