Music and Friendship: the People of Melbourne Comhaltas has now sold out!

Over three years, photographer and writer Adam Purcell interviewed more than thirty people who are all associated in some way with the Melbourne branch of the worldwide Irish cultural organisation Comhaltas. In November 2020, the resulting work was published as a full-colour 100-page softcover book called Music and Friendship: The People of Melbourne Comhaltas.

For the book, more than 28 hours of audio recordings from the interviews were turned into personal stories which explore themes of immigration, friendship and culture. Among other things, there are memories of the Depression, stories of the Troubles in Northern Ireland and even someone who worked on the Snowy Mountains Scheme.

The common thread, weaving in some way through every story in the collection, is Melbourne Comhaltas. The branch was founded in 1970 and celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2020. The Melbourne membership is wide and varied, with people aged from 20 to 90, and every age in between.

There are musicians and there are dancers. There are men and there are women. There are Irish expats, and there are locals,  from many different parts of the folk spectrum. All, though, share an interest in keeping the Irish traditions alive and very much kicking. And all have some sort of story about how they came to be in Melbourne, and how they came to Comhaltas.

Music and Friendship was published in November 2020.

ISBN: 978-0-646-82338-6

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