Anyone that has kept a close eye on FRUK will know that Lorcán Mac Mathúna has featured widely on our website since 2010. This includes album reviews, featured albums, interviews and articles he has in turn written for us. His articles have focused on his research and travels as well as the Sean-Nós tradition. It is the latter for which he has become well known and has formed the basis for many of his own compositions.
There’s a certain magic at play on these songs and compositions, it’s also something ancient. Thomas recently reviewed Laura Cannell’s new album, ‘Beneath Swooping Talons‘, for FRUK. In his final paragraph he states “There is something older even than music at the heart of Cannell’s compositions. It is something inexplicable but profoundly beautiful.” It is this very same sentiment or pull that I find makes Lorcán’s work so fascinating.
His latest project The Arrows That Murder Sleep is a collection of songs taken from Celtic literature and mythology, composed over the course of the past seven years. The music was composed in reaction to lyrics from ancient manuscripts that date back to as far as the 8th Century -and many existed in oral traditions prior to that.
These songs have been recorded with an eclectic group of musician-friends -Martin Tourish, Seán Mac Erlaine, Eoghan Neff, and Daire Bracken. How these songs have worked so well has been a bit of mystery, not just to those that hear them but to Lorcán himself:
It’s a bit of a mystery to me why they end up sounding how they do; we don’t have any particular rules about how to perform them, its pure intuition I guess. listening to our live recordings from the concerts over the years I believed that there was something mysterious and beautiful created in those moments of interaction that happens live. An intuitive improvisation I suppose. For my part, I am guided by the storytelling tradition of Sean-Nós and perhaps that’s enough.
For this new album, due for release in October, Lorcán wanted to capture the essence of those live performances:
“So we got together earlier this year and set up a live session in a beautiful space and set up a matrix of mikes to try and capture that mystery I talked about in the live interpretation. And afterwards I went to a talented young artist named Rónán Ó Raghallaigh and asked him to listen to this music and let his pen and his inner eye respond to it.”
Rónán’s artwork (see the cover below) has been described by Lorcán as “rich and beautiful, and spoke of transformation”…I’m looking forward to both seeing and hearing it all.
But he’s not there yet…
So the project is nearly finished. Artwork done; recording done; and most of the mixing is ready to send away. The project is 90% done and paid for but to finish it off will need a little extra money. €900 would actually do the trick and that is how much I hope to raise with your help.
So, this is where you, the listener and music lover, comes in. To help spread the word and raise the shortfall. As with all such crowd-funding campaigns there are some great incentives and rewards on offer. You can show your support by going here:
If all goes to plan it will be launched in the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin, this October.
Please share this article and the link to the campaign via social media, email and tell your friends.