Irish mythology and folk history
This CD is now available HERE
“The Arrows that Murder Sleep", - "It é Saigte Gona Suain"
at every hour of the cold night”
These were the words offered from the pit of Créd’s soul as she came across her lover, Dínertach, on the battle field in the year 649 AD. They are the opening line of the lament of Créd, an intense and visually told lament from Old-Irish literature. Her words have inspired both the music of the song “The Arrows that Murder Sleep” and the imagery of the album art (painted by Rónán Reilly)
This album is a collection of songs taken from Celtic literature and mythology, composed over the course of the past seven years. The music was composed in reaction to lyrics from ancient manuscrips that date back to as far as the 8th Century -and many existed in oral traditions prior to that.
Two great cycles are delved for lyrics and stories in this collection: The life of Colmcille, and the Battle of Clontarf.
The din and fame of the Battle of Clontarf resounded throughout the courts and literature of Europe in the centuries after the first millennium. In Ireland, the great chronicler, Mac Liag, recounted the battle, and politics and personalities surrounding the battle.
As far away as Iceland a 13th Century manuscript gives a Norse account of the battle. Both these tomes are seemed in this album for lyrics and perspectives of the battle and its personalities
In 1532 Maghnus O Dhomhnaill, at Port na dTrí Namhad (the port of the three enemies), wrote the definitive biography of Colmcille; the famous 6th Century Irish missionary monk who went to war over a book. It was the first time Colmcille’s life was collated in a recognisably biographical form. Earlier lives of Colmcille in Latin existed but, O’Domhnaill’s work was in the vernacular Gaelic in both style and language.
These two great legacies of our history are referenced in The Arrows that Murder Sleep. It includes a song about the first Copyright Decision in History, tales of the supernatural, and the sorrow of exile, that great topic of folk ballads in the past two centuries.
For editorial and design purposes the following high resolution images are available to download from flickr.
All images to be credited to the listed photographer/artist.