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Lán Mara

Philippe Cousin

Treasa Ní Mhiolláin is a native of the Aran Islands, and more specifically of Inis Mór, the largest of them. The youngest of seven siblings, she has been singing from an early age, accompanying her mother at local festivals and weddings, singing in both Irish and English.

Since the late 60s, she has been leading the way in sean-nós and Aran music. She was the first islander to make a name for herself as a professional, even touring Germany with the bands Dé Danann and Clannad in the 70s. Performing regularly in competitions, she won several titles at the National Fleadh Cheoil.

After living in London in the 1960s and Dublin, she returned to the islands in 1984. For the past 40 years, she has been teaching sean-nós in the Aran Islands and beyond.
After taking part in a group album in 1973, she published her first album in 1989. A few years ago, Treasa finally published an album for the Cló Iar-Chonnacht label. This double CD, Lán Mara (High Tide), features 19 traditional songs, mostly in Irish, including eight from her native region. Treasa had not recorded anything since his 1989 cassette, and the release of this double album is a small event in the world of traditional Irish song. It marks the culmination of a lifetime's work in song and celebrates the lasting legacy she left to Inis Mór.
The majority of Lán Mara's songs were recorded by musician Jack Talty in the island's oldest church. While sean-nós is usually sung a capella, several tracks are accompanied very discreetly by guitar, fiddle, piano, harp, concertina, uilleann pipes and tin whistle.
Treasa's voice has an almost youthful energy and a clarity of pronunciation that makes it easy for Irish speakers to understand.
Incredible as it may seem, this album is only her second solo recording. But its 19 tracks span his 45-year career and give a vast insight into the breadth of his repertoire. If you haven't heard sean-nós before, this is the album for you.

Cló Iar-Chonnacht CICD 208