A new direction for Irish folk music: Pádraig Rynne from NOTIFY

Centred around the wizardry of concertina player and electronic sound designer Pádraig Rynne, NOTIFY are a band leading a new movement in Irish folk music, breathing new life into Trad, with a musical tapestry ranging from soft melodies to ‘crashing crescendos’.

Ahead of their performance at our Hotter Than July festival on Sunday 29th July, we spoke to Pádraig about his thoughts and approach towards Traditional Irish music.  

Q: Tell us a bit about the background of the style of Traditional music you play?

Within the band, four of us have a background in traditional Irish music with two of us growing up where it was central to our homes. Myself (Pádraig) and Cillian King are concertina players. We both grew up in homes where the rest of our family played Irish Traditional music. Both our fathers choose the accordions as instruments while our siblings played different instruments. Our Piano player Cormac, plays traditional fiddle sometimes although not within the band. His father is one of the best known traditional musicians in Ireland, Johnny McCarthy. Our drummer Davie grew up listening to the likes of Plenty and The Bothy Band. Both Cormac and Davie specialise in Jazz music as does our bass player Eoin. We combine these musical backgrounds together within the band using elements of Jazz and traditional music but all our music is original.

Q:  How did you approach learning these traditions? How do you think this approach compares with other genres or traditions?

As a kid, I learned using both notation and learning the music by ear. Having both of these as a way of learning has helped in adapting to the material that is put in front of me. While my theory is not to the highest of standards such as that of Eoin, Cormac or Davies, being able to learn quickly by ear means that we can get into a system of learning the musical pieces with a natural feel. Every musician adapts to use their best way of learning to suit their musical approach.

Q: What do you think is the best way to carry Irish traditional music forward into the 21st century, to a new generation of performers & audiences?

I think the way in which it is developing currently is quite healthy. It’s the same trend that has been there for decades. Traditional music has always developed, whether that be through style and melody playing or arrangements and instrumentation. There is no wrong way of doing it, as all tastes can be catered for. It’s the listener that must decide what suits their ear and adapt while hopefully not criticising what is not to their taste. We can learn from both what we find musically attractive and what we do not.


Thanks, Pádraig!

See Notify play live for free on Sunday 29th July in Smithfield Square at 'Hotter Than July' festival. More information HERE

Listen to Notify on Spotify HERE

– posted