Kathleen is widely acclaimed for her arrangements and playing of the music of the Irish harpers and the moods in her playing range from the exuberant life of her dance music to the haunting beauty of her slow airs. In arranging and interpreting the music of the 18th century, her most important reference has been the living instrumental tradition, its technique, ornamentation, and energy. Her own compositions have been informed by her extensive research into traditional sources. Kathleen is a native of Nenagh, Co Tipperary, has lived in Galway since 1982. In 1990 she cofounded the group Dordan, whose distinctive mix of Irish traditional and Baroque music led among other honours, to their winning the 1993 traditional Music Award in the Irish Entertainment Awards. Both with Dordan and in her own capacity as a solo musician, she has performed and taught in Ireland and at major festivals in the US, Japan and through out Europe, including the Boston College Gaelic Roots Festival and at the Edinburgh International Harp festival and the Copenhagen Harp festival. She was invited to play at the World Harp Congress in Dublin in 1995. She composed a piece entitled Lúcháir an Léinn, a suite commissioned by NUI, Galway 1999 in celebration of 150 years of student enrolment. Her arrangements have appeared in various publications and feature on the Harp syllabus of The Royal Irish Acadamy of Music. With Dordan she has released four CDs and she has also released five solo CDs and four books of harp arrangements; Affairs of the Harp, Harping On, Harp to Heart and her most recent The Harpers Connellan, featuring the music of the Connellan brothers (c.1645-1720). This book of tunes isarranged for the Harp by Kathleen Loughnane and accompanying the CD of the same title. This book presents a selection of tunes contained in the manuscripts of Patrick O'Neill (1765-1832), giving an insight into the eclectic range of music popular in south Tipperary/Kilkenny in the late 18th and early 19th Centuries. The tunes were collected by Patrick O'Neill and represent his rich efforts to preserve what could still be saved from the gradual erosion of an Irish way of being.
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