"Green Fire Islands is an extraordinarily important project, which will bring together the traditional music of New Zealand and Ireland for the first time. Dónal Lunny, perhaps the most significant Irish musician and producer of his generation, is traveling with me here in New Zealand as a cultural ambassador. He has visited New Zealand on a number of occasions over the past two years drawn by the mystery and antiquity of Maori musical culture.
He is the musical director of Green Fire Islands, which sets out to build a musical bridge between two creative island cultures, Ireland and New Zealand. Dónal, leading a group of Irish traditional musicians and singers will sit down to play, write and arrange music with the finest musicians and singers of the Maori tradition.
Tradition will be captured, renewed and reinvigorated. This project will translate the ancient, honour the well of tradition out of which it comes and make music that is new and vital. The results promise to be hugely exciting. This unique meeting will be recorded and documented and the music created will take to the road here in New Zealand in March of next year for a series of concert performances, winding up in Auckland on March 17th, St Patrick's Day."
President of Ireland