Friends of Ben Lennon (FoBL)
This is an ad hoc association which arose out of Nutan Jacques Piraprez’s and Martin Gaffney’s deep interest over many years in the fiddle music and style of Ben Lennon. They conceived this project as a visual and textual celebration of Ben’s life which would present and preserve his exemplary engagement with the society of Irish Traditional musicians in Ireland and internationally. Arising out of Nutan’s collaboration with Fintan Vallely and Charlie Piggott on The Blooming Meadows in 1998, Fintan was invited in to develop a text based on interviews. Future collaborations and media are planned to collate and open access to Ben’s recorded music.
Nutan Jacques Piraprez was born in Belgium and influenced by major Belgian and French Dadaist and surrealist painters and writers including René Magritte. he came to Ireland in 1969, lectured at NCAD, Sligo and Waterford art schools and GMIT, and as a photo journalist published in leading presses including Time, Stern, National Geographic, New York Times and Geo. Galway based, he is a member of the Paris photographers’ agency RAPho and has had his work published in thirteen books including Irish Architectural Heritage volumes (2011, ’10, ‘06), The Islands of Ireland (2006), L’Éternel Irlandais (2003), La Chevauchée des Kids (2002), L’enfant et la Sorcière (1999) and Blooming Meadows, the World of Irish Traditional Musicians (1998). his photos grace album covers for many artists including Sharon Shannon, Martin Hayes, Altan, Frankie Gavin, Peter Horan and Ben Lennon. he has exhibited in Ireland, Europe and the USA, and his awards include silver at Biarritz (2004), the Benson and Hedges Gold (London, 1990) and Pentax Gold (Bruxelles, 1969).
Fintan Vallely is a musician, writer and researcher in Irish Traditional music from Armagh. he published the first tutor for the Irish flute Timber – the Flute Tutor in 1986 and teaches flute at Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy in Co. Clare. Dublin based, he was The Irish Times reviewer and feature writer on Traditional music from 1994 – 99, was columnist and reviewer with The Sunday Tribune 1998-2002 and has written and edited several books. These include The Blooming Meadows (with Charlie Piggott and Nutan, 1998), The Companion to Irish Traditional Music (1999, 2nd edition 2011), John Kennedy – Together in Time (2001), JB Vallely – Retrospective (2008), Sing Up – Irish Comic Songs and Satires (2008), Tuned Out – Traditional Music and Identity in Northern Ireland (2008) and Learn to Play the Irish Flute (2011). his doctoral research (2004) was on the flute in Ireland, and he has lectured in Traditional music at NUI Maynooth, Trinity College Dublin, University of Ulster (Derry) and Institute of Technology Dundalk.
Martin Gaffney is a flute player and visual communications designer from Killeshandra County Cavan, he was founding partner of the national and international award-winning Designworks in 1983. Dublin based, he teaches music with the Craobh Naithí branch of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, has lectured at the College of Marketing & Design, has been Chair of the Irish Design Business Association and President of the Institute of Designers in Ireland, and is currently a Design Advocate with enterprise Ireland. his work in corporate & brand identity and design has been integrated with traditional music culture in such projects as Ceol na Cathrach (at Temple Bar TradFest, with Mick O’Connor, 2010), Round the House and Mind the Dresser (Cavan County Museum, 2010) and the CD package Eddie Clarke – Unheard. he was CCÉ’s National PRO from 2003-8, compiled its PR guidelines, Connecting with our Public and since 2010 has been PRO for Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann and designer of its publications.