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The heART of Ritual


Air Element instruments of Spring

Sound, music, communication, poetry, prose, the voice - all these and more relate with the seasonal element of Air, and Spring. If we dive further into it, towards the air element language of the heart, the therapeutic sound that relates with this part of our BEing is string instruments. They don't call it 'heart strings' for nothing!

This video is an absolutely gorgeous recording of two Irish men, Liam Ó Maonlaí and Séamus Ó Flatharta, both singing and playing harps. I cannot begin to tell you how often I have listened to this in the seven months since it was broadcast.

I am sharing it today to bring music to the season of sound, in a very special way. Air/Spring is the first of the masculine principals (Fire/Summer is the other). Strings and voices are air. Liam is considered by many, including myself, to be a bit of a musical elder in Ireland since the late 80's (most will know him as singer with The Hothouse Flowers), and Séamus, well, he may be a youth but he will be around for a long time with talent such as this so I look forward to following his work. Both men are multi instrumentalists however prior to this performance I never knew Liam played harp.

This is the perfect fusion of young and old, in every way possible - playing styles, singing styles, musical style and generational too.

Below you will find a selection of other Irish musical bits and bobs (all relating with voice/air instruments) that I have been inJoying this past while. Most of them are from the 'Drawing from the Well' documentary series in 2021 which is produced by the ITMA (Irish Traditional Music Archive), and apart from being riveting viewing, the quality of the audio in these recordings is good.


You saw Séamus in the above video with Liam, here he is with his sister Caoimhe. That's one talented household to have grown up in!

I've been listening to Daoirí alot over the past two years, hope you like him too!

Lisa O'Neill is incredible and this was such a fascinating episode to watch.

Cormac Begley knows how to play 'the box' (concertina) like few others. But his research into the concertina led him to do a documentary on the 'Jews Harp'. This was a very interesting program.

I've had a lifelong love of child ballads and murder ballads, and Radie extraordinary voice does this well. She also plays concertina and harmonium, as do I, so I'm sold!

A lovely insight into the music of fancy foot work - 'battering' in Irish dance. And imagine it, not a ringlet or green show costume in sight!

And to close, a live gig by Ye Vagabonds down in my home area during the middle of the pandemic. An absolutely incredible gig and one I have listened to constantly over the past year. The banter alone is worthwhile!


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