This collection of arrangements of traditional Irish music, together with a few self-composed pieces, is the culmination of a long-standing partnership between the violinist Dermot Crehan and the composer/arranger Paul Honey. After having worked together for many years in a variety of professional situations, performing and producing music for other people, they decided the time was right to embark on their own project.
Their aim from the start was to create a collection of arrangements of traditional Irish music that are contemporary in style whilst being true to the original melodies and the period in which they were created. The result are pieces that move away from the bland sentimentality of so many arrangements of Irish music and instead explore the darker, more melancholic and profound nature of the music. All the pieces are scored for strings, 3 horns, harp and piano and have been specially chosen as they encompass a broad range of themes from religious persecution to death, from sex to forgiveness and reconciliation.
Crehan and Honey are joined by four highly respected exponents of Irish music; the vocalist Mick Sands, accordionist Luke Daniels, flautist Fiona Kelly, and Jean Kelly playing harp. The premiere performance of the music at the Church of St Martin In The Fields received a standing ovation and has been enthusiastically received at subsequent performances including the Maidstone Proms In The Park, the concert for the Musicians’ Benevolent Fund at the Royal Opera House and the sellout St Patrick’s Day Celebration again at St Martin-in-the-Fields.
The CD was launched at a St Patrick’s Day celebration at St Martin-in-the-Fields on March 17th 2009. The music was performed by the Locrian Ensemble conducted by Stephen Barlow, together with the soloists on the recording. The second half of the concert featured a ceilidh band led by Dermot Crehan.