Beneath the Eagle’s Wings – Matthew Doyle

Divided into three parts, Beneath the Eagle’s Wings exposes three distinct snapshots in time and location; from the sparse Atlantic coast of Ireland in 1951, to the metropolitan melting pot of London in 1968, and then finally the Irish emigrant enclave of San Francisco in 1989.

The story begins with the widowed Liam O’Callaghan, an innate, natural player of the violin and consummate purveyor of Irish traditional music. Having made a conscious decision to isolate himself from his family and friends, Liam spends his time trying to remember an ornate and elusive musical phrase that he heard years before.

Unexpectedly, Liam finds himself befriended by a young woman named Tara, seventeen years his junior, her older brother Frank, the famous American musicologist Alan Lomax, and the uilleannn piper Séamus Ennis.

From one man does this story evolve but it takes in a cast of characters such as the transvestite and stage performer Marion, the serious Dubliner Jimmy and the second-generation Irish-American Nora.

The story explores themes of emigration, loneliness and abuse, places and time, all of it wrapped up in a fluid environment of music, story and song.