The Gloaming: ‘There’s a kind of experiment happening every night’

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Thursday January 16, 2014


By: Siobhan Long

The quintet’s music isn’t traditional, nor is it classical: it’s contemporary music that insinuates itself within the subconscious, and it’s very exciting.

‘Beware of becoming your own tribute band.’ That’s a lesson Dennis Cahill has learned through his years of collaborating with the Clare fiddler Martin Hayes. His spare, minimalist guitar accompaniment to Hayes’s spectral melodies has won him many admirers, yet he is wary of the temptations an artist can yield to once a reputation has been forged. Cahill believes that dialling in a performance isn’t an option.

Reflecting on his latest collaboration with The Gloaming, Cahill refuses to mystify a process he says is based on intuition. ‘I’ve really been enjoying it, because it takes me out of my comfort zone,’ he says of the band that has generated waves well beyond the world of traditional music ever since the band made their live debut in the National Concert Hall in August 2012.

‘It’s actually really easy with [pianist and producer] Thomas Bartlett, because I really enjoy the way he plays. We feel our way around the music. It’s pretty instinctive. You know, we don’t sit around doing charts, practising until we get all the parts right, so there’s a bit of adventure every time. That’s what the mood is in the band. There’s a kind of experiment happening every night.’

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