First Donegal fiddle music film to première this weekend

THE first ever film on Donegal fiddle music will première in Highlands Hotel in Glenties on Saturday as part of the 41st Glenties Fiddle Weekend.

The film is inspired by renowned Donegal fiddler John Doherty who died back in 1980 but his voice and music are brought back in this film entitled ‘And that was how it was’.

The actual film has been put together by Denise Boyle, a Glenties native and well-known fiddler in her own right.


The film will run on a loop in the hotel on Saturday from 1pm until 2.30 pm.

According to local fiddler Martin McGinley the film features new compositions by Denise Boyle based on the sound of words spoken by John Doherty and Glenties fiddler Vincent Campbell.

Speaking to the Donegal News this week he explained that during the film, Vincent’s brother Jimmy, can be heard, as well as another renowned fiddler.

“The visual imagery in the eight minute film has been put together by Susan Hughes from Belfast, also a fiddler and an artist with a fast-growing reputation. There are some film clips from the classic UTV programme on John Doherty, ‘Fiddler on the Road’. Other footage has been captured in the glens of Glenties, so well known to John Doherty and the Doherty family,” Martin added.

Support for the film has come from the Arts Council Agility Award Fund.

Denise Boyle says she’s looking forward to letting people see the finished film on Saturday.

“It started out as what I describe as ‘an aural sketch’ of John Doherty. I used the voices of John Doherty and Vincent Campbell as a starting point for pieces of music, using the inflections and rhythm of their speech as inspiration. The soundtrack also includes the beautiful lilting of John Doherty and a story from Jimmy Campbell.


“I got a friend, David Arkins of Darkins Studio in Athboy in Meath, to mix and master the music and he did an amazing job, so sensitive and creative, totally transforming it.

“Then I asked another friend, the talented artist Susan Hughes, to make a video for the music and it has turned it all into a beautiful visual experience, a short film. I hope people like it and that it works as a tribute to John Doherty and everyone featured in it.”

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