No Irish traditional band in the last dozen years has had a wider impact on audiences and music lovers throughout the world than Altan. And you can see them live at the Fox Theatre March 14 at 7:30.
Altan features co-founder, lead vocalist and renown fiddle player Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh, bouzouki player Ciarán Curran, guitarist Daíthí Sproule, and accordionist Martin Tourish. The band showcases traditional Irish language songs from County Donegal.
After thirty years of playing on stages all over the world from Dublin to New York, Tokyo to Sydney, Altan came back to the hills of Donegal to record their most recent album, THE GAP OF DREAMS. The 13 tracks transport the listener to the lifestyle of rural Donegal, to a time before electricity when folks would gather together in the mists of winter to tell stories, sing songs and dance into the wee hours of the night.
The music lifted the locals’ spirits and helped elevate them beyond the hardships of the day like famine, conflict, and emigration. The album title is borrowed from a poem by Francis Carlin, The Ballad of Douglas Bridge, in which he writes: “The Gap of Dreams is never shut,” referring to the gap between this world and the Otherworld. The Otherworld has always exerted a large influence on the fiddling tradition of County Donegal and has served as inspiration for song, music, and folklore.
Singer and founding member Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh became the 2017 recipient of the TG4 Gradam Ceoil/Traditional Musician of the Year, one of Ireland’s highest musical honors, recognizing her prominent role in supporting, nurturing and strengthening Irish traditional music, Four of the songs are in Irish (Gaelic), which is Mairéad’s first language and the language of the northwest of Donegal.