A new approach to the tradition from contemporary ensemble 'Strung'

Strung are a contemporary Irish music ensemble based in Cork, comprising Maria Ryan (violin/vocals), Lucia Mac Partlin (violin), Séan Warren (cello) and Aonghus McCarthy (piano). While undergoing classical training at Cork School of Music, they maintained a participating interest in Irish traditional music.

Their dynamic ensemble and unique backgrounds allow them to subtly integrate complex harmonies and innovative motifs, while staying true to the deep-rooted authenticity of traditional Irish melodies.

“I think what makes our approach different is the fact that we all have such a strong classical background but equally as strong an influence from traditional music and other genres”, said Maria Ryan. “Our aim was to keep the integrity of the Irish traditional music but use our classical training at the same time. We were also influenced by folk, world and jazz music and we love experimenting with different ideas and textures to show this.”

This is the second track from the album, a Liz Carroll composition called A tune for the Girls/Anne Lacey’s.


Strung were all studying at Cork School of music when they met. Three of them were studying full time for their degree while the other was a part time student of UCC. “At first when we came together we all had a common interest in Irish traditional music, and even though we were studying classical music first and foremost we wanted to incorporate traditional music into our studies as well. After a very short time together we were receiving such positive feedback and enjoying it so much that we decided to stay together and make an album.”

This video features a slow reel 'The Hut on Staffin Island', followed by a jig 'The Clare Shout'. The Reel was written by Phil Cunningham.

The bands they have taken their influences from range from classical to traditional and jazz. They say that The Danish String Quartet have been a huge inspiration on them because of their folk and classical background.

“Bands closer to home like The Gloaming and Cormac McCarthy and his Súp trio have also had a big influence in our arrangements, with Cormac even lending us a hand when starting out this project.”

The recording has been very well received with Padraig Rynne describing it as “a new approach to the tradition using the rarely heard instrumentation of piano, two fiddles and cello. It is a must listen for lovers of the tradition as well as forward thinking innovators within music.”

The band said that “like any new group you are curious as to what the perception is going to be, but as the process moved forward we had faith in what we were doing and hoped that people would understand it. We loved so much what we were doing ourselves so at that stage it was just a bonus to have other people like it too. Needless to say we are over the moon with the reception and positive feedback we have received about the band and the album so far and we hope for it to continue.”


The album is now available from www.strungmusic.com and can be downloaded from iTunes


The album is also available as a free download for broadcasters that are part of our Download Centre.



Aonghus Mccarthy - Piano

Lucia Mac Partlin - Fiddle

Maria Ryan - Fiddle/Vocals

Sean Warren - Cello


Recorded by Eduardo Moreira, Marco Rosa and Ryan Sommerhuber at The Stack Theatre/ The Recording Suite at CIT Cork School of Music, Cork.


Mixed by Dave Keary at Red Door Productions


Mastered by Richard Dowling

Album Design & Layout - www.ogmediagroup.com

Photography - Eddie Hennessy


All tracks are arranged by Strung. Apart from traditional tunes, composers are listed below:


The Hut on Staffin Island (Phil Cunningham)

A tune for the girls/Anne Lacey's (© Liz Carroll/ Grow your own music (BMI)

Bluewater (Lucia Mac Partlin & Maria Ryan)

Planxty Dermot Grogan (Holly Geraghty)

Ril an Mhic Oic/ The Dam Reel and Sleep my Baby (Johnny McCarthy)

The Sweet Surprise (Karl Nesbitt, flute: Johnny Mccarthy),

The Sonderho Set (Traditional Danish, arranged by The Danish String Quartet/Strung)


Special thanks to our parents and families for their support, and to all who were so generous in supporting the Kickstarter Campaign for this album.

Tradconnect's Worldwide Launch Articles are commercial articles that mark the addition of an album to our Download Centre, where broadcasters can access the album and download it for free to play on their various radio stations. Content for these articles is sourced from the artists press release and liner notes, supplemented with additional content from the artist as required. If you would like to find out more about this initiative please contact us.

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Comment by jenny on June 2, 2021 at 1:13

Downloaded for airplay on Grassroots Replant 2bbb 93.3 & 107.3 Bellingen Australia. Thanks jenny

Comment by Barbara Farrell on February 25, 2017 at 21:04

The music on  the Strung CD is fantastic. A lovely blend of  traditional with lots of other influences that make the tunes really come alive.

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