Congratulations to RIAM Staff members, Bill Dowdall, David Adams and Lisa Dowdall  on the launch of their new CD: Airs & Dances from Dublin Castle: Spackling Band 

The halls of eighteenth-century Dublin resounded with this music, now rediscovered and recorded for the first time.

A collaborative artistic research project devised and led by flautist, Bill Dowdall, has resulted in a CD of eighteenth-century music for flute and continuo. The CD features three RIAM staff: Bill Dowdall (flute), Lisa Dowdall (Baroque viola) and David Adams (harpsichord), as well as guest performer, Malachy Robinson (viol).

The project was inspired by a reading of Brian Boydell’s A Dublin musical calendar, 1700-1760 which led Bill to visit the National Library of Ireland in the hope of uncovering forgotten eighteenth-century music. These early visits were initially in the nature of lucky dips. RIAM Librarian, Philip Shields, succeeded in identifying flute repertoire in the Joly Collection of the National Library which helped to narrow the search. While trying to locate Dubourg’s famous set of variations on Eileen Aroon, references led to Dr Barra Boydell who pointed towards an eighteenth-century “gig book” of R. W. Wilson, His musick book. Nicholas Carolan and the Irish Traditional Music Archive were also generous in supplying information. Further research revealed a wealth of repertoire and information of a musicological and iconographical nature, culminating in the production of the CD entitled Airs and dances from Dublin Castle: Spackling band. (“Spackling” Dowdall was an eighteenth-century ancestor of Bill’s and Lisa’s, a musician of dubious repute, who was a member of the State Orchestra in Dublin Castle around 1720).

The CD is now available in the RIAM Library.

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