*CD and illustrated publication  *Album Release date 16th December at 8.30pm

With most of our means of escape from the every-day now beyond our reach; and this of course means no live music. But the artists and musicians are still working, creating new work for their audiences and striving to get it out to the world by whatever means possible. The release of An Bhuatais and the Meaning of Life  by Lorcán MacMathúna is a presentation that won’t disappoint. For while we cannot go to gigs and experience live performance, we can still immerse ourselves in the traditions of music song and written word, so evocatively put together by Lorcán MacMathúna.

This new album is the culmination of long and dedicated research into the depths and meanings of ancient Irish myths, histories and the music of the ancestors. MacMathúna is a composer and sean-nós singer for whom the beauty of vocal music and the history and tradition behind our indigenous music and story telling has great significance. The great themes of humanity and existence and their portrayal in Irish folklore, mythology and folk music are investigated through the 14 songs. For this recording MacMathúna was joined by Martin Tourish, Éamonn Galdubh and Daire Bracken , three  of the most accomplished instrumentalists on  the traditional music circuit.

The illustrated publication written by MacMathúna comprises essays, observations and commentaries on the topics he raises through the medium of these songs, and references the traditional tropes relating to the stories being told.  How our traditional tales link us to our global neighbours in space and time is inferred through references to Solzhenitsyn, Dostoyevsky, C.S. Lewis, Victor Hugo, Euripides and Sophocles.  Domestic references include the Táin, forced emigration, the National Folklore Society’s 1930s schools collections, Pádraig Pearse and sean-nós singers. The book concludes with a short history of each of the songs, followed by lyrics in both Irish and English.

MacMathúna suggests “Everything, from minor domestic rituals (such as putting the baby to sleep), to the symbolic manifestation of death, become part of folklore and folk music.” The questions now are:  How have our folk traditions dealt with societal structures and beliefs? Why do so many character types reappear in our mythologies? Are these creations of our imaginations based on reality? And what are the purposes of these narratives- simple entertainment or is there a deeper meaning, a lesson, a method to guide us all, both at home and globally, as we navigate the world?

It goes without saying – we know it all too well – 2020 has been tough. Gone is the live performance associated with album releases. No longer has the audience the opportunity to experience at first hand the culmination of those long dark days in the studio. Now, artists are experimenting with new ways to bring their work to their audience.

December 16th will see the launch of this really special production to its audience, with its beautiful presentation with gold foil print on the cover to the encased 120 page manuscript and the gently housed CD with music that transcends time. And with only 600 copies available, this limited edition CD will bring back some of the joy of the intimate live  performance.
This presentation of words and music will be of particular significance to anyone with an interest in the myths, traditions, and histories of Irish societies, music and culture. The complete package of book and album will be the ideal accompaniment through the cosy winter evenings and the crisp cool winter walks.
A thoughtful Christmas gift which supports Irish industry and the arts.  
*The complete presentation which includes the CD and a hardback publication costs €20 with postage nationally at €6. You can purchase An Bhuatais and the Meaning of Life here:

*The tracks will also be available on all streaming and download platforms, such as Apple itunes, Spotify, Amazon Music etc. and bandcamp.
Supported by An Chomhairle Ealaíon. This album launch was supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sports and Media.
*The album launch will be live streamed at 8.30pm on facebook

*Live stream of launch