The Gloaming ~ The Gloaming (aka 2)

The Gloaming (aka 2)

Released on February 25, 2016
CD, Digital

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Featured Collaborators





  1. The Pilgrim's Song
  2. Fainleog (Wanderer)
  3. The Hare
  4. Oisin's Song
  5. The Booley House
  6. Repeal of The Union
  7. Casadh an tSugain
  8. The Rolling Wave
  9. Cucanandy
  10. Mrs Dwyer
  11. Slan le Maighe
  12. The Old Favourite


"The Gloaming have become an international phenomenon, thanks to their virtuoso blend of Irish traditional influences and experimentation" - The Guardian's guide to Unmissable Culture of 2016

The Gloaming enhance traditional Irish music with the best sounds from contemporary classical, post-rock, jazz and experimental music. Irish fiddlers Martin Hayes and Caoimhin O Raghallaigh and sean-nos singer Iarla O Lionaird are joined by two Americans -- New York pianist Thomas Bartlett (aka Doveman), and Chicago-born guitarist Dennis Cahill. In early 2016, they will release their second self-titled album, also known as 2.

The band's self-titled debut fused & transformed tradition, defining a kind of "Irish classical music" that did not previously exist. It was widely acclaimed as one of the finest recordings of 2014, making year-end best lists from NPR Music, the Irish Times, the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards and winning the Meteor Choice Music Prize (the Mercury Prize of Ireland).

Their touring calendar has been equally impressive, including notable nights at the White Light Festival at New York's Lincoln Center, a rare UCLA/USC co-presentation at Los Angeles' Bovard Auditorium and concerts with major presenters in Chicago, Minneapolis, Seattle, Michigan, et al. Internationally they performed at the Ceiliuradh at London's Royal Albert Hall (a celebration of the Irish president's first-ever state visit to Britain); at Australia's Sydney Opera House; in Mexico City's Teatro de la Ciuda; and headlined WOMAD festival dates in New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom.

Their second album explores new harmonic voices, new moods and styles and songs, while delivering the uniquely visionary music that only a "supergroup" of master musicians can. More emotionally direct than the debut, Martin Hayes has proclaimed "The album has more feeling than the first -- a simple joyfulness, euphoria and innocence."

Special note: February 26, 2016 was the album's digital release date. Physical CDs were released on April 8th.


- Casadh an tSugain | The Twisting of The Hayrope: "One of my favorite songs from the folk world in the 1970s is Micheal O Domhnaill?s rendition of Casadh an tSuugain. Paradoxically I never really sang it myself until quite recently- although Micheal was the first person to record me in a studio (Trend studios , in Dublin) many years ago. Casadh an tSugain/ TheTwisting of The Hayrope is a whimsical love story told in the usual shy and playful manner that characterizes many Irish folksongs when approaching the subject of love. Boy meets girl, calls around to her house only to be met by her rather protective mother who cleverly asks him to twist a hayrope ( which by the way were used for many a thing in 19th-century Ireland, though usually to fashion a seat for chairs- hence the phrase Sugan Chair). In his efforts to cooperate with the girl's mother, the young suitor compliantly twists the Hayrope but in doing so finds that as it lengthens he is once again outside the door whereupon it is summarily shut in his face by the ever expedient Matriarc."

- Slan le Maigh: "A paean to the poetry court situated by the Maigue River near Croom in County Limerick, Aindrias Mac Craith (1708-1795) one of the era's greatest composers of verse writes of his love of the poetic life, the company of the learned and the bliss of being at one with the learning space . All of this it seems resulting from having being asked to leave the school after an indiscretion. The sense of loss in this song which in English translates as Farewell to Maigue is palpable as is the wrench and pain of separation and the loss of status that ensues. This songs is further empowered by surely one of the finest melodies in our traditions's song hoard but the words themselves sing, constructed with measure and subtlety by a master of his craft."

- Cucanandy: "This is a song which comes to us from the singing of my great aunt, the late Elizabeth (Bess) Cronin . A simple and apparently quite jolly country woman from the West Cork region of Na Milini in the parish of Ballyvourney, where I myself was raised, she came to prominence in the Folk music world through recordings that were made of her by Alan Lomax for his now famous Folkways Collection in the early 1950's and by Jean Richie and The BBC's Seamus Ennis. This is a children's song, a rhythmic and playful lyric thought to have been deployed whilst bouncing a child on one's knee at playtime. There is however a strange verse at the song's end whose provenance is unclear and it is this unusual section that we frame as the focus in our version as it asks perhaps the most searching question as per the choice one makes to walk the road as an artist and musician. The answer, at least in this song is unequivocal."

Piper sell your pipes and buy your wife a gown
Piper sell your pipes and buy your wife a gown
Piper sell your pipes and buy your wife a gown
Oh I wouldnt sell my piipes for all the wives in town.

- Fainleog (Wanderer): "One of our great Myth tracts An Fhiannuideacht or Fenian Cycle recounts the life and exploits heroic of one Fionn Ma Cumhail, seer and superhero of the ancient gaelic world who with his comrades, known as the Fianna Eireann were tasked with the protection of the High Kings of Ireland. It was he who coined the phrase that the most valuable thing in all of creation was The Music of What happens. Much of there stories are contained in verse form known as the Laoithe Fiannuidheachta or Fenian Lays and in one of these we see the Fianna standing by a lakeshore where they see two swallows descend to them and take aloft a ring out over a lake where they let it fall into its depts. The swallows soar off then singing. We are left both with the lyric and the song simply to marvel at the happening.The word fainleog incidentally means Swallow as in the bird but also means, appropriately a wanderer."

The swallows
They came upon the Fianna
And took from them a ring.
And flew with it out over the lake
Where it fell, never to be seen again.
One, a russet bird with speckled wings,
Another, a little one within his mouth.
Circling aloft, girded by sky
The air sang itself.

Translation: Iarla O Lionaird

- Oisin's Song: "From within the many stanzas of the the same Laoithe Fiannuidheachta, there is an infamous section (at least to folklorists!) known as Agallamh Oisin le Naomh Padraig (Oisins interview with Saint Patrick). The Fenian world is aeons old but as it evolved through the centuries it's telling intersects with the arrival to Ireland of Christianity in the 4th century and (handily enough) St Patrick's arrival to our shores conincides with the return after a 300 year absence in the land of the forever young (Tir na_nOg) Fionn Mac Cumhaill's youngest son Oisin. It is told that he stooped from his horse to help the enfeebled moderns move an insignificant looking rock but in doing so fell from his mount and upon touching the soil immediately began to age, so rapidly in fact that within minutes he was near death. St. Patrick came to his aid but required that he be baptised and convert to the Christian message. Oisin's response always struck me as immensely powerful in it's telling of the Fianna's way of life- the beautiful strangeness of their totemic intersection with the natural world and the penetrating vividness of their expectation of what being alive should be."

- The Pilgrim's Song: "From the pen of poet Sean O Riordain (1916-1977) born one hundred years ago this song is a composite of two of his poems - Oilithreacht Fam Anam and A SheanFhili Muinidh Dom Glao ( A Pilgrimage of My Soul & Old Poets Teach me the Call). I'm not entirely sure why I chose to put these two poems together. Writing songs is not for me at least about being so sure. But something in the lyrics explains something to me, but i don't know what."

The land spoke like a temple
The Rivers journey was winding
to their knees the valleys genuflected
the sign of he cross on the branches

I heard the gospel on the wind
and holiness was upon the earth
This was where my first love lived
I'd not been this way for so long

I saw life like a tale from the Fianna
Long ago when it was morning
The way a magic wand takes the sword's shape
In the hands of children

There is a vision, that I know well
Simmering in the womb of my imagination
A bright flame without substance, a breath,
Pleading for an appropriate shape.