Storytelling’s move from its traditional settings to the concert hall has its advantages: it reaches a wider audience, both in numbers and in cultural diversity. No longer does one need to be Irish to hear an Irish story. This move, however, comes with losses as well: a storytelling concert cannot capture the authenticity, the intimacy or the atmosphere of the original.
The Nights of Stories Project recreates that mood, the mood of the ceilidh, summer camp campfire, or the telling of Icelandic folktales and saga in a dimly-lit sod hut in the winter twilight. Each show consists of a series of stories that were told or could have been told in an authentic setting with a soundscape to spark the imagination: the crack of the peat fire, the sounds of knitting, weaving and spinning by the women of the sod hut and the sound of mending and creating nets by the man. The sounds spark the other senses in the imagination: the smell of the peat fire; the pungent smell of dinner, mutton cured in whey; and the sight of the storyteller, barely visible across the smoky, dim room. The listener experiences the original storytelling as if s/he were there.