Biography/Beathaisnéis (Courtesy of the Artist’s site, 2005)
Lasairfhíona Ní Chonaola (pronounced Lah-sah-reena Nee Huneeluh) has much to recommend her. Her new CD An Raicín Álainn (An Rack-keen Ah-lyn - The Beautiful Comb), launched at The Interceltic Festival in Lorient, Brittany, 2002 continues to receive critical acclaim.
Although her style is deeply rooted in the sean-nós singing tradition in her home on Inishere, the Aran Islands, a broad range of contemporary music has influenced her. Lasairfhíona beautifully delivers different styles of singing on this album: some passed on to her from her family, traditional melodies that have not been recorded before; her new compositions, and her arrangements of lyrics by the Aran writer Dara Ó Conaola.The CD is produced by Máire Breatnach, who also provides some beautiful musical accompaniment along with Mary Bergin, Johnny McDonagh, her brother, MacDara (singer), and others. It was chosen as one of the top 10 Folk/Traditional albums of 2002 by HotPress music magazine and the American Celtic Connections radio show chose An Raicín Álainn as one of the “Best of Irish” CDs released in 2002. Lasairfhíona has taken part in many radio and television programmes on RTÉ, for example The Late Late Show, Up For The Match, The John Creedon Show and she performed on the documentary programme about Sinéad O’Connor. Lasairfhíona was the subject of a special documentary about her life and singing on Léargas, RTÉ. fRoots music magazine described her album as “one of the most sumptuous albums of traditional singing to have emerged for some time.”
A graduate in Celtic Studies from Trinity College Dublin, Lasairfhíona Ní Chonaola was a lead singer on the much acclaimed CD of Irish sacred songs Lights In The Dark, produced by Hector Zazou and chosen by The Irish Times as one of the best albums released in 1998. She sang at the prestigious Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland.
Q:What does her name mean?
A: Lasairfhíona is an ancient Irish name that means 'Flame Of Wine'.
Q:What is Sean-nós?
A: Literally Sean-nós means ‘old way’. It is the oldest form of singing in Ireland. Sean-nós songs are usually sung unaccompanied. Excellent examples are the Irish language love songs: Úna Bhán, (Fair Úna), An Caislean Gearr (Castlegar) and the lively song Bean Pháidín (Páidín’s Wife). Ornamentation is subtly used by the singer to emphasize certain words/aspect of the song. Sean-nós singers mainly come from the Gaeltacht (Irish speaking regions) in Dongeal, Galway, Cork, Kerry and Waterford.
You can listen to short samples from some of the tracks from this artist using the player below.
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