Ceoltaí Oirialla

Songs of Oriel

To coincide with Oriel Arts, a major digital project by Pádraigín Ní Uallacháin, this double album contains accompanied and acapella songs renewed by Pádraigín.

About ‘Ceoltaí Oirialla – Songs of Oriel'

Ceoltaí Oirialla – Songs of Oriel is the creative outcome of the process of regeneration and renewal of the Gaelic song tradition of southeast Ulster. Like the ouroboros at the centre of the above title, symbolising its eternal return or cyclicality, the song tradition feeds of its own tail to regenerate new life,

Pádraigín Ní Uallacháin, who is a seasoned song smith and singer, has breathed upon the embers of the fragile remnants of a song tradition by remarrying lyrics to their lost music, singing and recording and giving the Oriel song tradition new life and vigour. These songs are now being sung again by singers from Oriel, Donegal and further afield.

Most of the airs on this CD were written down in staff and tonic solfa notation at the turn of the 20thcentury by various collectors in Oriel, while archival  fragmentary recordings were made. The airs were, in a sense, frozen in time as they were not sung in the community for over 100 years. Some have traces of antiquity with their simple and recitative type melodies, unusual intervals etc. They had not survived in the oral tradition and most are not found elsewhere in Ireland.


Pádraigín Ní Uallacháin: vocals
Steve Cooney: guitar, keyboards
Garry Ó Briain: mandocello
Laoise Kelly: harp
Odhrán Ó Casaide: fiddle
Helen Davies: harp
Liam O'Flynn: uilleann pipes, whistles
Seamus Maguire: fiddle
Jackie Daly: accordion
Manus Maguire: fiddle
Pat Crowley: piano
Liam Ó Maonlaí: bodhrán
Rónán Ó Snodaigh: bodhrán
Máire Breatnach: fiddle
Adele O'Dwyer: cello

CD 1 is a recording of 14 songs with instrumental accompaniment from some of the best of Irish musicians. Produced by Steve Cooney, except track 5 produced by Garry Ó Briain

CD 2 is a recording of 14 songs in acapella sean-nós singing recorded in Sonic Arts Studio, Queen’s University Belfast and mastered in RedBox Recording Studios by Dónal O'Connor.

Calligraphy – Gilly Cullen Artwork
Front image – Macdara Ó Graham
Design – CD Duplication Pro