Seven Daughters of the Sea

Seacht nIníon na Mara

Pádraigín Ní Uallacháin’s tenth studio album, an album of new compositions.

About ‘Seven Daughters of the Sea’

CD available for shipping November 14 2023. Launched January 10 2024.

One of the most prolific traditional singers in Ireland, this is Pádraigín Ní Uallacháin’s tenth studio recording. It is an album of new compositions.

Her collaboration with Steve Vai goes back over ten years since he recorded one of her songs Mullach a’ tSí on his album The Story of Light (2012). This extraordinary collaboration comes full circle on the title track with the sounds of ancient Irish culture merging with contemporary musical rhythms, while invoking a cosmic blessing on a troubled world.

Although firmly rooted in Irish traditional music influences, it has a contemporary and transcultural aspect through the inclusion of international musicians - the celebrated US guitar player Steve Vai, Indian classical Bansuri player Rajat Prasanna, Steve Cooney from Australia/Ireland, Irish musicians Dónal O’Connor and Macdara Ó Graham and Fin Moore from Scotland.

The various strands merge to bridge the space between the known and unknown, ancient and contemporary, male and female. Themes of tradition, exile, love, ancient rituals and deities, early literature and world music inspire these new compositions. Woven through SEVEN DAUGHTERS OF THE SEA are songs and chants invoking the Earth Mother in all her forms and manifestations as nature, landscape, Brigid, the Cailleach, water, Buí the summer goddess, Spring, the otherworld and a keen of sorrow, while also honouring the inherent masculine gifts of strength, honour, loyalty and wisdom.

Pádraigín Ní Uallacháin is unique in having recorded two albums of new compositions in her native Irish language, including this her most recent, SEVEN DAUGHTERS OF THE SEA (2023). The CD and MP3s included a 28 page Booklet with lyrics, translations and notes.

Credits

Musicians

Pádraigín Ní Uallacháin: vocals, composer

Steve Cooney: Steel string, nylon string, high string, fretless bass

Rajat Prasanna: Bansuri

Dónal O’Connor: Fiddle, viola, keyboards, guitar, programming

Steve Vai: Electric guitar

Macdara Ó Graham:  Vocal drones, overtones

Fin Moore: Reel pipes, small pipes

Production

Producer: Dónal O’Connor

Artistic director: Pádraigín Ní Uallacháin

Recording: RedBox Studios, Dundalk & Belfast

Mastering: Cormac O’Kane, RedBox Studios

Mixing: Dónal O’Connor, Alastair McMillan (track 7)

Graphic design: Tonic Design, Belfast

Cover painting: Petra Berntsson ‘Breathing Change’, 2023

Praise for ‘Seven Daughters of the Sea’

A concept album of original songs in Irish that steals into your heart

A concept album of original songs in Irish is a valiant endeavour. But the Oriel singer, songwriter and historian Pádraigín Ní Uallacháin has always favoured the path less travelled. This collection sees her mine a rich seam of mythological women’s experiences, anchored by the pre-Christian Brigid and embracing many more from ancient manuscripts and song.

There’s a deep wisdom threaded through Ní Uallacháin’s songs: odes to the primacy of the heart over the head, of the duality of human experience and to its universal truth.

Caoineadh Cine/Ancient Keen, which is layered on the subtlest of arrangements of fiddle, viola, harmonium, guitar and drones, and ably steered by the producer Dónal O’Connor, is a visceral and timeless reflection that speaks as powerfully to the agony of Gaza as it does to our native history. The Irish language is clearly the primary instrument here, its words and sounds shaping the music in a way that feels fitting for the chosen subject matter of Gaia.

Ní Uallacháin has chosen an eclectic array of accompanists, among them, startlingly, the American guitarist Steve Vai, who was inspired by Ní Uallacháin’s music almost 30 years ago, along with the Indian classical flautist Rajat Prasanna. Their contributions are anchored by the singer’s unforced vocals and writing.

A collection that insinuates rather than insists, Seacht nIníon na Mara appeals to the heart of the listener, and to the ties that bind ancient past to present.

Siobhán Long, The Irish Times

Ofráil ábhartha álainn a chuirfidh faoi dhraíocht thú

Albam fonnmhar fiúntach atá sa saothar seo ó thús deireadh mar sin, é áitiúil agus uilíoch in éineacht, dúchasach ach domhanda, ábhartha ach síoraí.

Tomaí Ó Conghaile, NÓS

A tranquil masterpiece from Armagh

Pádraigín Ní Uallacháin has, with O’Conner’s deft production and shrewd marshalling of high-class musical support, made an album of exquisite calmness, bringing ancient themes to bear in our unsettled times.

Dave McNally, The Irish Post

The healing power of Irish music at its most invigorating

It is often said that music has the power to heal or to restore and to invigorate and so it is with this glorious album.

Robert McMillen, The Irish News