CD CHOICE: Triúr Arís Independent*****
You’ve got to get out of the way of the music. That’s what Martin Hayes figures, and that’s exactly what he, Peadar Ó Riada and Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh do on their second album. Triúr Arísis a companion piece to their 2010 debut, a swathe of 20 newly composed tunes, most of them played singly, all the better to fully explore every cranny and crack within.
There are reels and jigs here that would float a ship, such is their buoyancy. But Triúr’s real talent is in allowing the melodies to speak for themselves, so that they weave an unforced path in between the three musicians.
The air Ceantar Glas Mhúscraíepitomises what the trio are all about, its loping pace begetting an intimate conversation between three players, each one recounting their version of the one story in turn, until finally they meld their accounts into one coherent whole.
The genteel reel Margaret Battfollows, where fiddles and concertina skip lightly across a tune dedicated to an old friend and created, according to Ó Riada’s sleeve notes, out of her energy and their affection for her. Music of any hue couldn’t come from a better place than that.
These latest arrivals into the traditional canon are steered by a trio who know precisely how to illuminate them. Ó Riada’s harpsichord channels the best of Turlough O’Carolan on Harpsichord Louise, a cap-doffing to a favourite aunt who rescued the instrument from being turned into a drinks cabinet. On the sole song, Caoire Geala Bána, Ó Riada’s vocals take on an Indian drone and dreamlike quality, celebrating the joys of hillside solitariness.
Ó Raghallaigh brings a compelling sound to the mix with his newly acquired 10 string Hardanger fiddle; its extra low string and five sympathetic understrings bring a deep, rich resonance to the tunes. Hayes’s wilful ease is everywhere, glistening on Cá Bhfuil an Solas?/Where Is the Light?,a jig that sums up the entire enterprise in its simplicity and clean lines.
Triúr Arísis music for listeners in need of a fresh infusion of tunes, and for players in pursuit of a new string to their bow. peadaroriada.ie
Download tracks: Ceantar Glas Mhúscraí, Margaret Batt, Harpsichord Louise, Cá Bhfuil an Solas?/Where Is the Light?