2009 was a busy year for Emma Kate with a number
of prestigious performances associated with the St Patrick's Day
celebrations in New York.
Emma Kate Tobia hails from Westport, Co Mayo, and
now lives in Kinsale Co. Cork. Her grá (love) for Irish Song goes
back to her days in Colaiste Muire, Tuar Mhic Eadaigh and the
Feiseanna competitions. “Aisling na nGael”(an Irish Dream) is
an expression of that love. Emma Kate’s classical training has
resulted in a fusion of a pure lyrical voice with the timeless
melodies of our heritage. Normally sung in the sean-nós style
with little or no accompaniment, the songs in Aisling na nGael
are presented in rich orchestral and choral arrangements. Songs
such as Eanach Cuain, An Mhaighdean Mhara, An Droimeann Donn Dílis,
Fill, Fill, a Rún Ó and Carraigdhoun make up this fresh collection
that will appeal to both classical and traditional music lovers
alike. The collection includes three arrangements which feature
The City of Cork Male Voice Choir and The Chorus of Opera Cork.
These are: Deus Meus, Ag Críost an Síol and Óró ’s é do Bheatha
In the eighteenth century, poets of Ireland used
images of dream visions to portray the social happenings of the
day. In these Aislingi a womanly creature, a sovereignty figure,
is lost or hurt by others who should have been there to help her.
Sometimes Ireland is depicted as Gráinne Mhaol (the fierce warrior
Queen of the West) as in Óró sé do Bheatha ’Bhaile, or Róisín
Dubh, whose help is coming on the high seas. Animals feature in
Aislingí also, such as Droimeann Donn Dílis (darling little brown
cow) or the fairy presence of mermaids in An Mhaighdean Mhara.
The Aisling as a powerfully emotive channel for the expression
of social discontent and political turmoil was widespread right
up to the time of the Easter Rising in 1916 and beyond.