Finola ó Siochrú is a traditional Irish "Sean nós" singer, whose albums Search mo Chléibh - Love of my Heart and Solas na Soilse - Light of Lights, have received critical acclaim.
Mo Scéal Féin:
Cé gur i mBaile Átha Chliath a rugadh ‘is a tógadh mé (sa chuid is mó), ba dheachair dom dúchas Chorca Dhuibhne a sheachaint. Chaitheamar gach aon samhradh i gCeann Trá, an áit inar saolaíodh m’athair, agus chuas chun cónaí ann sna hochtódaí ar feadh roinnt blianta. Cheapas ar dtús gur ó thaobh mo mháthar, áfach, a thánaigh féith an cheoil chugam. Amhránaí binn is ea í agus ba cheoltóirí a muintir i gCo. Na Mí – bhíodh banna ceoil acu don teideal "The Heather Breeze". Ach fuaireas amach gurbh amhránaithe agus ceoltóirí iad muintir m’athar leis, cé go rabhas ró-óg len iad a chloisint. Ar ndóigh, bhailigh mo shean-uncail Pádraig (An Seabhac) amhráin don leabhar "Londubh an Chairn" agus chum sé amhrán cáiliúil don teideal "Beir mo Dhúthracht". Bhíos im dhéagóir nuair a chuala an Clár Bog Déil don chéad uair ar an gcéirnín "An Ciarraíoch Mallaithe" agus sheol sé sin i dtreo amhráin na háite mé. Táim fíor-bhuíoch dos na hamhránaithe ar fad go bhfuaireas amhráin uathu ón am sin i leith.
A hauntingly beautiful album of Christmas songs from the Irish Celtic tradition with Bardic poems, songs of the people and contemporary sean-nos songs.
(Producer: Máire Breatnach)
This is a unique CD of Christmas songs in the Irish language which presents these beautiful songs, many of which have never been commercially recorded before, in a way which is immediately accessible to a mainstream audience. Produced by Máire Breatnach, the overall effect is warm, sensitive and enlivening.
The CD features many different types of song, with varying styles of accompaniment, from the full ensemble sound of guitar, fiddle, viola, uilleann pipes, button accordion, flute and bodhrán (eg Tracks 3 and 10) to the simple, unaccompanied voice on a few tracks. The sensitive, subtle guitar style of Bill Shanley provides the perfect support for the clear, pure singing of Finola Ó Siochrú on such tracks as “Suantraí na Maighdine”(Track 15), “A Dhia na Nollag” (Track 2) and “Oíche Nollag” (Track 1).
Produced by Máire Breatnach (who also plays keyboard, fiddle and viola), it features vocals by Finola Ó Siochrú, Bill Shanley on guitar, Éamonn Galldubh on uilleann pipes and flute, Tomás Ó Briain on button accordion and Fionán de Barra on bodhrán.
All of the songs but one could broadly be described as being in the traditional idiom, but here receive a very contemporary treatment. They cover the whole spectrum of songs in Irish from 17th century Bardic poems, to folk songs, to recent compositions based on poems by contemporary Irish poets. Also included is one song in Scots Gaelic with the original Scottish air which Cat Stevens used for “Morning has Broken”.
So, “Light of Lights”, with such a rich variety of songs, both old and new, offers a new and fresh palette of Christmas sounds, with something for everyone.