Turning Tides

by Claire Egan

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    I'm delighted to endorse this recording of a musician that I've been fortunate to witness from a young age as she developed into the phenomenal music maker she is today. At a time when there is a wealth of groups and artists out and about who fall under the banner of traditional Irish music and also plenty of quality fiddlers, it is particularly refreshing to hear such an unique fiddle voice. This voice is creative, adventurous and seductive yet always remaining within the confines of our musical tradition which often carries the simplest of melody line. This is where a musician of Claire Egan's musicianship flourishes. Her sweet tone, assured pace and skilful ingenuity allows Claire to delve into nooks, crannies and corners of tunes, effortlessly making them her own.
    To reach an understanding of music at this level a musician needs to possess the rare gift for listening intently to others. Being able to listen and incorporate sophisticated musical strategies indigenous to other players whilst making them ones own is a quality that Claire possesses in abundance. Her unique style has developed from the many influences her musical journey has brought her on. Although her music is very much of today, it displays clearly a respectful understanding of its origins. We are privileged that she shares her wonderful music on this stunning début recording and I'm delighted that Claire Egan sounds, well, just like Claire Egan!
    John Carty – May 2015

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I have to admit that this CD ranks with the top recordings of traditional Irish music, whether contemporary or historical. It is a refreshing review and regeneration of some classic favourites from the traditional repertoire, performed with exquisite artistry and creativity. This CD takes you on a glorious and vital journey through a great range of beautiful old tunes (and couple of novelties!).

Claire demonstrates her command and mastery of the violin and of the medium, the moods and modes of the traditional Irish music repertoire. Her playing reminds me of the swing style of the South East Galway masters. Her articulation and phrasing of the tunes presents a seamless melodic flow with dramatic use of stylistic elements – harmonic and melodic variation. Children, born to a multi-lingual early experience, handle languages with ease and natural expression in later life. Claire, likewise, nurtured in an Irish musical family and schooled also in the Classical repertoire, moves gracefully and with elegant sensitivity though a wonderful range of tunes in the traditional repertoire. In her playing, it is easy to recognize her attention and respect for traditional forebears; but her performance here is uniquely her own.

Claire’s exposure and performance of Classical scores not only has not hindered, but contributes to the possibilities in the delightful regeneration of the little cycles of the Irish dance tunes. She entertains a holistic view of music and finds it natural to move across genres. She finds adventurous and effortless artistic musical “pathways” in her creative forays into the traditional music repertoire.

Claire’s playing of the slow air is for me a poignant reawakening of the memories of my father’s beautiful slow air playing. He will be thrilled to hear this rendition - from another place. My great friend, the master fiddle player from Killaloe, Seamus Connolly – forever identified with the Boston College of music in the USA – will not, I trust, be unhappy with Claire’s playing of his composition, “An Carraig Rua”.

Claire has been showered with prodigious talent from the Almighty! She is sharing this gift with you in this CD. Thanks be to God.
Brendan Mulkere June 8th 2015


released October 13, 2015

Sinead Egan- Guitar, Mick Coneelly - Bouzouki, Jack Talty - piano


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