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The Irish Revolution

Philippe Cousin

Pól Brennan is best known for founding the band Clannad with his brother Ciarán, sister Moya and uncles Pádraig and Noel Ó Dúgáin.

But from 1990 to 2011, he chose other musical paths, embarking on a solo career that saw him collaborate with some of the biggest names in music.

It was also during this period that he began composing music to illustrate major Irish films. Examples include The Mighty in 1998, Kings in 2007 and Penance in 2018.
Although he returned to the family band in 2011, he has continued to compose for film. His music is known for its emotional depth and narrative power.
In 2019, Irish broadcaster RTÉ commissioned him to write the soundtrack for a TV series about the Irish Revolution, which is now being released as an album. Pól then called on several musicians: Donegal fiddler Aidan O'Donnell, pianist Steve Turner, percussionist Nicky Bailey and his sister Moya on harp. Together they capture the raw emotion evoked by the historic events that marked Ireland in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. They focus on the Great Famine of 1840/1850, the Home Rule movement, the revival of the Irish language, the Easter Rising of 1916, the Irish War of Independence (1919-1921) and the ensuing Civil War, which saw former comrades clash.

Pól Brennan's music reflects all these themes, embodying grief, despair and determination in the face of turmoil and change. We follow these events through the tracks: The Revolt, IRA Goes to War, Black'n Tans, Volunteers and The Brigade, Partition.
We are struck by the precision with which P.Brennan's music describes the heart of the Irish revolution. The characters come to life through all the episodes evoked throughout the album's 18 tracks.
It's a pity that French TV channels haven't had the good sense to broadcast this series on this side of the Channel.

Arc Music EU2876 –