Voice & Harp Delights

Moya Brennan & Cormac De Barra - Voices & Harps
Moya Brennan and Cormac De Barra

Voices & Harps (2011)

Talented Irish musicians Moya Brennan and Cormac De Barra join forces on this outstanding album titled Voices & Harps. Moya Brennan has one of the most beautiful voices in Irish music while Cormac De Barra is an excellent harpist. Both musicians come from large musical families in Ireland. They have a mutual admiration for each other that quickly developed into one of the most exciting musical partnerships in recent Irish music history.

Voices & Harps is contemporary Irish Celtic music at its best, combining Moya Brennan’s mesmerizing vocal abilities with Cormac de Barra’s exquisite harp melodies. However, this is not a vocal and harp album. The arrangements are exciting and the two musicians are backed by a full band. The line-up includes: Cormac DeBarra (vocals, harp, keyboards, percussion); Moya Brennan (vocals, harp, keyboards, percussion); Kevin Armstrong (guitar); Aisling Jarvis (bouzouki); Maire Breatnach (fiddle, viola); Eamonn de Barra (flute, bodhran); Ian Parker (keyboards); John Reynolds (drums); Noel Eccles (percussion).

Moya Brennan is the singer of Clannad. I discovered her music many years ago when I watched the popular TV thriller Harry’s Game. Clannad composed the theme for the show and the vocals quickly attracted me. Thousands of Spaniards fell in love with her voice as well, since Theme From Harry’s Game became the theme of the eclectic radio show Diálogos 3 on RNE’s (Spanish National Radio) Radio 3. Moya Brennan has had an award winning career with Clannad and a successful solo career. She has collaborated with The Chieftains, Paul Brady and Bono. She is also part of the female traditional Celtic supergroup, T with the Maggies.

Cormac De Barra is renowned internationally as a harp virtuoso. He has worked with a wide range of artists, including Hazel O’Connor, Julie Feeney and Clannad. Cormac also tours and records with his brothers Fionán and Éamonn in the family group, Barcó. Besides his busy performing schedule he regularly gives workshops and masterclasses around the world.

Voices & Harps is a beautifully crafted album by two of Ireland’s most interesting musicians.

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. He was also the executive producer of the first Latino feature film made in North Carolina titled “Los sueños de Angélica.”.

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One thought on “Voice & Harp Delights”

  1. I had the opportunity to see Moya and Cormac (with their touring band) this past weekend at the Dublin (Ohio, in the U.S.) Irish Festival. Maire, Ian, and Aisling (Moya’s daughter) were present. Aisling played guitar primarily, but also contributed a bit on the high whistle. They performed wonderfully, despite oppressively hot and humid weather (92 F the day that I saw them). The group obviously enjoys playing together, and is very accessible to the audience. Moya’s voice was rich and lush as always, and Cormac was superb.

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