Blas Glas

Blas Glas – Interview : Zoe Conway (9/12/2012)

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Zoë Conway and John Mc Intyre are delighted to announce the release of their first studio album as a duo entitled, ‘Go Mairir I Bhfad_Long Life To You’.

Back in Nov 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 slowairs, 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.

This album was kindly funded by The Arts Council and Music Network.

It is distributed by Tara Music and is also available on