- 25 Feb 22
Watch the transporting video for Ceara Conway's 'An Caoineadh' below.
Known for her unique blend of Irish traditional music and contemporary sensibilities, vocalist Ceara Conway is set to release her debut album CAOIN – a collection of sean nós songs with contemporary musical arrangements.
CAOIN explores the longing and loss found in traditional praise songs; lullabies with core emphasis on the traditional Irish lament.
The Connemara native has now shared the lead single from the forthcoming work, titled 'An Caoineadh'.
Conway said of the song: "Also known as 'Lament for a Dead Child’, I first heard and learnt this pre-Christian lament from the well-known singer Nóirín Ní Riain. In 2015 I invited Noirín to perform this song with me as part of a series of contemporary public lamentations called ‘Making Visible’ about the Direct Provision System in Ireland."
"The lament is strong and pure in its expression of the loss of a mother grieving the death of her child. For this track Francesco Turrisi creates a stunning accompaniment using the inside/ soundboard of a piano.”
For the track, Conway collaborated with producer Seán Mac Erlaine, cellist Kevin Murphy, fiddler Ultan O’Brien of Slow Moving Clouds, multi-instrumentalist Seán Mac Erlaine and pianist Francesco Turrisi.
Turrisi added: “I loved playing on and listening back to 'An Caoineadh'. The ebow piano drones and plucked piano integrate so seamlessly with the beautiful strings and create a delicate ever shifting palette of colours as background to the purity of Ceara’s voice and of this melody
The accompanying video, created by filmmaker Myles O'Reilly, allows Ceara's soaring vocals to glide overtop hazy visuals of woodlands.
“The more that I investigate the music of Irish tradition, the more that I'm surprised and mystified by what I hear, especially in songs that are known to be hundreds of years old. Within their notes and scales is a deep and uninterrupted connection to the past. A palpable sense of being there, magically transported to the present day," O'Reilly said.
"Ceara's rendition of the ancient 'An Caoineadh' is truly the sound of an emotion transported through the ages, to be felt by anyone who hears it now. It was important to me not to disturb such an ancient artefact. The video needed to be a vessel to deliver the song, without interfering."
Watch the transporting visual below.
Conway has gained recognition for her singing in traditional repertoires across cultures from Irish traditional sean nós, to Portuguese, Arabic and African song, and Georgian Chant. In her music, she has merged her respect for tradition and her guiding interest in contemporary genres.
Her debut EP, CAOIN will be released on CD and digitally on March 31. The world premiere live performance of CAOIN will take pace at Glór Theatre, Ennis, Co.Clare on Friday April 8. View tickets options, here.