Who is Desi Wilkinson?.

Well, he's mostly an Irish Traditional musician even though he doesn't come from Co. Clare or even the west of Ireland. He comes from a northern, non-rural, and sometimes-harsh place called Belfast; that does not stop him loving the splendour of nature and mysterious wind-swept things however.

He plays concert flute (some fiddle, guitar, pipes and clarinet) and sings and although a well-known traditional player, he likes many forms of music, as long as it's good stuff and attempts to communicate something about states of mind or the world we live in. He has comparable attitudes to literature, food and other unspecified things. His wish is to be relatively healthy, try to do some good, have a good time and to be always able to enjoy music and to play and sing honestly and well - that's about all.

He pursues academic interests with energy and has written and lectured on Irish Music, Breton music and Celticism, from an ethnomusicologogical perspective, contributing to several significant publications (see below). Desi has worked with most of the major figures in Irish folk music and Breton music and recorded extensively (see below). He performs both as a soloist and with the group Cran. Other combinations include his duo work with the fiddler Gerry O'Connor, the guitarist Brendan Hearty and the accordionist Máirtín O'Connor. He has taken part in many inter-ethnic 'musical soups' and has enjoyed them immensely. The most recent of these outings were La traversée, which was an eclectic fusion of the musical traditions of Ireland, France and Québec and Senegal to Donegal in which the vastly different traditions in Ireland and Senegal were explored by musicians from both cultures. He looks forward to more of the same!

"Desi Wilkinson is one of our finest musicians, his playing of dance music has a rhythmic, emphatic style based on the Sligo-Leitrim tradition. He is an articulate and humorous presenter of the music...deeply committed to exploring genres and traditions beyond Ireland. If traditional music is about searching, absorption, retention and change, so is Desi." (Ciaran Carson, poet and writer)

Selected Recordings

Title Company and year
Cosa gan bhroga Gael Linn (LP/cassette 1986)
The Three Piece Flute Spring (CD/ cassette 1987)
The Crooked Stairs/Cran CBM ( CD/ cassette 1992)
Hent St Jakez Shamrock records ( CD 1993)
Night Owl(Dolores Keane) FXCD187 (CD1997)
Black, Black, Black/Cran Claddagh records (CD 1998)
Lover's Ghost/Cran Black Rose records (CD 2000)
Shady woods Deas records (CD 2001)
Sounds from the North Liekedeler (CD 2001)
Music from the edge of the world/Cran Black Rose records (CD 2002)

Selected Publications

Title Publishers
'Celticisms' in Studies in European ethnomusicology 2003, M. Stokes Ed Scarecrow press London
Breton Dance Genres in Companion to Traditional Music 1999 F.Vallely Ed,. UCC press
The flute in Sligo/Leitrim in Companion to Traditional Music 1999 F.Vallely Ed, UCC press
Various titles 2003 Encyclopaedia of Ireland, Gill and Macmillan
Euro-Paddies 2002 Journal of Music in Ireland
Perspectives sur le celtisme 2003 (UBS) Lorient France
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