FIVE master musicians join forces at the Usher Hall tomorrow to form The Gloaming, an Irish-American folk supergroup blending traditional tunes and Irish poetry with abstract experimentation.
In early 2011, fiddle master Martin Hayes, guitarist Dennis Cahill, singer Iarla Ó Lionáird, hardanger innovator Caoimhin Ó Raghallaigh, and New York pianist Thomas Bartlett, also known as Doveman, first met to explore working together.
Later that year, as The Gloaming, they embarked on their first tour, which took them from Dublin to London, Amsterdam, Paris and New York.
Even before releasing their eponymous debut album in 2014, the Irish Times had hailed them as “one of the great forces in Irish music.”
Quickly becoming one of the world’s most renown live acts, performing to packed houses at the Barbican in London, Sydney Opera House, New York’s Lincoln Center, their live activity climaxed at London’s Royal Albert Hall where they performed for Irish President Michael D Higgins.
In the same year their first album won the Meteor Choice Prize for Irish album of the year, fending off competition from Hozier, Sinead O’Connor and U2.
With the release of The Gloaming 2 earlier this year, described as “considered, ambitious, mature and exploratory,” Ó Lionárd explores bardic poetry as devised by an ancient Celtic order of minstrel poets who composed verses celebrating the legendary exploits of chieftains and heroes.
Consequently, some of lyrics on The Gloaming 2 are several centuries old, however, the album opens with The Pilgrim’s Song, a track combining extracts of poems by Sean Ó Riordáin, the great Gaelic poet of the 20th century.
All of which are sure to feature at the Usher Hall.
The Gloaming, Usher Hall, Lothian Road, tomorrow, 8pm, £19-£24.50, 0131-228 1155