Peadar Ó Riada's ONÓIR tells how Ireland’s multi-layered identity evolved over time

One of Ireland’s most celebrated and respected traditional composers Peadar Ó Riada (son of Seán Ó Riada of Mise Éire fame and founder of Cór Chúil Aodha) has just released a new recording called ONÓIR.

This recording is a special commission by Gael Linn as part of the 1916 commemoration with assistance from The Arts Council. ONÓIR (which translates as honour from middle-Irish, old French and Latin) tells of how Ireland’s multi-layered identity evolved over time. It conjures up the primal consciousness of the Irish and encompasses the mythology of Ireland, its monastic tradition and the major historical events which have shaped us as a nation.

Peadar is one of Ireland’s leading composers, directors and performers. His compositions include major choral works for his two choirs and smaller compositions for traditional instruments. He plays in several groups, including Triúr and Drole. He is also a broadcaster and has a weekly radio programme which is running for some twenty years - ‘Cuireadh Chun Ceoil’ on RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta, and is a regular contributor to arts programmes on radio and television.

This is Track 1 from the album called Móra Duit, a Thír ár nDúchais.

In the liner notes Peadar writes : “I  fell  in  love  with  this  poem  as  it  portrays  the  love  which  Pearse  had  for  his country and his Nation. It was a heart-felt emotion, not an abstract, intellectual concept.  There  is  a  basic misunderstanding  by  many  in  relation  to  Pearse, something which is evident in historical narrative 100 years on."

"I have always been interested in the poetry of our heroes,” Peadar says. “It is a window into their distilled thoughts and feelings. My first ever composition was as an idealistic teenager and was based on a poem by Douglas Hyde concerning the beauty of bees, their song and work. But Patrick Pearse has held a special place for me and of all his poems, Móra Duit, a Thír ár nDúchais shows in 4 verses what “Tír Ghrá” means. I found in his poem something that moved me greatly and I have tried, hopefully, in a humble and simple way, to help it to sing.”

The album also features Téada, one of Ireland’s leading traditional bands. They frequently headline performances at major music festivals throughout the US, Canada, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Australia.

There are two choirs featured including Cór Ban Chúil Aodha, an all-female choir was established in 1985 by Peadar Ó Riada who has written a number of major works for the group, including Laoi na Laoithe, a choral setting in Irish of the Psalm of Psalms. Recordings of Cór Ban Chúil Aodha include Caoineadh Airt Uí Laoghaire (2003) and Laoi na Laoithe (2009).

The second choir is Cór Chúil Aodha, a traditional male voice choir established by the composer Seán Ó Riada in 1964. They embody the spirit of the nation in their impassioned and bold style of presentation. Their repertoire extends far back into Ireland’s wealth of song, particularly from the 18th century and they have many recordings to their credit.

Renowned uilleann piper Mick O’ Brien also adds his distinctive sound to the recording. Born in Dublin, Mick began his musical education on the uilleann pipes in the Thomas Street Pipers Club. He later joined Na Píobairí Uilleann where he learned hundreds of tunes and refined his technique. Mick has toured extensively and given masterclasses throughout Europe and North America. He has many albums to his credit, most notably Tunes from the Goodman Manuscripts (2012), an acclaimed CD featuring many long-forgotten works from the tradition.

Finally Oisín Morrison from Dublin is a regular performer in Ireland and abroad on both harp and flute. He has won numerous awards on both instruments, most recently Bonn Óir Seán Ó Riada for Harp. He has been performing and teaching music at festivals in Ireland for a number of years and has toured extensively abroad.

The album is now on release and can be purchased from Gael Linn and you can also visit Peadar’s website

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


Innealtóireacht: Draíonscáth & Brian Nammock

Léiriú: Antoine Ó Coileáin agus Peadar Ó Riada

Dearadh: Bluett

Grianghraf clúdaigh tógtha ag Nancy Previs: sonra ó dhealbh Dhónaill Uí Chonaill, BÁC.

Buíochas le Eilís Ní Shúilleabháín.

Tristan Rosenstock a mhol do Gael Linn saothar a choimisiúniú mar

chomóradh ar 1916.

Móra Duit, a Thír ár nDúchais (Focail: Pádraig Mac Piarais. Ceol: Peadar Ó Riada)

Ríl Laichtín / Ríl Ghael Linn / Ríl an tSathairn (Peadar Ó Riada)

Fianna Éireann – An Tosach (Focail: Pádraig Ó Fiannachta, Ceol: Peadar Ó Riada)

Máirseáil Mac Mahon (Ceol: Peadar Ó Riada)

Sleamhnán Damien / Sleamhnán Tristan / Sleamhnán Oisín (Peadar Ó Riada)

Caoineadh Náisiúin (Peadar Ó Riada)

Polca Sorrento / Polca Neans / Polca Pheadair (Peadar Ó Riada)

Mionn an Phiarsaigh (Focail: Pádraig Mac Piarais, Ceol: Peadar Ó Riada)

Mo Ghile Mear (traidisiúnta, cóirithe ag P. Ó Riada)

Port Chonaill / Port Dharragh / Port Ruadháin (Peadar Ó Riada)

Caoineadh Airt Uí Laoghaire (Focail: Eibhlín Dubh Ní Chonaill, Ceol: Peadar Ó Riada)

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