Every summer a different group of Irish artists descends on the beautiful Ionian Island of Paxos in Greece. They come for Irish Wings, a musical event dedicated tocultural dialogue between Ireland and Greece and an integral part of the annual Paxos Music Festival. This year it will feature Hellas Ensemble, a stellar cast of musicians from Ireland, Greece and America, who are presenting a suite of music celebrating the Nobel prize-winning Irish poet, Seamus Heaney in this, the tenth anniversary of his death.
The charming courtyard of the one-room school in the seaside village of Loggos will play host to the event. Seamus Heaney’s daughter, Catherine, will remember her father’s love of Greece and read his translation of a poem by Constantine P. Cavafy in addition to his ‘Sonnets from Hellas’, six brief but vivid glimpses into the Greek landscape that so inspired him. Irish Wings is also honoured to include a new translation of one of these sonnets by the eminent poet and translator, Dionysis Kapsalis.
The Celtic-Greek music flowing from their admiration for Heaney’s work has been composed by three bouzouki players: Marty Coyle from Derry in Ireland, Nikos Petsakos from Ikaria and Chicago and the Paxiot Elias Dendias, recently returned to the island after an Australian tour with the rock band, Crowded House.
They, with the entire Hellas Ensemble, will be playing this and music specially composed for Paxos before an audience of locals and international visitors to the island and in the presence of the Irish Ambassador to Greece, Ms Iseult Fitgerald. All will have the pleasure of hearing a range of instruments, including the Irish pipes and the Irish harp, neither of which have been played on Paxos before.