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The Gloaming: 'Live at the NCH'

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Friday December 21, 2018

From The Arts Desk

Albums of the Year 2018: The Gloaming – Live at the NCH
By: Tim Cumming

The Irish American supergroup was only meant to be a one-off, but the fervour of their audiences’ passion for the music – across two studio albums from Real World, and some magnificent concerts in the UK, Ireland and the US – has given The Gloaming the crown when it comes to radically reinterpreting and performing traditional folk.

There is no other group like them, and few with the sheer heft of brilliance displayed by fiddler Martin Hayes, viola/hardanger player Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh, sean nos singer Iarla Ó Lionáird, American pianist Thomas Bartlett and guitarist Dennis Cahill.

Their live album, produced by Bartlett, was drawn from two years’ of concerts at Dublin’s National Concert Hall, and was a brilliant showcase for Irish traditional music guided by the spirits of minimalism, jazz and contemporary classical, fusing form and feeling with dazzling improvisations that transformed tunes like “The Sailor’s Bonnet” into huge and hugely enthralling explorations.

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