CAITLÍN & CIARÁN
fiddle – concertina – dance
Acclaimed musicians each in their own right, Caitlín Nic Gabhann and Ciarán Ó Maonaigh have joined forces to create one of traditional music’s most impressive acts. The pair’s spirited music and dance is rooted in the tradition; brimming with soul and life. Through fiddle, concertina and dance, Caitlín and Ciarán breathe fire into musical pieces, combining their arts with chemistry and energy.
Caitlín and Ciarán have a connection as deep as the Irish folk traditions they come out of. Their music is a joyful unleashing of talents learnt at the hearths of their parents, family and friends.
Ciarán’s fiddle is complimented by Caitlín’s concertina and dance, her footsteps expertly tapping out the rhythms and elevating the duo’s musical excellence.
“Caitlín Nic Gabhann and Ciarán O Maonaigh are two of the finest instrumentalists on the Irish traditional scene. Individually they are stunning but together they bring a freshness and excitement to the music that is uniquely their own. ”
Robbie O’Connell (The Clancy Brothers)
“Ciarán has that Donegal fiddlers’ knack of being technically exact, fearless and free. Caitlín’s concertina is no less thrilling as she expands perceptions of the instrument. It was her feet that lifted us though in the showpiece ‘Belfast Hornpipe/Ms. McLeod’s’ with sublime synchronisation of her dancing shoes and Ciarán’s playful fiddle. The gasps were audible”
New York Irish Arts – March 2015
Three time All-Ireland champion on concertina, Caitlín is a regular performer at festivals and in concert halls from North America all the way to Asia. She is also an accomplished dancer and has toured the world with Riverdance as a troupe dancer. Writing tunes since the age of ten, her compositions have been performed in the Cork Opera House and The National Concert Hall, Dublin and recorded by renowned musicians in Ireland and abroad. She teaches concertina annually at summer and winter schools in Ireland, Europe and USA and has performed with the RTÉ Vanbrugh Quartet, Paddy Keenan, Liam Ó Maonlaí, for Presidents and Royalty around the world, most recently at ‘Ceiliúradh’ in the Royal Albert Hall, London as a guest of President Michael D. Higgins. Her debut solo CD release, Caitlín was voted the 2012 ‘CD of the Year’ award by tradconnect.com as well as being labelled the ‘top Irish traditional album of 2012’ by The Wall Street Journal.
Raised in a house full of music in Co.Meath, Caitlín learned most of her music from her father Antóin Mac Gabhann, a noted fiddler and fiddle teacher and his playing has greatly influenced her style and rhythm. Another great influence was Caitlín’s concertina teacher, Meábh Ní Lochlainn. When it comes to dancing, Caitlín’s mother Bernie is immersed in the Clare set-dancing culture and she passed a love of this on to her children – Caitlín being her dance partner at ceilís from a young age. Bernie and her brother John Murphy have influenced Caitlín’s dancing greatly, as have Willie Keane, Aidan Vaughan and Tommy Browne.
A first class honours graduate of both University College Cork and Trinity College Dublin, Caitlín is currently concentrating on musical collaborations with the award-winning fiddle player and documentary maker, Ciarán Ó Maonaigh. She is also involved as musician and dancer with bands NicGaviskey, Birkin Tree, The Irish Concertina Ensemble and original theatre production Mag Mell– www.magmellshow.com.
Ciarán Ó Maonaigh – fiddle
A former recipient of TG4 Young Musician of the Year, fiddle player Ciarán Ó Maonaigh hails from the Gaoth Dobhair gaeltacht in Co. Donegal. Growing up, he was heavily influenced by his extended family; his grandfather and teacher Francie Mooney, Altan members Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh and Frankie Kennedy, Derry fiddle player Dermot McLaughlin as well as the Donegal fiddle legend John Doherty amongst others.
Ciarán first album Ceol a’Ghleanna/The Music of the Glen was released in 2004. He is also a member of the band Fidil along with Aidan O’Donnell and Damien McGeehan, and they have released 3 acclaimed albums. Fidil, released in June 2008, was described by Irish Music Magazine as “One of the most challanging and beautifully austere albums of the last fifty years”, 3 was released in 2009 and was awarded both a 5 star review and CD of the week in The Irish Times. In 2011 The Old Wheel of Fortune was released with Songlines magazine declaring it “one of the finest albums to emerge from Ireland this decade.”
Ciarán’s music has been used in films, on television and on radio programmes including the award winning short film Noreen written by Domhnall Gleeson and starring Brendan Gleeson.
In the television industry, Ciarán works mostly in the field of music documentary making. He has produced music documentary’s for TG4 including – Cairdeas na bhFidiléirí and the acclaimed John Doherty – Ar Leirg na Gaoithe, which was awarded the Celtic Media Award for Best Arts Documentary in the Celtic countries in 2013. In 2009 he presented, produced and directed an hour long documentary for TG4 on his late grandfather entitled Francie Mooney – Áit i Mo Chroí. He has worked as a production co-ordinator, researcher and presenter on numerous television series’ for TG4 and RTÉ television and radio such as Sé Mo Laoch, Cérbh É, Cérbh Í, The Raw Bar, Geantraí, The Full Set and Ceolta Chiaráin.