Lorcán Mac Mathúna / The Arrows that Murder Sleep

Musicians :

Lorcán Mac Mathuna

Eoghan Neff

Seán MacErlaine

Daire Bracken

Recorded mixed and mastered by Liam Grant.

Recorded in Griffith College, Dublin.

Images by Rónán O Reilly

Texts and Graphic design by Lorcán Mac Mathúna

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A Beautiful Album, The Arrows that Murder Sleep: Just in time for Samhain!

Nothing is better than waking up at three in the morning (after sleeping more than 8 hours) to the music of this fantastic Sean-Nós singer. His name is Lorcán Mac Mathúna and he is from Dublin. His newest album is The Arrows That Murder Sleep.The music glides in and out reflecting the ancient Irish atmosphere. It is an album for those who appreciate Irish music in its purest sense. This is the style/type that has drawn me to the genre. The vocal music. His voice represents the ancient and the modern Ireland. Backed by notable names in the industry, The Arrows that Murder Sleep is highly recommended for those who are passionate about the works of Iarla Ó Lionáird, Niamh Parsons, Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh, Aoife Ní Fhearraigh and many more.

The album has twelve songs and features contributions from Eoghan Neff, Seán MacErlaine, Daire Bracken and the compositional beauty of Martin Tourish. This album also represents the best of Mac Mathuna’s compositions over a six-year period.

So what is the idea behind this album? I got this from the TradConnect Review:

The Arrows that Murder Sleep is a collection of sensual moments of ancient Irish literature, brought fully to life by a group of virtuoso musicians with powerful melodies and dynamic, cinematic, arrangements. It features songs taken from three major commissioned cycles (including the millennial celebration of the Battle of Clontarf, and the Life of Colmcille commissioned by the 2013 All-Ireland Fleadh cheoil, Derry). It includes two songs in English and nine in Irish. And it includes one solo Sean-Nós song (Contae Mhuigheo) and an instrumental response to that; (Paddy Lynch’s ship).

I love all of the songs in the album but River Roe is perhaps my personal favorite. I have to remind you that though this album might not appeal to all types of music listeners, this will definitely appeal to SERIOUS lovers of Irish music.

From the first track to the last, The Arrows That Murder Sleep unfolds like a beautiful but not hurried movie. Everything almost feels abstract as melodies and vocals flow in and out seamlessly. The talents and love that the musicians put in this project are commendable and I hope to see more releases like this in the future; and yes more albums from Lorcán Mac Mathúna. A big thank you to TradConnect for the sounds!

Here’s the wonderful text from the artist:

Buíochas

Putting these songs together wouldn’t be possible without the support and generosity of many people. From the people who contributed their skills and talents in making this album to the closer family relations who have given support and time to make it possible. Thanks to my musical companions: Martin, Eoghan, Seán, an Daire for starters. And Liam for taking on the task of capturing the music. Special thanks to friends and family. Especially to my constant companions ar an domhain mór seo: Emma, Aoibha, Meadbh “Tiny the Bearie,” and Fiach MacHugh.

Thanks also to those who commissioned works from me and the musicians on this album over the years. To Martin Harte in the Temple Bar Company; to Eibhlín Ní Dhochartaigh of Culturlann Uí Channáin and the Derry all Ireland Fleadh; to Armagh Pipers Club’s Brian Vallely; and Liam Carson of Imram. To an Comhairle Ealaíonn, CC Átha Cliath, and the NI Arts Council.

Thanks also to Brian Fay and the DIT fine arts students; To Rónán whose beautiful paintings adorn this digibook;  Úna for the technical know how ; Manus Ó Dhomhnaill and Mícheáil Ó Bhruadair for putting it on record at Port na dTrí Namhaid and death row respectively; to Dad and Mam for the love and perseverance and for getting the kids to love sean-nós. An tOll. Damian Mac Manus ó TCD agus Ann Marie Dowling as ucht cabhair len Seana-Ghaeilge. And to an tArd Rígh, Cormac Mac Cearbhaill, for his far seeing Copyright precedent in C.558 AD. We artists really needed that.

This album was produced with the support of An Comhairle Ealaíonn.

Buy the album here: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/lorcanmacmathuna1

Visit his official website: http://www.lorcanmacmathuna.com

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New Music from Fraser Fifield:Snowblind

New Music from Fraser Fifield:Snowblind

fraser_fifield1

Snowblind:Get ready for winter

I love the music of effect pedals coupled with traditional Celtic music instruments. Fraser Fifield has created another tune that you can listen to in bed, while staring at the ceiling. I have not much to say except the word “amazing” or “awesome.” But he has a lot to say. So I am doing a copy and paste of his recent facebook statement that accompany this track:

some new music I made earlier in the week, now for sale, yours for $1.00 if you like it, if you don’t, it’s still only $1. I know people don’t buy music anymore, that’s so last century….but perhaps think of it this way – you are directly supporting an artist who, in his own little way, is helping prevent your society from freefalling into a soulless, corporate abyss, or think of it however you like…fact is, for about 70p you can own, a piece of music which even 10 years ago wasn’t possible to make, that’s right, the world is changing that fast, don’t be left behind – own this music today, an infinite amount of copies to be downloaded…
I recorded this on Mon/Tues and uploaded to the various doodahs on Wednesday, now it’s on sale on Friday. A more artistically pleasing process perhaps than the typical month of recording then 6 months of pr and advertising …. this is my musing behind this outburst of activity, there may be more of this type of thing.
The title is born out of the fact that a white jpg with some writing on it was easiest option given my graphic designing, low cost, sister is in Palestine. Instrumental music is subjective however, so it works fine.
http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/fraserfifield5  ‪#‎newmusic‬

Hmmm I don’t know how to respond to that. Do you?

Prisoner Zero: Moya Brennan and Aisling Jarvis

Prisoner Zero: Moya Brennan and Aisling Jarvis

Moya Brennan

Fans of Moya Brennan will love this new project which is now part of her huge body of work as a solo artist. She worked with daughter Aisling Jarvis(noted for her work as a sound Engineer and singer/songwriter). According to her facebook page posted on October 16:

Aisling Jarvis and I have been writing the music for a TV show called Prisoner Zero for the last 10 months, and the trailer is available for you all to watch now! 

I am extremely excited to be working on it, and have been loving working with Planet 55 Studios and Telegael on this production.
Watch the trailer below to hear some of the music we’ve been creating, we are very proud of it and can’t wait for you all to see the show!

Moya is also busy preparing her An Irish Christmas Tour this holiday. I have to say our First Lady of Celtic Music has a busy year and her energy impressive! I have followed her career since I got my copy of Perfect Time in 1998. Since then I enjoyed her every album.

‘The Space Between’ is Jamie Smith’s Mabon’s upcoming album.

‘The Space Between’ is Jamie Smith’s Mabon’s upcoming album.

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The Welsh Celtic supergroup Jaime Smith’s Mabon are releasing a new album called The Space Between through crowdfunder UK. Crowdfunding is the trend these days as more and more artists are finding that their fans can make it possible. And why not? Jamie Smith’s Mabon released a highly acclaimed Windblown 2012 and I LOVE my autographed copy of the CD. Their debut single is ‘Yr Ennyd’ which you can hear today if you go to http://www.bbc.co.uk/radiocymru

I think this single will be as fantastic as their fan favorite Caru Pum Merch. They have proven that the Welsh language holds a mystical magnetism that attracts people in all parts of the globe.

They have excellent musical style! You’ll know right away it’s them.

You can learn more about their album by visiting this link: http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/TheSpaceBetween

This is their latest video recorded during the latest Lowender Peran 2015. 

Enya is back with Dark Sky Island and what have I learned so far?

New Enya album Dark Sky Island will be out this year, November 20.

Seven years folks. Yes it took Enya seven years to come up with a follow-up to her holiday album And Winter Came. And for the first time in many months I am doing a bit of redesigning. This site looked old. I feel old when I post here. So many things happened. I have moved on. I discovered new passion. The seasons have changed me. But one thing remains. Every time she releases a new album I feel the seasons of my life shifting. It’s like whatever happened to me, no matter what happens…that familiar sound will always remind me what kind of person I am(or used to be). Do you also feel this? Do you feel the bite of revisiting old events? Ir is there something in your past that is not that bad? I think for me if ever there is that ‘equalizer’ then it has to be music. With the release of Dark Sky Island, what have I learned from Enya?

  1. Stay true to your style no matter what people say. Yes we always add layers. We don’t change but we are capable of morphing into another person when situation calls for it.I don’t ever forget a mistake and I always remember. But then again we customise our lives to carry on because that’s what we have to do. If we don’t then we die. And when we die then all the struggles that we did and those who loved us will be for nothing. So yes we aim for the best. In all of us and everyone. But we will always stay true to who and what we are in the seasons of our lives.
  2. Don’t do anything unless you mean it and you do it passionately. This is what has always defined Enya’s career through the years. She doesn’t care if another album comes out in 2025 or 2030. The important thing is that the process was done as she (Nicky and Roma) intended the album to be.
  3. Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Have you ever lost someone so important in your life that every year you miss that person? This is the same with music. She doesn’t put out albums year after year. Because face it, no matter how innovative you are as an artist, you need to take a break from your fans and your art. Or else you will have nothing left to give in say, five years from now.

I probably sound tired or morose writing this. But life has been like that for the past two years. I am glad I have decided to hit the gym after all these years. It helped me in controlling my life, my moods and my time. And yes what life will be without Enya music?

So what’s the theme behind Dark Sky Island? According to Enya:

“This album has a theme of journeys,” Enya said. “Journeys to the island; through the length of a lifetime; through history, through emotions; and journeys across great oceans. So although it’s not a ‘themed’ album, as such, we nevertheless have an underlying connection between songs.” 

Sounds like my life.

Hear the new single Echoes in Rain below: