The Gloaming album


(Real World/Planet)


Glo resNo one damages a tradition more than a conservative, whose dry immutability makes it crack and ultimately crumble. Keeping a tradition alive actually requires the moisturizing effect of change. Not that the members of the Gloaming are realising their quiet revolution in Irish traditional music for philosophical reasons: it results purely from the intersection of what five diverse musical personalities hear in their heads.

Those listeners mesmerised by the Gloaming’s debut need fear no drop-off in quality with this second opus. The same profound connection to the riches of Ireland’s music is again swathed in a mist of drama, mystery and fresh harmonisations. Although traditional material predominates over original compositions, many tunes have been so thoroughly reimagined that it is as if the very essence of each has been bared, and it lives anew. I don’t think we need wait for history to acclaim Iarla O Lionaird (voice), Caoimhin O Raghallaigh (hardanger d’amore), Dennis Cahill (guitar), Martin Hayes (fiddle) and Thomas Bartlett (piano) as a pivotal combination in the history of Irish culture.