"Technical brilliance, a flamboyant style and a versatility
that seems to encompass every form of traditional music of countless
countries, as well as classical music, mark out Máirtín O'Connor
as a squeeze box player in the very top echelon."
Máirtín began playing the accordion at the age of
nine, and his remarkable career has seen him as a member of many
of traditional music's leading groups including, Midnight Well,
De Dannan, The Boys of the Lough, and Skylark. His first solo album
'A Connachtman's Rambles' established him as a solo musician and
proved a major critical success. The album remained in the British
Folk charts for a considerable period. Máirtín's second solo album
'Perpetual Motion', released in 1990 is one of the best accordion
albums ever produced by an Irish artist and displays his astounding
skill, dexterity and versatility to the full. The release in 1993
of his 'Chatterbox' album gave further evidence of his outstanding
technique, imagination and compositional talent.
Máirtín's infectious and irresistible style and constantly
growing status has kept him very busy not only with live concerts
but also as a session musician on recordings by many national and
international musicians such as Rod Stewart, Elvis Costello, Mark
Knofler, Tanita Tikaram, Townes Van Zandt, Chieftains, the Dubliners,
Davy Spillane, Maire Brennan, the Waterboys…..
Máirtín also played on the very prestigious Paris
Mussette (vol 2) as series of records chronicling the history of
the mussette, featuring top French accordion players which is included
in the Phonographic History of French accordion Music.. As a soloist
he has performed with the RTE Concert Orchestra on Bill Whelan's
Seville Suite and in 1995 he played a major role in Bill's world
renowned 'Riverdance' . He has also worked on the music for Shakespeare's
'Twelfth Night' featuring Ben Kingsley and written by Shaun Davey,
plus Bill Whelan's 'Some Mother's Son'.
Also in 1995 Máirtín became the first recipient of
the Allied Irish Banks, Traditional Musician of the Year award at
a ceremony in his home town of Galway. The award was to acknowledge
the tremendous contribution made by Máirtín to traditional Irish
Music and in particular accordion music.
The Road West' his fourth solo album features thirteen
of his most recent compositions including the title track 'The Road
West' Many of his compositions here draw from his traditional roots
and he enlists the services of some of Irelands' finest and accomplished
musicians, many of whom he has played with over the years and the
result is one of his finest works to date.
In 2003 Máirtín was invited to compose some music for Dublin's St.
Patrick's Festival fireworks display. Needless to say, he found this
a wonderful challenge and having looked at the portfolio of the group
F fireworks team, featuring their work around the world, he was stunned
by the beauty, grandeur and complexity of their displays, his musical
response to this is the Rain of Light Fireworks Suite. Also included
on the recording are some other compositions of Máirtín's that match
the spirit of the occasion.