Pronounced (mish-eh air-uh)
I hope you can guess the language that this one is in based on context clues.
Yep, Irish, in fact, as Irish as it can be. Even WITHOUT looking up the meaning online my small amount of Irish language classes helped me to know what this means.
“I am Ireland.”
You can also use this phrase when saying who YOU are. Such as, Mise Arianna. I am Arianna. So naturally I found it fitting for this blog post to be titled Mise Éire, especially because it has a double meaning, Mise (Air) I am Air. Hahahah ha ha….
Anyways, the real significance of this blog post title lies in the poem and the consequent musical composition by the great Sean O’Riada that I was so privileged to perform last night at the Cork Choral Festival (sorry folks I did not sing).
But before I get to that, a lot has happened in the past week! So I better take us back to Barcelona where Anthony and I had a stellar last few days.
Thursday, we decided to go to Montserrat, which is an old monastery on the literal side of a mountain. We had to take 2 trains, a rail car, and a funicular to get all the way there. It was definitely a day trip, but my was it worth it. I have never seen such beautiful views in my life! We got our buffet lunch, walked around the church and area, saw the famous “Black Madonna” and then took a funicular even higher up in altitude where we proceeded to hike around. Anthony and I ALWAYS like to take the path less traveled, and in this sense it meant literally going off road and climbing the side of the mountain ALL THE WAY TO THE TOP. Still can’t believe we did it…but the views were worth the pain!
That night we decided to try our hands at the night life in Spain…I best save those stories for personal inquiries only 😉 Long story short, we are still alive to tell the story! 😛
The next day we made our way to Barceloneta (AKA THE BEACH). Which was nice but a bit too cold. Plus we were still recovering from the night before…so after a few mishaps, AKA accidentally eating at a super nice restaurant, accidentally ordering a side dish as a main dish, and accidentally ordering SQUID, we decided to call it a day and head back to our flat. Once the evening rolled around we managed to head just a short way up the street to see the Mont Jüic magic fountain show. There were people EVERYWHERE, but it really was ‘magical’! And a great way to end our trip.
The next day we got up early and headed back to Cork. I don’t even have any crazy travel stories, because we managed to get back to Cork in the smoothest way possible. I’m happy to not have to tell any horrifying travel stories (I think I have had enough already). Once back in Cork it felt like it had been ages since we had been there. I settled in for the night and enjoyed a good sleep in my own bed.
The rest of the week, honestly was pretty boring! I have just been super super stressed, as all college students are at this time of the year. For UCC, these next two weeks are exam weeks. However, I am one of the lucky fellows to not have any exams, but just a ton of essays to write. And performances. Sooo Monday Tuesday and Wednesday nights were spent rehearsing in Cork City Hall for the big concert that was the opening of the Cork Choral Festival last night.
Meanwhile, I am typing away at my motivation to finish my final 3000 word essay. It is struggle to find a place in the library at this time, because all of the Irish that may have failed to attend class the entire year come out of hiding and set up camp in the library, I’m guessing in pursuit of learning everything they missed for the exams and essay that count for the entire grade. But aren’t we all? Anyways, just today I managed to finish my final essay!! So it is home free for school work, just a couple more performances to get out of the way, and then homeward bound I am!
Now back to Mise Éire and that performance. Last night was one of the most memorable moments of my life! Getting to play with all the Irish students for the opening of a great festival, and most importantly, we played ALL IRISH MUSIC! It was such a fantastic experience. We opened with Mise Éire, which was one of my favorites. It had clips from the film being played, and in between pieces there was a man who recited letters written during the 1916 rebellion. It was so cool to be apart of something so nationalistic and Irish. You could definitely feel and tell how proud everyone was to be Irish, and how proud they were of the music we performed. It was truly an unforgettable experience.
(Also shout out to HANNAH EMILEE AND MATTIE who attended the concert. It means the world that we got to share this experience!!)
If you are interested in listening to some sort of a version of what I played, click this link below. It is not exactly the Mise Éire that we played, but it has some of the same elements and melodies if you want to hear some Irish music incorporated into orchestra.
I couldn’t think of a better way to end my time here but with a very nationalistic concert. Never have I been more happy to be apart of music, which allows me to participate in these events that not everyone would have the opportunity to.
Literally a week from Monday I hit the high road home again. I’m going to miss everyone here and Ireland so much (not the weather). But I’ll get into the sappy memories stuff next week when I have the time to cry and think of all the things I’ll miss…
I’ll leave you with the English translation of Mise Éire, the original poem that the orchestration was inspired by.
I am Ireland:
I am older than the old woman of Beare.
Great my glory:
I who bore Cuchulainn, the brave.
Great my shame:
My own children who sold their mother.
Great my pain:
My irreconcilable enemy who harrasses me continually…
Great my sorrow
That crowd, in whom I placed my trust, died.
I am Ireland:
I am lonelier than the old woman of Beare.