- 03 Nov 17
Having been given financial support and patronage from the University of Limerick, Martin Hayes – founding member of the hugely popularly Irish-American supergroup The Gloaming, and possibly Ireland’s most accomplished trad musician – found occasion to crystallise some of the unique ideas he’d had for a long time. Working with his longstanding partner Dennis Cahill, and with distinguished musicians Liz Knowles and Doug Wieselmann, The Martin Hayes Quartet was founded and fostered in the spacious environs of Bantry House, Co. Cork.
It was there that the quartet’s album, The Blue Room, was recorded. It’s a record which is tied as much to Martin’s memories of performing in ceili bands as a teenager in Clare, as it is to the remote, coastal setting of the house itself. This a collaborative album, imbued with originality because of the unique input of everyone involved.
“I didn’t set out to be a composer when it came to this album,” says Hayes, speaking from the West Coast of the United States, where he’s been performing with The Gloaming ahead of a brief European tour – including a homecoming performance at the National Concert Hall – at the end of October. “I wanted this to be a collaborative process. The other option for us was to compose a reel and really get into the minutiae of writing multiple parts – and of course that usually involves the input of one person. But if there’s numerous people who can imagine the parts that make sense to them, and they all contribute to getting a dialogue going, then it starts to make more sense.