The musicians of the Gloaming are awash with independent projects so a rare performance by this Irish supergroup is a decided must-see. Watch one here.
WNYC’s New Sounds series allowed me to catch the Gloaming for the first time, a band I had been following for the past nine months or so having missed their prior performance in New York with the Kronos Quartet. During that time, their debut self-titled album was released and though it may have only found a small audience so far, it earned massive applause from the primarily European outlets that picked up on it. The Gloaming has its primary roots in Ireland and consists of Iarla Ó Lionaird’s traditional sean-nós vocals and organ, Thomas Bartlett / aka Doveman on piano, Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh playing the hardanger fiddle, Martin Hayes on fiddle and Dennis Cahill on guitar.
Their album is one of my favorites of 2014 and also one of ‘New Sounds’ host John Schaefer’s favorites as well. With as much music as he sees or hears, that ought to be a big deal made even more notable when he shared with the audience that he was actually on vacation that week but felt compelled to come in to introduce and chat with the band. Video of the conversation and performance is below and you should check it out—as Schaefer said, “anytime I’ve got people to sit down and listen to [this album] they’ve loved it too.” If you don’t have a chance to stream it now, I’ll share some highlights. Pay close attention to Raghallaigh’s impressive Norwegian hardanger fiddle as the custom designed piece has numerous sympathetic strings, some made of gut, that is a challenge to play and even to tune (Hayes is the center-point for a reason though). It isn’t an instrument I was familiar with before.