Album of The Week The Haar 5th Sept 2020
Band Members – Molly Donnery /Adam Summerhayes / Cormac Byrne / Murray Grainger /
Listen in from 12pm Sat 5 to hear all the tracks on the album!
‘The Haar introduces the fresh talent of traditional Irish singer Molly Donnery combined with three of the most exciting instrumentalists on the folk and traditional music circuit: Cormac Byrne (Instrumentalist of the Year 2019, FATEA Magazine Music Awards), Adam Summerhayes (‘a Paganini of the traditional violin’ fROOTS) and Murray Grainger (‘Gorgeous stuff’ BBC Radio 3).
The band has its origins in a chance meeting at Craiceann Bodhrán Festival, Inis Oírr, resulting in an improvised live performance recorded by the shipwreck of the Plassey on the wild Atlantic seafront. It was to become typical of the unique ‘live reactive composition’ that characterises their music – an improvised space from which Molly’s pure and unadulterated vocals can emerge.
Traditional Irish songs tackling love, poverty and oppression – common subjects that link the peoples of these islands.
This is music that is not afraid to transcend borders. Born of the traditional musics that all members have grown up with and absorbed, it is unapologetic in pushing at the edges in order to create the band’s own unique and compelling sound.
Two musicians stand in a crowded pub on the Irish island of Inis Oírr; a flame-haired girl silences the room with a quiet unaccompanied song – Molly’s voice was worth the silence. An impulsive decision follows, and at sunset the next day, Molly, Adam and Cormac meet at a timeless shipwreck on the wild Atlantic shoreline. They sit on a rock and a simple traditional song emerges – just voice, fiddle and bodhrán. No rehearsal, no arrangement – the song performed intuitively … the seed of an idea that grows into The Haar, the lineup completed when Molly and Murray (accordion) meet for the first time in the studio to record Irish traditional songs tackling love, poverty and oppression –subjects that link the peoples of these islands. In the studio, the music flows from the bands first notes together – reminiscent of the haar, a sea mist that rolls in from the Irish and North Seas: fleeting, intangible, headily thick, suddenly overwhelming and then unexpectedly clearing for a glimpse of precious sunlight. The band make no plans, just letting the music create itself; the tracks on the album are the first and only versions, as unpredictable and ephemeral as the haar itself.
“We need more music like this; spontaneous, alive and affecting, The Haar will take you on a journey and have you appreciating the purest of life’s pleasures. Wonderful stuff.” Folk Radio UK.
The Haar album tracks
- The King’s Shilling
- The Green Fields of Canada
- Willie Taylor
- Siúil a Rún
- My Lagan Love
- The Creggan White Hare
- Two Sisters
- The Emigrant’s Farewell
- Craigie Hills