Radio Plays

Fíodhna’s airs can be heard on radio, including:

  • Irish Waves Radio Programme, WFCF Radio 88.5 FM, Florida, USA:
  • ‘Chemins de Terre’ programme on Radio-Rennes, Brittany, France (100.8, Rennes) and Radio Evasion (98.7 in “pays de Broceliande” and 95.2 in “pays de Mené”:
  • WDR, Cologne, DLF and Radio Duisburg, Germany
  • RTE Radio na Gaeltachta, Ireland: ‘An Saol Ó Dheas’ le Helen Ní Shé; ‘Togha agus Rogha’ le Mairtín Tom Sheáinín;Béal Maidine’ le Neansaí Ní Choisdealbha agus Áine Hensey.
  • ‘Lift the Latch’,Connemara Community Radio with Michael O’Neill and Helen King
  • Tipperary Midwest Radio with Donnchacha Ó Chinnéide
  • Clare FM with Eoin O’Neill


Irish Music Magazine Reviews ‘Air Time’

Air Time
Own Label
11 Tracks, 42 Minutes
There’s been a rush of albums devoted to slow airs lately – maybe as many as three, which probably equals the number released in the thirty years between 1970 and 2000. So we’re not overloaded with them yet, and Air Time is a fine addition to this category. Fiodhna Gardiner is a low whistle specialist, and as the daughter of famed Clare accordionist Bobby Gardiner she’s able to enlist an impressive band to fill out this debut CD.

Recently returned to County Clare after many years as an emigrant in Abu Dhabi, Fiodhna has built upon her experience of playing Irish music in the United Arab Emirates to produce this collection of airs ancient and modern, Irish and Scottish, with some well known melodies and some new favourites. The traditional An Raibh Tú ag an gCarraig sets the scene, with accompaniment from Gary O’Bhrian and Seamie O’Dowd. Easter Snow, a favourite air for me, adds Bobby Gardiner on accordion in a beautifully slow interpretation. Whistle and accordion alternate, and then combine for a final duet. Amhrán na Leabhar is also from the heart of the Irish tradition, a tragic tale played with great feeling here.
There’s lovely tone from Fiodhna’s Colin Goldie whistles – in A and Bb instead of the usual low D. Fiodhna’s ornamentation is peculiar to the whistle, rather than pipes or flute: tonguing and glissando, simple doublings and subtle vibrato, giving a very modern folky sound. This is enhanced by the use of keyboard, string arrangements, and harpsichord on several tracks.

Additional touches come from Mairtín O’ Connor and Liam Kelly on accordion and flute. The Dervish connection is clearest in three vocal contributions by Cathy Jordan: The Mall of Lismore, The Banks of Sullane and the traditional An Buachaillín Donn with English lyrics. Other instrumental tracks include the great Scott Skinner air Hector the Hero, recorded by several Irish musicians previously, and three Gardiner family compositions. Fiodhna’s own tunes Grá Mo Chroí and The Boy from Aughdarra honour her husband and her father respectively, and both have the poignancy of many modern whistle airs. An Ghorta, written by Fiodhna’s mother Ann, is more lyrical or even pastoral, despite being a lament inspired by the famine years in Ireland. Air Time finishes on a more cheerful note, The Dreams of Old Pa Fogerty by Scottish Gael composer Ailean Nicholson, a delightfully wistful end to a charming CD.
There’s a lot more information on Fiodhna’s website, well worth a visit.
Alex Monaghan

Folkworld reviews ‘Air Time’

folkworldThomas Keller of ‘Folkworld’ ( reviews Fíodhna’s CD ‘Air Time’.

The low whistle is the big baby of the traditional tin whistle/pennywhistle, distinguished by its larger size, lower pitch and a more breathy, flute-like sound. Bernard Overton is credited with manufacturing the first instrument in the early 1970s, which he made for Finbar Furey. Since Riverdance the low whistle is a respected instrument in its own right, often used for the playing of slow airs due to its enthralling and emotive sound. It has found a new trailblazer in Irish low whistle player Fíodhna Gardiner-Hyland who has featured on numerous film, television and radio programmes; while living in the United Arab Emirates, Fíodhna played whistles with the group Inis Oirr (2004-2011). These days she lives in the vicinity of the twin towns Killaloe/Ballina (Co. Clare/Tipperary) and is part of the committee organizing the Kincora Traditional Music Weekend.
Her debut solo album is exclusively dedicated to Airs for the Low Whistle, both traditional Irish (“An raibh tu ar an gCarraig”, “Amhran na Leabhair”, “Easter Snow” played over the closing credits of the Irish movie “The Lord’s Burning Rain”) and (more or less) contemporary Scottish (fiddler James Scott Skinner’s “Hector the Hero”, bagpiper Ailean Nicholson’s “The Dreams of Old Pa Fogerty”) as well as newly composed airs. Fíodhna penned “Gra mo Chroi” for her husband and “The Boy from Aughdarra” for her father, the well-known acordionist Bobby Gardiner (b. 1939), who once played with the Kilfenora Céilí Band before building a musical career on his own terms. 
Fíodhna is playing her A/Bb whistles with much heart and soul. You want to lean back, close your eyes and expose yourself to the images forming in your head. Fíodhna is joined on “Air Time” by her father, and furthermore supported by the stellar cast of Seamie O’Dowd (guitar), Mairtín Ó Connor (button accordion), Garry Ó Bhriain (piano, harpsichord) and Liam Kelly (flute). A special treat is the employment of Dervish singer Cathy Jordan on three tracks, the traditional Irish “An Buachaillin Donn” (Little Brown-Haired Boy), Andy Irvine’s “The Mall of Lismore” and Sean Ó Riada’s “The Banks of Sullane”. Fíodhna and Cathy take turns, but also trail along in harmony. Simply great!



Launch of Air Time at the Willie Clancy Week




IMG_0621miltown_shoppingstreetBríd O’Donoghue launched ‘Air Time’ at the Willie Clancy week in Miltown Malbay, Co. Clare on Sunday 6th July.

After the graveside tribute to Willie Clancy at 3pm, there were a number of launches of noted traditional Irish recordings and publications in St. Joseph’s Convent School, Spanish Point. Fíodhna was joined by her family. Here are some photos of the event.


Launch of Air Time in Liam O’Riain’s Ballina, Co Tipperary

IMG_4681On Saturday 7th June next from 9pm, Fiodhna will celebrate locally the launch of her debut CD, Air Time, in Liam O’ Riann’s Pub, Ballina, Co. Tipperary.

She will be accompanied by her father, Bobby Gardiner on accordion and melodeon, multi-instrumentalist, Caoimhin O Fearghail, husband, Padraig, accordionist, John Carroll and other local musicians.


Hunt Museum Performance, Limerick

As part of ‘Nollaig na mBan’ celebrations on the 5th January, Fiodhna, along with traditional singer, Noirin Ni Riainn, who is based at Glenstal Abbey, performed for a large audience in the ‘Captain’s Room’ of the Hunt Museum, Limerick. Fiodhna began and ended the evening with a traditional air from her CD ‘Air Time’, while Noirin led the room into a number of round chants, along with vocal harmonies.

Air Time Launch – Village Arts’ Centre, Kilworth

On Saturday 14th December, Fiodhna’s debut album, ‘Air Time’, was launched at The Village Arts’  Centre, Kilworth by Roy Galvin. Fiodhna was joined in concert by Eileen O’Brien on fiddle, Jack Talty on concertina and piano and her father Bobby Gardiner on accordion and melodeon. Fiodhna played 3 airs that feature on her album and was accompanied on keyboard by her husband, Padraig.

Here are some photos from the event.

Air Time Launch in The Local, Dungarvan

On Saturday 7th December, Fíodhna’s debut album, ‘Air Time‘, was launched in The Local, Dungarvan, by Co. Waterford traditional singer Ann Mulqueen. Fíodhna performed two airs from her album, ‘An Raibh tú ar an gCarraig’ and ‘Grá mo Chroí’ and was accompanied by her husband, Pádraig on keyboard. Other musicians that played included Donnchadh Gough, Brendan Clancy, Kelley Gardiner and Stephen Tutty.

Here are photos from the event.

Here is a short video from the event.

[Video not found]

Agalamh ar ‘An Saol Ó Dheas’ le Helen Ní Shé

saolAgalamh idir Fíodhna Ní Ghairnéir agus Helen Ni Shé faoi dlúthdhiosca nua, den teideal AIR TIME – Airs for the Low , á sheoladh sa Seomra Caidrimh i gColáiste Mhuire Gan Smál, Luimneach ar an 5ú Mí na Nollag.

Cliceáil anseo chun éisteacht le h-agallamh a dhein Fiodhna ar an gclár An Saol ó Dheas ar 02/12/13 ar Raidió na Gaeltachta.

Seoladh i gColáiste Mhuire gan Smál, Luimneach, 5ú Mí na Nollag

micTugtar cuireadh duit a bheith i láthair ar an Déardaoin 5 Mí na Nollag 2013 @ 1.10i.n. sa Seomra Caidrimh nuair a sheolfar dlúthdhiosca nua ó Fhíodhna Gardiner, den teideal

AIR TIME – Airs for the Low Whistle.

You are cordially invited to the launch of the new CD from Fíodhna Gardiner, entitled AIR TIME – Airs for the Low Whistlein An Seomra Caidrimh on Thursday 5 December @ 1.10pm.

Cuirfear sólaistí ar fáil/Refreshments will be provided

Fáilte roimh chách

Fíodhna’s Rendition of Traditional Air ‘Easter Snow’ makes it to the Big Screen

Maurice O’ Callaghan of ‘Destiny Films and Publishing’ enlists Fíodhna’s rendition of traditional air ‘Easter Snow’ as a sound track for the film ‘The Lord’s Burning Rain’, a story dealing with the horror and futility of war, featuring actors Jon Kenny and Jonathan Ryan. As part of the sound track, Fíodhna plays an A low whistle, commissioned by Colin Goldie and is joined by her father, Button Accordionist Bobby Gardiner and Seamie O’ Dowd on strings and guitar.

Co-arranged by Fíodhna and producer, Seamie O’ Dowd, “the air itself, ‘Easter Snow’ or ‘Sneachta na Cásca’ in Irish, is a reference to the blackthorn blossom which appears in the Springtime. The blackthorn is the opposite to hawthorn in that it bears its blossom before its leaves open, and the blossom time is usually quite close to Eastertide.”

“Fíodhna’s rendition of Easter Snow’ on low whistle, amplified by button accordion, strings and guitar provides the perfect closing coda to the film, The Lord’s Burning Rain”

(Maurice O’ Callaghan, Director of Destiny Films and Publishing).

Co-musicians on the film sound track  include John Lynch of the RTE Concert Orchestra, Ciarán Ó Gealbhain, Eilín Ní Bheaglaoich, Órna and Síona Loughnane and Jane Hughes.

The film premiers at the Cork Film Festival in the Cork Opera House on Sunday 10th November, 2013 at 2.00p.m. For the official trailer and synopsis of the ‘Lord’s Burning Rain’, watch the clip below:

The Lord’s Burning Rain – Official Trailer from Destiny Films & Publishing on Vimeo.

Thanks to Aodán Ó Dubhghaill, Head of RTÉ Lyric FM for the additional information on the origins of Easter Snow.

Family in Music

MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAFrom Ballyporeen, in South Tipperary, the Gardiner family – Bobby, Ann, Kelley, Fíodhna and Lynda play accordion, whistles, melodeon and concertina with mother, Ann on vocals. While Bobby is an established accordionist, known for his unique, energetic, rhythmic Clare style and use of the single-button triplet, each in their own way, the Gardiner girls are carrying on the Irish music tradition, playing melodeon, whistles and concertina. Lynda, now living in Bahrain plays concertina with husband and flautist, Tom Murphy and Kelley, living in Dungarvan, Co. Waterford plays melodeon with husband and guitar player, Stephen Tutty. Both Lynda and Kelley are secondary school music teachers and are involved in directing musicals and school concerts.The Gardiner Family recording for TG4 Se Mo Laoch Programme

Over the years, the Gardiners have collaboratively played music for family parties, functions, special occasions, television and CD recordings. Beginning with an appearance on ‘The BiBi Baskin Show’ in the late 80’s to supporting the Black Velvet Band while touring in Switzerland, musical collaborations for the Gardiner family include performances such as the ‘1994 Fleadh Cheoil Programme Feature’ with Mícheál Ó Suilleabháin;  the ‘Tipperary’s Hills for Me’ album by Fiodhna’s mother, Ann in 2005 and ‘The High Level’ album by Fíodhna’s father, Bobby in 2010. In 2013, the Gardiners performed on the ‘Sé mo laoch’ programme, Season 7, Episode 4, featuring Bobby and most recently, Fiodhna, Padraig, Kelley and brother-in-law, Stephen Tutty played music on board the ‘Spirit of Killaloe’ boat, as part of the inaugural Kincora Traditional Weekend, Ballina, Co. Tipperary.

The Gardiner Family at Home



Gala Concert – Kincora Traditional Weekend



Here is a clip from the concert featuring Fiodhna playing The Lea Rig, followed by Jerry O’Sullivan’s and The Dimmers.

Gigging and Cruising on the Shannon

s_IMG_5121Fiodhna, husband, Padraig, sister, Kelley, brother-in-law, Stephen and friend, Michael Scanlon play a session with a difference – while crusing down the river Shannon from Ballina Quay, they played a variety of tunes on whistles, melodeon, guitar and keyboard. As part of the Kincora Traditional Weekend, held in Ballina/Killaloe, the Rolling Waves session was an afternoon session on board the ‘Spirit of Killaloe’ river cruises with James Whelan. With a full boat, they took sail down the river Shannon and after a while, some members of the audience sang and played music.

Gigging and crusing on the shannon- Rolling Waves Session


Whistle Classes at the Kincora Traditional Weekend

master_class_concertFiodhna delivered master classes on tin whistle to both local and visiting players. With the class lasting for two and a half hours, students learned a few new tunes, techniques and theory. With other master classes on fiddle, accordion, song and flute, students performed in a finale concert. See this link for more details.


Fiodhna performs on Ceili House

Snapshot 8 (3-2-2013 12-12 PM)In preparation for the Kincora Tradidional Weekend from 19-21st April 2013, Fiodhna joins her father Bobby Gardiner and the house band to play a number of selections. Additionally, she speaks to Ciaran Hanrahan about her time in the Middle East, where she played with an Irish traditional group called Inis Oirr. She finishes up by playing a Scottish air which she learned from Marianne Campbell in Abu Dhabi, entitled ‘The Dreams of Old Pa Fogerty’. Fiodhna is accompanied on keyboard by her husband, Padraig.

Ceili House from the Lakeside Hotel, Ballina, Co Tipperary, will be broadcast on April 6th 2013.

Kincora Traditional Weekend – Ceili House

ceili_houseOn Friday 1st March, an edition of RTE Radio’s ‘Ceili House’ will be recorded to promote the inaugural Kincora Traditional Weekend. The line up of musicians include  Martin Connolly, Fiodhna Gardiner, Eileen O’Brien, Bobby Gardiner, Leon Agnew, Deirdre Scanlan, Paul Smyth & others. Event venue: Lakeside Hotel, Ballina at 8.30pm.

Sessions in Liam O’Riains, Ballina, Co. Tipperary


Fíodhna regularly joins flute player, Paul Smyth, husband and guitar player, Pádraig Hyland, bodhrán player, Michael Hackett, accordion player, Caitríona Short, flute player, Leon Agnew, singer and fiddle player, Deirdre Scannlon and others in Liam Ó Riain’s, Ballina/Killaloe on a Tuesday night. Organized by Paul Smyth, this session is a great night of craic ‘s ceoil.Session in Liam O Rianns-Ballina with Fiodhna-Pádraig-Kelley Gardiner-Catriona Short

Traditional Music Concert in Mary Immaculate College – Ceolchoirm Tradisiúnta i gColáiste Mhuire gan Smál

seomra_caidrimh1Ar an gCéadaoin, 15 Feabhra,  bhailigh slua ollmhór le chéile chun taitneamh a bhaint as bua agus ealaín na gceoltóirí seo a leanas: Bobby Gardiner (Bosca Ceoil & mileoidean), Nóra Butler (Amhránaí), Eileen O’ Brien (Fidil) agus Eoghan O’ Sullivan (Giotár, An Fheadóg Mhór & An Bosca Ceoil). Do sheinn an Dr. Fíodhna Gardiner-Hyland in éineacht leo chomh maith ar an fheadóg stain.

B’iad An Dr Fíodhna Gardiner-Hyland (Oideolaíocht an Oideachais) agus Paul Collins (Roinn an Cheoil) a d’eagraigh an ócáid iontach seo. Bhain an slua an-taitneamh go deo as ceol agus amhránaíocht na gceoltóirí agus bhí atmaisféar thar a bheith speisialta le braith sa tSeomra Caidrimh an lá áirithe sin. Le h-aghaidh tuairisc iomlán  faoin Seomra Caidrimh in ‘Glaoch ón gColáiste’, téigh go dtí leathnach ‘Media’ anseo:

Fíodhna ar Radio na Gaeltachta – Clár ‘An Saol Ó Dheas’


Sa Seomra Caidrimh i gColaiste Mhuire gan Smál, a rinne an Dr. Fíodhna Gardiner-Hyland, léachtóir san Oideachas, cur síos an- shuimiúil dúinn ar an taisteal atá déanta aici sa Mheán Oirthear agus seisiúin ceoil tradisiúnta in Abu Dhabi. Is í Helen Ní Shea ó Radio na Gaeltachta a chur Fíodhna faoi agalamh. Do shein sí fonn mall ”An Raibh tú ar an gCarraig” ag an deireadh.fiodhna9

Le h-aghaidh tuairisc iomlán ar an seó ‘An Saol Ó Dheas’, i gColáiste Mhuire gan Smál, téigh go dtí ‘Glaoch ón gColáiste’: Le h-aghaidh clip Fíodhna, téigh go dtí leathnach ‘Media’ anseo:

Fiodhna and Inis Oirr Perform in Muscat, Oman

s_IMG_3574St. Patrick’s Day celebrations kicked off early in Oman with Fiodhna and Inis Oirr playing music outdoors at the pool area of the Hyatt hotel. A temporary stage had been erected next to the main pool and as guests ate their brunch, Inis Oirr meddled in reels, jigs and airs which seemed to please the audience. After a while, a group of locally trained Irish dancers took to the stage. Apart from receiving a free tan, with temperatures rising to 40 degrees Celsius, it was an extremely enjoyable gig.

Inis Oirr Perform ‘Concert Style’ at the British Club, Abu Dhabi

On Thursday 15th October, Inis Oirr played their first concert gig since the summer holidays, on a newly organised stage at The Club, Abu Dhabi for a large expatriate audience. A number of people commented on tunes, airs and songs played, the clarity of sound and nice atmosphere.Inis Oirr on Stage at The British Club-Abu Dhabi

Mick sang ‘The Devil and the Widow” which received a great reception from the people who were listening carefully to the words! Fiodhna, Marianne and Ged all played solos during the gig. Fiodhna played a slow version of ‘The Foggy Dew’ on low whistle, accompanied by Mick on guitar and Padraig on keyboard. Ged joined in the second time round with lovely harmony notes. Marianne played a Scottish selection on the fiddle and Ged played a selection of jigs on the banjo. This added a new dimension to Inis Oirr’s repertoire.

A big thanks to Steve and all in the club for making such improvements to the venue.

Inis Oirr Unplugged

Fiodhna and Ged - The British Club-Abu DhabiInis Oirr played their first ’session’ at The Club on April 15th 2010. Their usual concert-style performance was changed to a ‘session’ style, in line with the more traditional sessions found in bars and pubs around Ireland and Scotland. Sitting in the corner of the room, and with the help of a little amplification, their music filled the bar and was well received by an appreciative audience. A few members even took to the floor for a mini-set!

Padraig and Ged - The British Club-Abu DhabiThis new format to their gig will be continued for the next few gigs at The Club, which are scheduled for May 6th and June 3rd. Please come and enjoy the music and ‘craic’.




Inis Oirr Perform for the Opening of the Irish Embassy, Abu Dhabi, UAE

IMG_1335_cOn St Patrick’s Day, 17th March, the Irish Embassy was officially opened in Abu Dhabi. The event was hosted by H.E. Ambassador Ciaran Madden, Irish Ambassador to the UAE and was attended by H.E. Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid bin Sultan Al Qasimi, the UAE’s Minister for foreign Trade, Paul Gallagher, Ireland’s Attorney General and other distinguished ambassadors and guests.

The event opened with a welcome from H.E. Ambassador Ciaran Madden who then invited Paul Gallagher to address the invited guests. He spoke of the close ties Ireland had with the UAE and hoped that these would be further developed with the opening of embassies in Dublin and Abu Dhabi.

The formalities were concluded with a cake being cut by H.E. Ambassador Ciaran Madden, H.E. Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid bin Sultan Al Qasimi and Paul Gallagher.

Inis Oirr then took to the stage to entertain the guests at the reception held in the Aloft hotel. The outdoor venue was filled with Inis Oirr’s toe-tapping jigs and reels, moving airs and traditional songs.fiodhna_inis_oirr17

Fiodhna and Inis Oirr Perform at Bahrain Irish Festival

Inis Oirr Perform at Bahrain Irish FestivalOn November 20th, Inis Oirr will entertain  participants at the Gulf Gaelic Games being organised by the Bahrain Irish Society. The Gulf Gaelic Games in Bahrain is an annual event for Irish people and their friends based in the Arabian Peninsula, who play football and hurling in keenly contested competitions. The event is being hosted at the Bahrain Rugby Football Club where a crowd of 1500 people are expected. The band are on stage directly after the prize giving ceremony which is estimated to be around 7pm. This has the makings of a great night’s music.

Fiodhna and Inis Oirr at the Irish Village, Dubai

gr_RH1603-65Inis Oirr played at the St Patrick’s Festival of Music at the Irish Village, Dubai from March 14th-17th. They entertained the large crowds with their  jigs, reels and songs. The festival started with a sell out concert by Sir Bob Geldof and culminated with large crowds attending the live music on St Patrick’s Day, the 17th of March.

This was Inis Oirr’s biggest gig to date and their music went down very well with the large and appreciative crowd. Dave Cattanach, the manager of the Irish Village, was thrilled with Inis Oirr’s music. ‘We’d love to have you back next year!’, he said after the last set of the night. A great end to a great week.

Here is a short video of the performance.The tune is Jenny Pickin’ Cockles