Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh & Irish Chamber Orchestra announce new album of sean nós songs

Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh

Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh & Irish Chamber Orchestra have breathed new life into the noble, classical songs of our ancestors with this new album, Róisín Reimagined, out now Thursday 10th March 2022.

The sean nós tradition is undergoing a revival. During lockdown, award-winning singer Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh’s renditions of classic sean nós songs such as ‘An Chúilfhionn’ or ‘Róisín Dubh’ introduced a new generation of listeners to these melodically complex and richly ornamented songs.

Now Nic Amhlaoibh joins the Irish Chamber Orchestra for Róisín ReImagined, an exciting new project that pairs her peerless vocals with fresh orchestral arrangements of sean nós songs. Kilkenny Arts Festival and the Irish Chamber Orchestra have co-commissioned special arrangements from six leading Irish composers: Cormac McCarthy, Paul Campbell, Linda Buckley, Sam Perkin, Niamh Varian-Barry and Michael Keeney. Produced by Dónal O’Connor, Roisin ReImagined explores the connections between classical and traditional music and reimagines these timeless songs for a new era.

These works typically date from the 16th-19th century and bear the hallmarks of high art and learning. In many instances, they bear witness to the artistic culture of Gaelic Ireland, which was under siege and endangered the high art of their era. Amongst them are classics such as ‘Róisín Dubh’, ‘An Chúilfhionn’, ‘Slán le Máigh’ and ‘An tSeanbhean Bhocht’.

Nic Amhlaoibh’s distinct voice and outward-looking approach has elevated these songs to yet another level through this project, and along with the Irish Chamber Orchestra and producer Dónal O’Connor, she has given a platform to a tradition that gives a deep insight into the Irish psyche. These sean-nós songs emerged from a practice that was part of a wider European and international culture, and this project will resonate with people from every corner of the world. The new incarnation of these old songs is a beautiful, uplifting sonic journey, especially for those fortunate enough to experience it live, and is sure to leave an imprint on the consciousness of the Irish song tradition.

Róisín ReImagined is out now on CD and vinyl:

‘Bean Dubh a’ Ghleanna’ – official video: