Album Review : Eithne Ní Uallacháin / Bilingua

This is a wondrous recording that revisits the work of Eithne Ní Uallacháin, a founding member of Lá Lúgh with husband Gerry O'Connor in the early ‘90’s. The album itself is a collection of newly-composed and traditional songs that were recorded in the three years before her untimely death in 1999. Gerry O'Connor and son Dónal O'Connor worked with this material and have created a recording that is vocally more potent and impassioned than anything you are likely to hear for quite some time.  Even today there is a timeless and eternal quality to Eithne’s voice, and the work which has been put into the tracks to make them modern and contemporary is outstanding.

Self-compositions like Winter Snows displays the creative curve Eithne was on before her passing and is utterly compelling. The talents of Mario n'Goma on percussion combined with a string quartet on the opening Bilingua contrast starkly with the reserved and finely tempered I am Stretched on Your Grave. The verve of Meadhrán Samhraidh, included below leads into another self-composition called Grief that has a message of ‘hope and reassurance’ and displays the fragile and interpretive depth of Eithne’s vocal when dealing with such sensitive material.  Billingua is much more than a recording of song. Vocally and musically it is layered with complex, modern and compelling material and is one of the year's highlights.

The album can be purchased at www.siopa.gael-linn.ie/sites/

 

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