Donegal music producer and traditional music expert Dr Liz Doherty has said it was a joy to work on a programme which recently won a prestigious international media award for TG4. 

Samhlú 2020’ has won a Prix CIRCOM for “Most Original and Innovative” production.

Liz was music producer for the programme, which is an eloquent and atmospheric cultural showcase, celebrating how art and creativity in Ireland endured the pandemic. “Samhlú was a joy to work on from start to finish,” says Dr Doherty.

“As soon as I read the script, I know that this was going to be something completely unique and spectacular. All of the planning and the creative ideas came together over  Zoom – it was definitely an experience like no other!”

Samhlú 2020

Established over 30 years ago, the Prix CIRCOM annual awards honour the best regional productions. They are seen as the most important international awards for regional. Winning entry ‘Samhlú 2020’ was produced by Fibín Media and directed by Philip Doherty for TG4. Tommy Tiernan, in the role of The Wanderer brings the audience on a joyous and magical journey of music, dance, and theatre.

World renowned composer Bill Whelan’s new original composition, ‘Samhlú’ is premiered in the broadcast. Samhlú 2020 also featured six short legacy films interwoven with performances from Shane Hennessey, Moxie, Slow Moving Clouds, Julie Feeney, Seamus Ó Flaharta, Brian Finnegan, Morgan Bullock, David Geaney, Rónán Ó Snodaigh, Varo and Tonnta.

As music producer, Liz Doherty worked closely with director, Philip Doherty and Darach O Tuairisc from Fibín Media. “My role was to create a musical soundscape that reflected and amplified the script. Then I was also working with the musicians to perform it, which was brilliant.”

“We commissioned new music, including from the legendary Bill Whelan, and we imagined new musical collaborations. It really was full on, brave, and different!”

Dr Liz Doherty – I Teach Trad

Dr Doherty is a fiddle player, trad music teacher, trainer, academic and consultant who last year launched a revolutionary new online system to support traditional music teachers. I Teach Trad combines a specialised system with a customised set of resources for planning, organising and delivering traditional music teaching.

Samhlú 2020 is not her first time to work with TG4. She produced Fleadh 2020  with Power Pictures and also Mayo Day  with Riverside Television.  Samhlú 2020 was commissioned by TG in collaboration with funders Creative Ireland.  It was broadcast on 15th December and news of the PRIX CIRCOM award broke at the weekend.

The Samhlú 2020 win is one of two PRIX CIRCOM awards secured by TG4 this year. ‘Is Olc an Ghaoth’ secured a Commended award in the ENTERTAINMENT AND DRAMA category. Read more from TG4 about the awards here.