Triúr: Omos

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Artist: Triúr
Genre: Traditional
Label: Independent Release

Conversations between old friends follow all manner of arcs, but what they tend to share is a delight in the ebb and flow of a story, the push and pull of a debated point, the peak and trough of a folly or tragedy. Triúr's third album in as many years sees Peadar Ó Riada, Martin Hayes and Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh continue their fireside exchanges, complete with wood crackling and an occasional wind rumbling in the chimney, all the better to underscore another organic collection.

Every one of the 18 tunes (along with a lone song) on Omós come freshly spun by Ó Riada, in tribute to a rich congregation of individuals who have influenced, inspired or entertained him over the years. Hence the title: Omós (With Respect). Triúr's trademark fiddle, Hardanger fiddle, concertina and accordion (with tin whistle and Indian tambura tiptoeing around the perimeter) are supplemented on this recording by additional flute playing from Ó Raghallaigh.

What emerges is an uncanny pairing of musical accents with personality characteristics. Thinking of Micho is a deliciously impish reel, with a twinkle in its eye: as playful and stripped back as the late whistle genius Micho Russell might have played it himself. Máirseáil MacMahon, a march dedicated to the accordionist Tony MacMahon, is unapologetically forthright and riveted by a suitably unyielding backbone.

Perhaps one of Ó Riada's finest compositions is his The Three Legs in the Air Polkas trio, an homage to Corca Dhuibhne, Sliabh Luachra and Muskerry, a formidable triumvirate of hotbeds of traditional music in Munster.


All this talk of conversation shouldn’t underestimate the piquancy of the solo voice, and each of the three musicians afford one another plenty of room to nose out the shape of the tune. Ó Riada’s concertina is a cornerstone in this regard, its singsong shapes tracing the contours of the man’s own Cúl Aodha accent with the laser precision.

Patrick Kavanagh spoke of canals where life pours ordinary plenty. On Omós, Triúr revel in the ordinary and in the plenty yet again on.

Siobhán Long

Siobhán Long

Siobhán Long, a contributor to The Irish Times, writes about traditional music and the wider arts