Springboard was initiated in 2017 with the aim to create a safe and inspirational space for musicians to come together and immerse themselves in the creation of and experimentation with, sound.

Springboard aims to challenge ideas of what is beautiful in sound. Take those ideas as a jumping off point, gain actual physical knowledge of how they feel on the fiddle and share extensive feedback about the sounds created. Open as many doors as possible into new worlds of sound-making on the fiddle and gain the confidence to blaze a trail, expanding what is thinkable and possible.

​Springboard Retreat 2019

Booking now open for our 2019 Springboard, Thursday 14th to Sunday 17th March. Workshop fee: €350

We’re very excited to welcome Aindrias de Staic, tutoring our third Springboard Retreat.

Our tutor for the first two years was the super-talented Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh.  Caoimhín based his workshops on the concept of wabi-sabi and focussing on exploring new ways of thinking, experimenting and generally getting the mind working in different ways.  What is beauty in sound to me? How can I put more feeling into my music? How can I make it mean more? How can I find more freedom while playing?

Aindrias will bring an exciting new perspective to this year's retreat, with his effervescent personality and background in community music and vibrant gypsy musical style.

The retreat is aimed at competently skilled fiddlers.

This retreat will look at ways of being bold, brave and fully expressing the passion within, through the music in the current moment, even if it means to sacrifice some the technical structures. Throughout the weekend we will break out of the ordinary mould of "trad" through exploratory workshops exploring technique, style and expression including:

  • Heavy chords and what they achieve in Traditional fiddle tunes
  • Bowing, not bowing & beyond bowing
  • North South East West. Beyond the regional styles of Ireland to explore Greek tunes, Roma Gypsy, Bluegrass, Indian Ragas, Calypso
  • Brief study on  Mickey Finn via analogue recordings and the travelling fiddlers of Mayo "the Rainey Brothers"
  • Inspiration, Expression and Passion in Performance
  • The Raw Bar - finesse versus rough edge in reference to individual expression
  • The story of the tune, and the story beneath the tune
  • Lilting workshop - getting to the crux of the tune, as you feel it yourself "if you can say it, you can play it"
  • Playing from the different chakras - where does the soul of your music come from?

Aindrias de Staic

"Music is another of Ireland's great exports and de Staic is a master fiddler, not only playing a vast repertoire of Irish tunes but a range of Italian, Greek and Gypsy music as well."  Barry Lenny, Glam Adelaide Arts Editor

Born in Galway Ireland, his rich n rare style of fiddle playing is as unique to the west of Ireland as his story-telling, antics and humor.

Beginning as a traditional Irish fiddler, this travelling gypsy violinist has performed around the world in various violin and singing concerts as a solo act and with various bands.As part of an Irish outfit called The Blackwater Salmon, Aindrias won the Audience and Unique Musical Instrument Awards at the Miedzynarodowy Festival in Gdansk, Poland in 2007.

A post graduate of University Limericks Music Program, Aindrias has worked internationally in music since graduating with an honours masters degree in Community Music.

While undertaking his postgrad, Aindrias took an elective in Trad fiddle where he researched and performed music of the travelling fiddlers of South Mayo. He scored an A1 in this elective. And has since continued to explore music of travelling fiddle players of the West of Ireland.

His own personal style is both rough and wild,  owing more to the passion of the moment than the technicality of precision  he is rarely recorded yet frequently sought after fro the impact of his live performances.

Due to his stature among the traditional arts community, Aidnrias regularly works on Tg4, presenting music shows. Most recently he presented FleadhTV which broadcast live from festivals around Ireland din 2018.

After a sell out run at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2007, Aindrias returned to Galway to launch Latchico, his first CD of his music.

"This album is  an accurate expression of several aspects of de Staic’s extremely bright, creative and colourful personality" ~ Niall Keegan, Journal of Music Ireland

Aindrias, along with Tim Scanlan make up the Gaelic gypsy hip-hop band, The Latchikós. They have performed live in Canada, Ireland, England, France, the United States and Australia. They released their first single, Off to Bondi Junction,  which entered the folk charts in Australia and reached No.2 in the folk charts in Ireland  and one 10-track CD, Sugarbeat Sessions in 2013.

Aindrias and The Latchikos are regarded as the originators of Gyp-hop, a hybrid of Irish Gypsy Music and comedic spoken word Hip Hop. They perform at many festivals internationally including the Sunday night slot at the Electric Picnic, Irelands biggest music weekend.

Most recently Aindras has worked with the Abbey Theatre (Ireland National Theatre) in their hit show Jimmys Hall. In this show Aindrias worked with the musical director to fuse jazz with 1930's Lietrim music. The show won rave reviews and returned in 2018 for a National Tour.

Find out more at his website.


The Workshop includes:

Accommodation - 3 night’s accommodation in high quality, shared twin-rooms is included at Linden House. Workshops are held in an idyllic, rural and inspirational setting. Attendees will have time allocated to explore the surrounding woodland and coast.


Catering - A feast of local Irish food is also included in the fee. Anne-Marie of Fern Foods will prepare wholesome, nutritious and very tasty food throughout the weekend. Breakfasts, lunches and dinners will be prepared for you, so all you need to do is enjoy your weekend and submerse yourself into the beautiful surrounds of nature and music.

Feedback from workshop participants:

"The workshop helped me access realms of musical ability I didn't know existed. It helped me to think in new ways and approach playing differently"

"This whole experience definitely exceeded any expectations I had. The fact that the focus wasn't on getting things "right" but rather seeing the beautiful, wonderful and magical aspects of music and sound again and not being afraid to explore"

"Playing fiddle most of my life, I have now rediscovered a love for the sounds of the instrument and an excitement for the possibilities for musical adventures in the future."

"The food, people and location were beyond what I could have imagined"