Launch of The Macalla Suite by Gradam Ceoil Composer of the Year, Michael Rooney

Michael Rooney has just been announced as the Gradam Ceoil TG4 Composer of the Year 2017. Gradam Ceoil TG4 is the premier annual traditional music awards scheme and Michael will join a star-studded line-up of recipients and musicians for the award ceremony in February.

The Macalla Suite is probably his finest work and reflects the period of Irish history from the famine to the present day. It conveys in music, song and story, the birth of a nation and was commissioned as a central part of Ireland’s commemoration of the 1916 Rising Centenary. The Macalla Orchestra is made up of over 60 of our best traditional and classical musicians from Ireland, Scotland and England. “Indeed if ever a show could be said to capture the passion, the people, the politics and the consequences of Easter 1916 this is it.” (The Wexford People)

The Macalla Suite commemorates the Easter Rising of 1916, while also focusing on significant aspects of Irish history from the Famine era, through the growth of nationalism, The War of Independence and to modern Ireland. The suite was performed at the RDS on Easter Saturday at the State Event for the Relatives of 1916 and toured to the Barbican in London, followed by a sell-out nationwide tour during Easter 2016.

Our sample track from the recording is called The Confusion (Easordú) . “This piece captures the sense of confusion leading up to the Rising. This confusion centred on Casement’s arrest and the decision by Eoin Mac Neill to cancel mobilization orders for Easter Sunday 1916. The piece has 3 parts – Part A is in 4/4 time; Part B is in 7/8 time; Part C is in 3/4 time. The changing time signatures reflect the confusion.”

The album features 20 tracks and runs at over sixty minutes of richly tapestried music, with each of the six movements carrying its own distinct ambience as the groupings of traditional fiddles, harps, flutes, pipes, banjos, accordions and concertinas supported by classical violins, cellos, trumpets, percussion, piano, double-bass and bodhran intertwine seamlessly under Rooney’s masterful direction.  "Michael Rooney’s superbly orchestrated score covered the whole gamut of emotions inevitably evoked by the many-layered and endlessly engrossing story of the Easter Rising, and the tale of the Irish nation before and since, providing a soundtrack that time and again veered from the haunting quieter interludes to the inspiring crescendos when the entire 60-plus Orchestra took full musical flight." (Michael McDonnell, The Northern Standard).

"It’s rare for a piece of music to be able to tell such a vast and significant part of history so well in such a short space of time.  The Macalla Suite has managed to wonderfully condense almost 150 years of Irish history into beautiful and emotive melodies and orchestrations that are unashamedly Irish". (Luke Vogel, Reviewer, London)

Michael Rooney is a prolific composer and is widely regarded as one of the foremost players of the traditional Irish harp. Originally from Scotstown, Co. Monaghan and now resident in Sligo, Michael has composed nine suites of music in the past 20 years, including The Macalla Suite (2016), Boróimhe Suite (2014), The Second Coming (2014), De Cuellar Suite (2011) and Battle of the Books Suite (2007). In May 2015, Michael was commissioned to write music and perform on the occasion of Prince Charles’ visit to Sligo. His music features on ‘The Queen's Speech’, RTÉ's documentary of Queen Elizabeth’s visit to Ireland. He has recorded two CDs with flute player June McCormack; 'Draíocht'  and 'Land's End'.

He has published four books of his own compositions; 'Harp Tunes' (2006), Aifreann Gaeilge (2012),  'The de Cuéllar Suite' (2012), ‘The Macalla Suite’ (2016).

The album "The Macalla Suite" is now available to purchase at or to download from iTunes.

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


All music composed, arranged and orchestrated by Michael Rooney.
Produced by Michael Rooney.

Thanks to:

All the Musicians in the Macalla Orchestra, Paul Gurney, Billy Farrell, James Carney, Mc Cusker Bros, Vincent Macklin, Barry McSkeane, Darragh Kerrigan, Nigel Gallagher, Tommie & Ceara Gorman, Cathal Goan, Ed Mulhall, Marie O'Byrne, Co. Sligo CCE, Bart Gavin, Peter Farrell, Co. Monaghan CCE, Martin & Joyce Enright, Fred Finn CCE, Michael Brennan, Michael McDonnell, James & Una Kinsella, Damien McGoldrick, Eddie Murphy, Michéal Ó Raghallaigh, Brid Meaney, Andrew O'Brien, Áine Ní Raghallaigh, Eileen Gannon, Nóra Ní Raghallaigh, Hillary Boylan, Roisín Anne Hughes, Rory O’Connor, Eamonn & Maireád Ó hArgáin, Ciarán Hayes, Martin Donohoe, Mícheál Ó Domhnaill, Ned Kelly, Paddy Callaghan, Frank McArdle, Aidan Shannon, Damien McGuinness, Mary Conboy, Peadar Denmead, Oisín MacDiarmada, Tristan Rosenstock, Seamus Brogan, Vince Jordan, Alan Kelly, Steph Geremia, John Mc Ardle, Gabrielle Tuomey, Philip Duffy & The Dartry Ceili Band.

Special thanks to:

June, Cillian, Eoghan & Dónal, Pauline & Mackie Rooney, Teresa & Seamus McCormack, Fionnuala & Shane, Eileen & Elliot, Aonghus & Tríona, Carol, Brendan & Michael

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.


Views: 621

Add a Comment

You need to be a member of TradConnect to add comments!

Join TradConnect

© 2020   Created by Tradconnect Reviews.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service

The title of your home page You could put your verification ID in a comment Or, in its own meta tag Or, as one of your keywords Your content is here. The verification ID will NOT be detected if you put it here. .slick-track { display: flex!important; justify-content: center; align-items: center;/* Safari */ display: -webkit-flex!important; -webkit-justify-content:center; -webkit-align-items: center; }