Conway + John Mc Intyre
Tara Music are delighted to announce the release of the first studio album as a duo of Zoë Conway and John Mc Intyre entitled, ‘Go Mairir I Bhfad_Long Life To You’.
Back in November 2010 Zoë and John commissioned twelve leading Irish composers to each compose a piece for fiddle and guitar with the aim of collectively presenting a snapshot of traditional Irish music alive today. The renowned composers who took part in the project were Liz Carroll, Steve Cooney, Frankie Gavin, Andy Irvine, Charlie Lennon, Donal Lunny, Máirtín O’Connor, Peadar Ó Riada, Mícheál Ó Súilleabhán, Tommy Peoples, Niall Vallely and Bill Whelan.
With no guidelines other than; “for fiddle and guitar, and between 3 and 6 minutes long”, the new music created for the recording is a diverse variety of pieces and styles. All composers draw from a deep knowledge of Irish traditional music, and they often show influences from other parts of the world. The collection includes familiar Irish music forms such as slow airs, jigs and reels, although forms from other traditions are also present, for instance Irvine’s, ‘Twenty Two’ which is inspired by a Bulgarian dance rhythm. Some of the new music remains firmly rooted in the tradition, with carefully crafted melodies which are proud of heritage and could have been written any time in the last 150 years, including ‘One for Sorrow, Two for Joy’ by Tommy Peoples and ‘Ríl Zoë’ by Peadar O Riada. Despite the influences of jazz, classical, eastern European and Latin modes and time signatures, the album plays as a complete work. Pieces follow seamlessly in a simple, uncluttered recording linked by two intimate instruments and the constant thread of Irish musical heritage.
Zoë, no stranger to the stage, has performed with an impressive list of international artists including Riverdance, Damien Rice, Lou Reed, Nick Cave, Rodrigo y Gabriella. In contrast to this, Zoë has been an important figure within the more classical music circles in Ireland, as her discipline has allowed her the pleasure of appearing as soloist with acclaimed orchestras such as The Irish Chamber Orchestra and the BBC Symphony Orchestra; pieces recited include works composed for her by world renowned Irish composer, Bill Whelan.
John began his career on a very different course, as electric guitarist with indie band, The Revs. Through this he has also known the privilege of performing on many famous stages and festivals across the globe. John studied classical guitar as a teenager, and has a strong background in traditional music, having spent many summers in south west Donegal.
Together, Zoë and John are a musical force to be reckoned
with, and audiences in Ireland and beyond keep coming back for more.
"Some musicians hanker after the spotlight
as much as they do the tunes. Others lure listeners to the heart
of the music – and then for bonus points, urge them to seek out
the source themselves. Whether it’s Glenn Gould’s incandescent
reading of Bach’s Goldberg Variations, Reinhardt and Grappelli’s
invigorating take on European jazz and French gypsy music, or
The Gloaming’s freeform interpretation of the Irish tradition,
a two-way conversation is at play.