Méabh O’Hare and Conor Byrne:
This exciting traditional duet have just recently
released their long awaited new album ‘BAVAN’.
The title of the album refers to a stunning area where
it was recorded, - Glenn Bavan, near Omeath, County
Louth. This album is a culmination of five years playing
and composing music together.
Over the course of those five years Méabh
and Conor’s work started to take shape while
Méabh was studying music in UCC. Conor had
just released his debut solo album, ‘Wind Dancer’.
Having met before at various festivals around Ireland
they eventually started composing and arranging music
together. This was an interesting match as both players
come from different music backgrounds…
Méabh O’Hare had developed a strong
traditional style of playing having been taught by
such people as the legendary Seán Maguire and
the MacPeake’s of Belfast. She was very much
influenced by the Donegal fiddle tradition as well.
While in UCC she received the ‘Dock Gleeson
award for performance in 2000. Later in that same
year she was named TG4’s Young Musician of the
“…shifted seamlessly from jigs to reels
& polkas… an apt reminder why she was voted
TG4’s young musician of the year”. (The
Méabh performed on various traditional music
programmes and later presented a traditional music
programme for RTE ‘Banish Misfortune’.
She also went on to record with Fiddlesticks and Providence.
Conor Byrne also has a great love for the traditional
style of playing, haven been thought by such players
as Paul MacGrattan of Beginish. His reputation as
a player was beginning to flourish while appearing
on various albums and TV programmes. In 1996 he decided
to turn professional as a musician when asked to play
and tour with fiddler and composer Máire Breatnach.
It was here that Conor started to compose many tunes
him self which features on Wind Dancer and on BAVAN.
His music has received critical acclaim from various
“Byrne’s original tunes were a revelation:
cheekily flaunting the usual conventions of reel time,
yet intensely respectful of the DNA that defines them”
(The Irish Times).
Both Méabh and Conor went on to tour around
various parts of the world. In 2001 they were invited
by Music Network to partake in a sell out tour of
Ireland with singer Andrew Murray and guitarist Gavin
Ralston. They then went on to become the first traditional
Irish musicians ever to be invited to perform at the
highly acclaimed China Shanghai International Arts
Festival. This also lead to extensive tours around
the US, Italy, Austria and Hungry, and else where.
“The playing of both was beautiful throughout,
with the interplay between fiddle & flute being,
as befits a couple, drumtight…Those who missed
these gigs – may well have missed one of the
gigs of the year” (The Hot Press)
The pair were also recently the subject of a BBC
documentary entitled ‘Music in the company of
Méabh O’Hare and Conor Byrne’.
It is hard to believe that after all of this recognition,
Méabh and Conor were yet to record their first
BAVAN is a mix of traditional tunes and compositions
of both, as well as other peoples. The beautiful playing
of both is blended with the talents of some of the
finest players in Ireland to date. On guitar is Donncha
Moynihan (Calico); Joe Csibi (Riverdance) on double
bass; Caoimhín Vallely (North Cregg) on piano;
Lloyd Byrne (Sharon Shannon) on percussion; and one
of Irelands best Bodhran players, Séamus O’Kane.
The choice of tunes are a carefully compiled selection
of pieces which represent the traditional backgrounds
of both; and also new composition which have strong
influences of those traditional backgrounds. They
also include new compositions of Peadar ó Riada,
Máire Breatnach and Charlie MacKerron (Scotland).
This album they hope portrays the love they have
for traditional Irish Music and the gratitude that
they also feel to all the musicians they’ve
listened and played with over the years.
Tel / Fax: 0044 289028 1872
Mobile: 00353 86 818 6447
Distribution: Red hat Music: