Traditional Irish Musician, Tara Finn, With A New Album

Kristine Brandsdal Barane

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Tara Finn released an album with Irish Traditional songs this summer. Photo: Artists own
Tara Finn released an album with Irish Traditional songs this summer. Photo: Artists own

Name: Tara Finn
Age: 26
From: Sligo in northwest of Ireland
Work/Education: Masters in Education at Trinity College Dublin, majoring in Music
Music Genre: Irish Traditional Music
Instruments: Tin whistle, flute, the concertina and uilleann pipes

She has been playing instruments since she was 9 years old, and this summer she released her first album.
 

Tara Finn and her friend Philip Doddy recently released their new album “Ships are Sailing”. The duet CD features a selection of tunes and songs and it features Doddy on guitar, fiddle and vocals, and Finn her self on concertina, flute, whistle and uilleann pipes. “We hope the combination of songs, tunes and instruments help make this CD a diverse and interesting listen. We were very lucky to be joined on the CD by the incredible musicians Seamie O´Dowd on guitar, Brian McDonagh on mandola and Junior Davey on the bodhrán”, Finn tells me in a recent interview.

Tara Finn and Philip Doddy recently released the album "Ships are sailing". Photo: Artists own
Tara Finn and Philip Doddy recently released the album “Ships are sailing”. Photo: Artists own

Inspired by her parents

Tara and Philip started playing together about 7 or 8 years ago. They are both from county Sligo and played at many music sessions together around Sligo town for years before deciding to collaborate for this CD. “We both have a similar style and play many of the same tunes.”

Finn says that her parents and the rich music tradition around Sligo inspired her playing. “My dad was a traditional Irish singer and was very passionate about Irish music. He always encouraged me as a child to keep playing music.”

When she was 9 years old she started playing the tin whistle. After that she moved onto the wooden flute when she was around 10/11 years old. “My dad bought a concertina for him to play but I started messing around with it at home, and eventually he gave that to me too. When I was 15, I took up the uilleann pipes. I wanted to play something a bit different and challenging and it is definitely both.”

Tara Finn plays a lot of instruments, like Tin whistle, flute, the concertina and uilleann pipes. Photo: Artists own
Tara Finn plays a lot of instruments, like Tin whistle, flute, the concertina and uilleann pipes. Photo: Artists own

A future with music

Finn tells me that the feedback on their new album has all been very positive and supportive. “I had a great time making this CD! Sometimes there were long hours in the studio but working together with Philip and Brian was always a pleasure.”

At the moment music is a hobby for her. “I have always been very passionate about Irish traditional music”, she says. Finn would love to make another CD in the near future, but for now she is concentrating on finishing her Masters degree.

I would definitely love to make music performance my career in the future.

Every Thursday night she plays in Devitts on Camden Street, with a group of friends. “There is always a great atmosphere there with the regulars who are there every week and visitors who come in. Often musicians come and join the session too which is brilliant.” Music means a lot to her and she also teaches children and teenagers in the Sean Treacy Comhaltas branch, which is like an academy for Irish traditional music.

On a scale from 1-10, how much does music mean to you on a daily basis?
“Music is a 10 for me. When I am not teaching music or playing music, I am listening to music on CDs or on my mp3 player. I can not imagine my life without music.”