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"A masterful work of genius by musicians that are breaking new ground and opening new doors as they transverse our musical horizons" -Tradconnect







The William Kennedy Piping Festival; Review
An Píobaire,  December 2010
Na Píobairí UiIleann

St Patrick’s Church of Ireland Cathedral provided the spectacular background to the afternoon concert appropriately called ‘Pipes in the Cathedral.’

The highlight of this concert was the World Premier of a commissioned piece from the Cork singer Lorcan MacMathuna entitled ‘Tain Bo Cuailgne’, the ‘Cattle Raid of Cooley’ one of the great epic stories from the Ulster Cycle of heroic tales. Armagh was a most appropriate setting for the inaugural performance of this piece commissioned by Armagh Pipers Club and supported by a traditional Arts Award from An Chomhairle Ealaion/Irish Arts Council.

The words come directly from the Book of Leinster and the piece follows the action of the Tain through eight descriptive pieces sung by Lorcan MacMathuna. The story is one of the great epics of the Scottish and Irish Gaelic Oral tradition handed down through the centuries and finally written down by scribes in the first millennium. The story also survived orally throughout Ireland and Scotland right to the present day. This was a truly magical performance rising to the occasion and captivating the audience. The entire piece is controlled by MacMathuna’s spell binding singing which ranged from low chanting to full throated and powerful vocals that echoed through the Cathedral. The musical accompaniment of uilleann pipes, fiddle, saxophone and piano accordion also included pre-recorded electronic music. This was one of the never to be forgotten moments of the entire festival.



William Kennedy piping festival review
Piping today

After lunch it was up to St. patrick’s cathedral for the world premiere of Lorcán Mac Mathúna’s An Táin. This was a musical interpretation of the Ulster epic tale of An Táin from the book of Leinster, which tells of the Connacht king and queen’s war against Ulster and the young Cú-Chulainn’s attempt to defeat them. Lorcán put this to music and presented it in the spectacular surroundings of the cathedral.

Lorcán is one of the younger generation of Sean Nós singers and he sang the eight-parted story, the supporting musicians – Seán Óg Mac Fhirléinn on bass clarinet, Flaithrí Neff on Uilleann pipes/whistle, Martin Tourish on accordion, and Owen Neff on fiddle – echoed the story with atmospheric sounds that emphasised the moodiness and foreboding or energy and rage as needed. Once the initial sound balance issues were sorted, this settled into a compelling piece that engaged and enthralled with each twist and turn in the story. The supporting slide show of beautifully crafted illustrations gave visual clues for the non-Gaelic speakers, and there was some very clever use of loops recorded live and played back immediately to add depth and complexity to the music. At just shy of an hour this was a substantial piece that deserves to be heard more.




Dr. Glen Robert Gill
Associate Professor, Department of Classics and Humanities
Montclair State University, NJ

"I teach Irish mythology at Montclair State University here in New Jersey, and the Ulster cycle usually takes up the bulk of my course. Since the CD arrived, I have listened to it three times, beginning to end.

As I did, I must tell you, I felt totally transported; and I don't just mean, taken out of my mood and prompted to reflect: I mean, I literally felt like I was removed from present time and harkened back to the native cultural context of the *Táin*. This music is, as I hope you know, truly remarkable; there is "draíochta" in it; I might even use the Old Irish and say "druídecht", since I felt I was literally sitting by the fire in some chieftain's hall of old, hearing a druid or "fili" perform the "Táin" live. As sean-nós singer, I imagine this traditional feel was among your intentions, but you've succeeded perhaps even beyond your expectations. Even the modern instrumentation and acoustic effects aid the process with their timeless quality. At times (in the Prophesy of Fidelm and the lament for Ferdia, for instance), I was reminded of Indian Sanskrit chanting, and so it was like I was looking back through Irish cultural history to the Indo-European roots of the Celts themselves. And yet the more upbeat movements balance beautifully in the other direction: "Sorcerous Distortions" not only conjures the awe of the "ríastrad", but raises the blood like a war-song. To say I am impressed with your work is, as you can tell, an understatement."



Kate Newmann,
Poet and co-founder of the Summer Palace Press
Kate Newmann

"Lorcan MacMathuna gathers from the air something which is older than the Tain - ageless, primaeval and haunting. He has caught and manifest for us a sound which is fundamental; which has existed since men and women first sang - sang to express what they felt and what they knew to be true. It is the music of mythology - all the cadences of history and prehistory residing in one man's voice. It calls to the soul. And the soul answers. And we are privileged to listen and to hear in our own blood and in the fibres of our understanding."



Ros from Newcastle

it's powerful and stark, like it's been hewn out of the earth.Caoineadh Fherdia is like sitting with a death rattle; the lamentation gets you in the guts and bones. I first came across the caoineadh tradition, probably like most English speakers, through the Lament for Art O'Leary, but had never heard it spoken until Brian Mooney of the Clare Poets created his transliteration of it. Your version reminded me of the laments for the fallen played on the Northumbrian pipes on Remembrance Sunday; you've mined a deep tradition, but not in a stylised way - it's more visceral than that.

I found the Rut and (the) Carnage similarly emotive; there's no happy ending, no real moral - it just is, which is the way of the gods, I suppose. My Kinsella is in storage (along with various other boxes of books), so not sure if the heart of the Donn Cuailgne bursts with fury, or with sorrow for the death of his 'twin'?

Was also very impressed with the sinister and claustrophobic quality of the Manipulation of Ferdia; it's not very on-message these days to speak of evil (or virtue), but there's no other way of characterising manipulation, deceit and delusion. Although it's a pre-Christian/primeval narrative, you created a hissing, writhing reptilian sound which must have struck other listeners as Biblical? Evil has its own compulsion, they say - no wonder Meadhbh got her way if she sounded like this.

I think most would listen to the Sorcerous Distortions for that title alone! Thought the accompanying text and image on the sleeve notes striking. They minded me of the border ballad, the Twa Corbies. Somehow, I'd not realised that Cu Chulainn gets the berserker style rage on him; Beowulf has his hildegrip, but that is reserved for enemies (the Anglo Saxons always play by Marquis of Queensberry rules, don't cha know...?) Do you normally perform the whole set? Although all the movements stand alone, I felt the dark lullaby of 4 and this were inseparable.

What comes through is how evocative the albumn is, not a plodding, literal flattening out of the Tain.

I get the impression from the sleeve notes you loathe Maedhbh. Isn't she the victim of euhemerization, an ancient force filtered through a lens of early medieval misogyny? Mind, I can see where you'd want to turn the warp spasm on contemporary 'leaders' (was it 45 million euro Haughey had stashed?) The opportunities for corruption, self preservation and detachment seem ever greater in our time (maybe that's just a rose-tinted medievalist's view?)




An Táin by Deep End of the Ford
Trad Review

There is something so powerful and so original about the music on this 2012 album from Deep End of the Ford, I can’t resist saying that I am just very happy that I have it and that I am disposed to love it.

The musicians are Lorcán MacMathúna on vocals, Seán MacErlaine on bass clarinet, Martin Tourish on piano accordion, Eoghan Neff on fiddle, and Flaithrí Neff on uileann pipes, vpipes and low whistles. I think they were possibly all involved in effects and  electronics of one sort or another.

The Táin story itself and the music in this telling evoke “a Celtic warrior society and an epic campaign which revolves around two of the most enigmatic and powerful characters in Irish mythology”, and so the challenge is to make the music live up to that, and to the fact that this is one of the most “iconic” works of literature in our culture.

Understandably, the music here ends up being generally quite rugged, “masculine”(for want of a better description and ironically considering the key protagonist is female), though the voice and some of the instrumental lines are also suitably gentle at times. It often pulses and drives on with the rhythm, but includes passages of almost a-rhythmic improvisation and other more sophisticated digitally enhanced sections, as well as haunting and often beautiful melodies played at times in styles that produce those microtonal effects and overtones that contribute to an almost “lived” sense of the epic and supernatural occurrences being described.

The lyrics were taken unaltered from the mediaeval Irish manuscript, The Book of Leinster, and are sung in Old-Irish. All the core music was composed by Mac Mathúna, with “the vocal line [required by the text] providing the main melodic drive”, and then improvisation being used to build up around that.

There are lyrical moments in the epic-ness but mostly it is quite dramatic, both in how the instruments are played: episodically and shifting around, as tools to lay down the drama rather than smoothly in the tune-delivering way we are more used to in traditional music; and in how Mac Mathúna’s voice is used: also as a tool to serve the story, sometimes narratively neutral while at other times he acts out emotions and parts when the particular passage requires it (especially in the second part of ‘The Sorcerous Distortions’).

There are ten tracks on the album, labelled movements, each one derived from particular passages in the original narrative.

‘The Pillow Talk’ tells of how Meadhbh sets the drama going when she decides she must top her husband Ailill’s wealth at any cost, reflected in ominous and disturbed melodic fragments and thrusting rhythms
‘The Prophesy of Fidelm’ foretells the coming of Cú Chullain: “He will lay low your entire army, and he will slaughter you in dense crowds,” the prophetess declares in a melancholy, at times foreboding voice underlayed by acoustic hints of nature twisting and distorting
‘The slighting of Cú Chulainn’ tells, through a shimmering, echoing soundscape, of the insulting terms Meadhbh offers Cú Chulainn when she sees the devastation wrought by him
‘Cú Chulainn’s sleep’, evoked in a continuous drone on the pipes, is a lyrical monologue of injury, pain, and sorrow: “A drop of blood drips from my weapon. I am sorely wounded. No friend comes to me in alliance or help …”, dreamily relieved by a sweet melody on Neff’s pipes accompanied by strummed fiddle, which however dips at the very end into dissonant chords
‘The Sorcerous Distortions’ starts with a short instrumental passage (accordion and grinding fiddle) evoking the transformation of Cú Chulainn, when he hears of the death of the Ulster youths who alone came to his aid, into “the distorted one”, and proceeds into a chant-like verse-account of his indiscriminate slaughtering of all around him – Mac Mathuna building his theatrical delivery into an urgent incantation with a second vocal harmony track: very powerful stuff, but kept under control to the point of almost being too short
‘Dinnseanachas’ is a rousing march tune dedicated to the lore of the places itself, played on the box and fiddle
‘The manipulation of Ferdia’ is the most manipulated of the tracks soundwise. There’s a demon in the background, brilliantly created through some kind of electronic trickery, and Mac Erlaine improvises against Mac Mathúna’s relatively straight-forward telling of Meadhbh’s calculated inveigling of Ferdia, Cú Chulainn’s foster brother, into attacking her foe
‘Caoineadh Fherdia’ is a grim lament delivered over Mac Erlaine’s troubled bass clarinet, a voice of regret echoing out across ages as if to be picked up in the very character of sound of the uileann pipes towards the end
‘The cries of Sualtaim’s head (Scread Ceann Sualtaim)’ tells of Cú Chullain’s father’s ride to get help being turned into a hideously supernatural call to arms, as “Sualtaim’s own shield turned on Sualtaim and its rim cut off his head … [which then] spoke the same words: Men are slain, women carried off, cattle driven away, O Ulstermen …” The music here is freer and looser and roaming and quite wild at moments, and Mac Mathuna revels in the vocal syncopation possibilities offered by the crisp verbal phrases and the chopped fiddle strumming and plucking
10 ‘The Rut and Carnage’ – as the bulls meet and attack and destroy each other (though not before Donn Cúailnge “attacked the women and boys and children of the territory of Cúailnge and inflicted great slaughter on them”) – is a sad laying out in song and music of the miserable consequences of war

With so few and such young musicians involved, it is a wonder that an epic feel of this magnitude could have been created by these guys, but it has. There is a lot demanded of the vocals in the relatively sparse instrumentation but Mac Mathuna delivers practically right the way through. As do the musicians both in terms of playing and imaginatively creating the soundscape for the drama (– though it’s not always just the “set” that the instruments evoke; they sometimes provide or pick up the main drama themselves and indeed the protagonists). It is a very visual, cinematic experience to listen to the entire album, though it is only (by necessity) partially told and at times, like the original itself, heavy going. But, fair play to Mac Mathúna and the others, many of the tracks are so beautiful they can easily be played independently of the rest, and it’s a real shame, therefore, we don’t hear them on Lyric and elsewhere at all these days.




Album Review - Deep End of the Ford An Táin
Tony Lawless, September 05 2012

Lorcán Mac Mathúna’s latest musical project The Deep End of the Ford explores An Táin which is drawn from the text of The Book of Leinster. "An Táin has a place amoungst the epic myths of the world. Its relevant and contemporary lessons have echoed throughout two millennia, and is remarkably pertinent today" according to the sleeve notes. "Set in a time of tribal allegiances, An Táin mobilises the peoples of the entire territories of Ireland in an epic tale of greed, ambition, political manoeuvring, deceit and heroism" dealing with the"ruthless Meadbh, whose thirst for supreamacy and wealth ...drags the tribes of Ireland into a bloody conflict"

This sets the scene for a truly remarkable project by Lorcán. Using improvisational techniques he paints a haunting landscape of voice and sound that defy categorisation. Experimental in its design and brilliant in its scope, it places Lorcán and his fellow musicians Mairtin Tourish, Sean Mac Erlaine, Eoghan Neff and Flairthrí Neff a class apart and at the outer edge of avant-garde experimentation. With words taken from medieval Irish manuscripts and sung in original old-Irish form, they tell the story of An Táin in ten movements. Its conception alone requires musicians of vision and genius and its delivery is exemplary. It requires the listener to conjure up a pictorial landscape within which to place the sounds and music and this in itself stretches your own view of what music can be. Yes it is demanding of your own musical preconceptions of voice and sound and therein lies the challenge. Without being immersed in Lorcán's world it is hard to see what he sees or hear what he hears. This is the point where he and his fellow musicians become the possessed medium through which the art and music must pass if it is to have a voice.

This most definitely throws the door wide open with comprehension coming from immersion in their journey. Suffice it to say that every now and again you need to be challenged and shaken from your reverie. You need to expose yourself to people that take a different direction and manage to take you with them. Lorcán and company have pushed the boundary but not to the point where they lose you. They have opened the door a little, and you have taken a glimpse inside. It is a door to the other side of an imagined and more cerebral world. You can hear the voice and the music and the colours and landscapes are strikingly different. You open it further and step through and marvel at the sheer scale of what has been achieved, seeking to understand. A masterful work of genius by musicians that are breaking new ground and opening new doors as they transverse our musical horizons.

Review by: Tony Lawless



Deep End Of The Ford – An Táin
  4 MAY 2012
folk radio uk

At the end of Last year Lorcán Mac Mathúna, with Northern Lights (review here), took us back to mediaeval links between Ireland and Scandinavia. In Dubh agus Geal we were given a celebration of those links, drawn from the oral traditions of both regions. Lorcán’s latest project, The Deep End Of The Ford, takes us even further back in time; in a telling of the famous An Táín Bó Cualaigne (The Cattle Raid of Cooley) – An Táin.

The epic Irish legend of Queen Meabdh and An Táín Bó Cualaigne is an Iron Age tale of politics, bloodshed and heroism that’s been retold through the centuries. Meabdh’s thirst for wealth and power manifests itself in a struggle to gain possession of a prize bull. The resultant conflict calls all the tribal powers of Ireland to battle and sets brother against brother.

In a unique combination of ancient, traditional and contemporary sources, Lorcán weaves vocal performances taken directly from the contents of 12th century manuscripts, with music that relies heavily on traditional melody and modern electronics alike. The Deep End Of The Ford are Lorcán MacMathúna (voice); Seán MacErlaine (bass clarinet, saxophone, electronics); Martin Tourish (piano accordion); Eoghan Neff (fiddle and looping station); Flaithrí Neff (uileann pipes, low whistles).

The ten movements presented in An Táín are each based on a separate passages in the tale. From the moment An Táín’s upbeat, cantering opening movement, The Pillow Talk, begins it’s clear that this is a singular and carefully crafted work. As the album progresses contrasting approaches to the music help distinguish the separate movements – The Prophesy of Fidelm’s dark, dreamlike echo emerging from a mist of sound becomes clear in a vocal performance that moves between power and murmur. The powerful sections of the vocal are stirring and anthemic, while the woodwind merged with ethereal electronics creates an enthralling dreamscape.

Some tracks are more song-like than others – Cú Chulainn’s Sleep has a gorgeous opening with pipes over plucked strings delivering a melody that’s echoed in the vocal. Whereas The Sorcerous Distortions is more evocative of dramatic tales by a communal fire, as a strident vocal injects a sense of rage and urgency that climbs towards two voices raised in incantation. The Manipulation of Fherdia, which reveals Meabdh’s successful attempts to control Cú Chulainn’s foster-brother, seems to employ modern cinematic techniques, with eerie woodwind and disturbing, demonic whispers accompanying a droning vocal.

Even taken out of the literary context, the music and song are accomplished and fascinating in their own right – Caoineadh Fherdia is an extensive lament with a synthesized, stretched out Jaws harp ‘neath the lament repeated on uileann pipes. If there’s one instrument that can deliver a lament with a power of expression approaching that of a vocal, it’s uileann pipes. The Cries of Sualtaim’s Head delivers the tale of the original headless horseman where strings predominate alongside a galloping vocal that immediately injects a sense of urgency. If any track could stand out on this album it would be this one. The pace is constant, the vocal alternates from hushed haste to strident insistence, and all the while the plucked strings and Eoghan Neff’s masterly fiddle in an elemental maelstrom.

Like Dubh Agus Geal – the sleeve notes for An Táin are essential to get the most out of this album. You can enjoy the music simply for what it is – enthralling and wonderfully crafted. But the descriptive notes put the music created by The Deep End Of The Ford within the context of the ancient narrative it portrays, and help take the listener back hundreds of years to the telling of the tale, and thousands of years to the birth of the legend

Review by: Neil McFadyen



An Táin by Deep End of the Ford
February 2012
Review by: Fiacha O Dubhda

The Táin Bó Cuailnge or Cattle Raid of Cooley is an ancient Irish epic tale found in the 12th Century Book of Leinster. It tells the story of the hero Cú Chulainn and his feats in a bloody and harrowing battle among the tribes of Ireland over a stolen bull.

This work came into being as a commission from the Armagh Pipers club and sets a selection of text fragments from An Táin within a richly illustrated tapestry of sound. Its series of musical vignettes are crafted by the improvisatory collective Deep End of The Ford, forming a lucid backdrop for Lorcán Mac Mathúna’s sean-nós singing. His mellifluous Irish evokes the character of ancient Gaelic epic and highlights the intimate union that exists between the language and this often overlooked way of song.

Here the diverse resources of contemporary Irish traditional and improvisatory music are brought to task in a vivid musical imagining of an Iron-Age culture. It would be easy for this experiment to err too much on the side of New Age pastiche, yet the crisp instrumentation ensures that any connotation of ‘Celt Synth’ are quickly dispelled. The interplay of Seán Mac Erlaine’s bass clarinet, Martin Tourish’s accordion, eoghan Neff’s fiddle and Flaithrí Neff’s uilleann pipes creates a sound that contains elements of Irish trad, contemporary jazz, electronic, and post-rock, yet cannot be subsumed under any of these banners.

This release strikes the rare balance of being something both entirely new and genuinely experimental, while simultaneously working to invigorate and inspire interest in an ancient form of melodic development and vocal production.

Descriptions of each movement are provided in the sleevenotes and full Irish text and translation can be found on Mac Mathúna’s website

Review by: Fiacha O Dubhda



Deep end of The Ford - An Táin
25 April 2012
reviewed by: folkaholix

When listening to the newest disc of the ‘folk avantgardists’ Deep End of the Ford (DEOTF), one must remark with wonder that this facet of folk music is far too neglected. Supply and demand for this form of sundry easy listening music seems to be limited. When listening to Off-Beat-shouty-folk, traditional diddly-di folk with out-of-tune instruments or four people instrumentation everywhere, An Tain offers the most difficult and dainty pleasure for listening that Celtic Rock was able to offer me so far.

Instead of drums, bass, guitar and obligatory fiddle, the five gentlemen surprise with totally unexpected instrumentation: accordion, bass-clarinet, saxophone, piano, violin, whistles, a pipe variety, synthetic sounds and haunting singing, an instrumentation lineup which must be unequalled internationally.

Based on a 2000 year old tradition which was only noted in the Book of Leinster in the 12th century, DEOTF refer to material that would be hair-raising even for Irish native speakers. For friends of the Irish language medieval studies this opus will probably cause a languorous, semantic-cultural frisson, whilst for the non-linguist only the music remains.

The vocals of the band leader Lorcan MacMathuna is almost of spiritual, priest-like poignancy. While [probably] Irish nobility, ancient myths and fantastic creatures are being described, for the uninitiated it must resemble as if they had landed in a pre-Christian rite – as if druids would emerge from their subterranean cells. The haunting power of the vocals are underpinned by incredibly experimental instrumentation, probably in prosodic measures. By this, DEATF achieve a real act of genius. The pathos of the apparently antiquated, spherical overall sound emerges from an instrumentation which is far from antiquated.

The Sorcerous Distortions are almost orchestrally accompanied by the clarinet and accordion, whereas the violin in semiquaver not just underpins this sound. The violin’s bow seems mostly loose, so that besides the sound of the double strings the scratching of the bow creates further rhythmical effect. In doing so all instruments show playful perfection which, in the interplay with the incredible urge for innovation of the musicians, emphatically underlines the self-appointment to the avant-garde.

The gentlemen never renounce more simple folk elements though. For example quasi reels as opening to the following solemn piece, though also fiddle sequences which would be happy in a more traditional music form.

An Tain is an album on a technically virtuoso level. If this true for most bands only in case of some musicians, it has to be noted that with DEOTF without exception all musicians seem to have been touched by genius. To master such material requires not just a little courage, to package this then into such musical garment, shows musical integrity which solely focuses on the art itself and not the recipient. Who dares to try the unheard-of, is well advised to listen to this album. Who rather prefers stereotypical structures (with a stanza, chorus- middle section), catchy instant pleasure and diddly-di is ill-advised with this CD. This album not just deserves to be consumed in absolute silence – it can’t be listened to in any other way. The wealth of facets, of bandwidth of exemplary innovation, the togetherness of old and new in perfect harmony, requires nerves of steel. Though who fights their way through this album will be richly rewarded. Like an explorer, the receptive listener enters new territory whose apparent savageness shows a maximum of aesthetic harmony. Dare to take this step!

Reviewed by folkaholix 



**** Beautiful Old Irish laments. 
Deep End of The Ford - An Táin
May/June 2012
reviewed by: Pieter Wijnstekers

The cattle raid of Cooley or Táin Bó Cúailgne (aka An Táin and The Tain) is the most famous legend of Irish antiquity and is a bit like the Irish version of the Iliad, where the battle between good and evil is told in a epic tale of two parties (in this case, Ulster and Connacht) who together fight to the death for possession of a prize bull and where heroism and tragedy, greed and ambition seem inextricably linked. Although the story was written down only in the 12th century for the first time, it harks back much further to probably the fifth century BC when Ireland was a pagan country, and many tribes in the country fought major conflicts with each other. Already in 1973 The story was the basis for the masterpiece of the Irish folk rock group Horslips, The Táin, under which title the story in 2004 was taken in hand by The Decemberists, originally released only in Spain on EP. The newly composed version, as brought here by the Irish avant-folk group Deep End Of The Ford led by singer Lorcán Mac Mathúna is a lot less accessible work, not least because all texts are sung in Old Irish and the music is largely in the form of equally dark and sober elegies, that not only represent the drama of the epic tale as well as depicting the tragic impact. Largely carried out on traditional Irish instruments in a style which, while folk-like in tone is also reminiscent of modern classical and improvised music, An Táin is not an album that quickly allows access. Whoever takes a moment to sit down, will soon discover a deep and touching piece that will not easily let go and the effort that one pays to enter the piece is paid back twice over.

reviewed by Pieter Wijnstekers in the May/June issue 2012 



Deep end of The Ford - An Táin own label
3rd June 2012 - reviewed by: Dai Jeffries

Horslips called it The Tain and added electricity to the 12th century text collected in The Book Of Leinster from a much older story. Now, Sean-Nóssinger Lorcán Mac Mathúna who last appeared in these pages with his Irish/Scandinavian fusion,Northern Lights, has taken a rather different approach.

The story of Cù Chulainn and Meadhbh and a quarrel over a prize bull includes mystical prophesy, a demonic transformation, a headless corpse still retaining the power of speech and lots of blood – it would make a blockbuster of a film. Lorcán has gone back to the book and based his lyrics on the original text to the extent of singing in Old Irish although, helpfully, the full text of the songs and a translation appear on his website.

Musically, Deep End Of The Ford mix old and new sounds. Martin Tourish plays accordion and piano, Seán Mac Erlaine plays bass clarinet, Eoghan Neff plays fiddle and Flaithrí Neff uileann pipes and low whistle and all five performers are credited as composers. Added to this are electronic sounds and looped tapes and the music is heavy on the drones – something of a Mac Mathúna signature sound.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that An Táin will be heavy going. Lorcán has a lovely warm voice and the music easily carries you away. This is another wonderful album.

Reviewd by Dai Jeffries - read the origional review here



An Táin no label***
04 June 2012 
Review by: Siobhán Long The Irish Times

The tale of the Táin Bó Cuailgne, memorialised in the 12th-century Book of Leinster is invigorated by Cork singer Lorcan MacMathúna. Commissioned by the William Kennedy Piping Festival, this suite of 10 movements sounds primeval and its tone is haunting. MacMathúna’s never been afraid to venture into the unknown, as his last project, Northern Lights, a melding of Irish and Norse sagas attested. The primal impulse firing Flaithrí Neff’s pipes on the eighth movement, Caoineadh Fherdia, is the ideal foil for Lorcán’s belly-deep vocal patterns. But make no mistake: this is not music for the casual listener. It demands repeated exposure to reach beneath its surface, such are the demands of its patterns. Skipping directly to Scread Ceann Sualtaim, with fiddle and bass clarinet propelling the story, offers a relatively accessible entry to another world: alien but intriguing.