Michelle Mulcahy is one of Ireland's most talented and gifted multi-instrumentalists in Irish traditional music today. Her array of instrumental mastery spans the harp, concertina, piano, fiddle and accordion. Michelle is considered to be one of Ireland's most adroit and creative harpers. She is currently pursuing her PhD studies in Arts Practice at the University of Limerick. Michelle Mulcahy focuses on the harp on this album.
Debut solo album by Michelle Mulcahy to launch at the Willie Clancy festival
Deputy Chairman of the Arts Council, accomplished harpist, and former secretary of the organisation, Cairde na Cruite (Friends of the Harp), Aibhlin McCrann, will launch the debut solo album by Michelle Mulcahy on the harp, Suaimhneas, at the Willie Clancy festival on Sunday, 8th July at 4.00 p.m. in St. Joseph's Secondary School, Spanish Point.
"Something akin to magic happens when an artist is born into a musical world... Straight away, the listening ear can tell the mark of these early events and all that they bequeath, the quiet confidence in the music itself and its time-tested ability to carry the secret messages, the unassuming capacity to wear extraordinary skill and mastery so lightly... "- larla O Lionaird
"Her revolutionary style on the harp is scintillating - played with power and panache, no concession to the complexity of the instrument, confirming her as one of the most significant musicians redefining harp at present" - The Living Tradition.
Martin Wynne's No2:
The Luachacran's Jig:
- Martin Wynne's No 2/Humours of Lissadell/The Duke of Leinster
- The Battering Ram/Winnie Haye's/The Cordal Jig
- Galway Bay/The Peacock's Feather No 2
- Amrhan Mhainse
- Castletown Connors/Father Quinn's/Tell Her I Am
- Micho's Mason's Apron/Jackson's/Cathair Rua
- O'Carolan's Cup
- Mary Shore/Brid Harper's/The Luachrachan
- The Morning Star/Paddy Fahy's/The Shallow.
- An Bhuatais
- Miss Galvin's/May Ban
- The Karen March
- Mick O'Connor's/Lad O'Beirne's/Matt Peoples
- O'Sullivan's March/Celia's Jig/Whelan's Old Sow
Also available from Copperplate:
CICD 160 The Mulcahy Family: Notes From the Heart
CICD 180 The Mulcahy Family: Reelin' in Tradition
R2 4 star review
Michelle Mulcahy comes from a well-known musical family. Playing with her sister Louise on ?ute and her father Mick on accordion, Michelle is an accomplished ?ddle and concertina player. However, the harp has become her main focus in recent years.
Michelle is justi?ably regarded as one of the finest harpists in Ireland today. Her playing is sublime, with lyrical interpretations of jigs, reels and hornpipes. Michelle's skill as an arranger is perhaps best demonstrated in the set of reels, 'The Morning Star'/'Paddy Fahy's'/'The Shallow', where subtle bass notes urge the tunes forward with a steady momentum.
Suaimhneas translates as calmness, tranquillity, serenity or relaxation — all of which perfectly describes this beautiful recording. Keith Whiddon
Irish Music Magazine
Where harp albums are concerned tune set based collections are commonplace nowadays as opposed to the minority. This hasn't always been the case of course as some decades ago (not centuries) the majority of harp recordings had the gentle stringed menagerie as accompaniment for songs plucked gingerly to accommodate repertoires gleaned from the Castle cabaret and Mary O'Hara songbook. Interestingly enough it took an outsider in the guise of Alan Stivel to show us how dance tunes could be scored for the harp and not loose face. Since then playing jigs and reels on the harp has become established and that history lesson is enforced with the emergence of Michelle Mulcahy's debut solo album Suaimhneas.
The Mulcahy family genes are steeped in traditional music so the material here is predominantly pure drop trad as much as the harp allows for. Michelle's playing is assured on Martin Wynnes No 2 and The Battering Ram and suitably restrained on Amhran Mhuainse. A slender contemporary thread exists in her self-penned The Karen March composed after a visit to Mae Li refugee camp on the Thai Burmese border and Celia's jig (named after her mother Celia) also alludes to a promising compositional talent. The strings ring and resonate in all the right places and Michelle's confident playing exudes commitment and love for her instrument and muse. Suaimhneas makes all the right noises and indeed pulls all the right strings. John O'Regan
www.liveireland.com Margeson on the Music Oct 12
Speaking of immediate contenders for Female Musician of the Year, here comes the wonderful Michelle Mulcahy, also with a brand new album form Clo-Iar Chonnachta. Entitled, Suaimhneas. There are only a few harp players in the world who have a truly distinctive style. The prodigy, Michelle Mulcahy is one of them. To be this good, this different, this special, this early-this is great. If you think you know what the Celtic harp can sound like, get hold of this gem. You'll begin to understand that all instruments have far deeper possibilities in the hands of a master than we can calculate. Along with her brilliant sister, Louise, on several instruments, the most notable being the uilleann pipes, and dad, Mick on button box, she has been involved in traditional music literally all her life-and at the highest levels. This solo album immediately puts her on the inside track for Female Instrumentalist of the Year. It will be an interesting contest between her and Clo-iar-Chonnachta label mate, Karen Ryan (above). Tough choice. Very, very tough. Music of the gods from these two women. Bill Margeson