Lúnasa:The Joy of Timelessness In Traditional Irish Music



Lúnasa members: Kevin Crawford – flutes/whistles & bodhran
Cillian Vallely – uilleann Pipes & whistles
Sean Smyth – fiddle & whistles
Trevor Hutchinson – bass
Paul Meehan – guitar

My first introduction to the fabulous music of Lúnasa was through their second album Otherworld. The marriage of deep, tempestuous colors to the  serene patterns of water in the album artwork conveys the deep connection of Irish music to the spiritual world. In the tradition that spans thousands of years, the passion and love for immortality is embodied in the melodies that explains the visual symmetry of the Celtic artwork.

Eight albums later, the band is enjoying being on the road and playing their music to the enthusiastic audience of traditional Irish music. Lúnasa’s music is characterized by solid harmonies and varying styles. They take everything around them while creating their own distinctive signature sound. Irish melodies have always been marked by melancholia underneath the optimistic rhythm. But the use of the uilleann pipes, fiddles, tin whistle, bodhran and other instruments always captivate the soul with their vibrant sounds.

There is something poignant and uplifting in the albums of Lúnasa. I remember not letting a rainy day pass by without their music in the background. And the sounds are like raindrops themselves, creating patterns, ripples and effects. Never play any CD by them without watching the trees, the sky or the world outside your window. Because, when you do that something beautiful always happens. The music is very visual. It does something to the mind that is hard to explain. These days, with my working space moved outside, I enjoy the company of nature and occasional birdsong having a terrific call and response duet to the music.

In a world where everything comes and goes, where trends happen and then die, where people meet and disappear; it is great to find something as timeless as traditional Irish music. It is there to remind us that there is such a thing as immortality. It is in the soul. And the soul yearns for the music that speaks about it.

The new album ‘Lúnasa with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra’ is available soon. This will merge the virtuosity of this five-piece band to the grand treatment of the orchestra.


“A decade of excellence” (Irish Music Magazine, March 2007)

“The new Gods of Irish Music” (MOJO) / “The new Celtic royalty” (BOSTON GLOBE)

“The best Irish instrumental band on the planet” (IRISH ECHO – USA)

Lúnasa are internationally acknowledged as being the finest traditional Irish instrumental band of recent times. In October 1997, Ireland’s all-star quintet Lúnasa released their début CD Lúnasa, it became an immediate best-seller in Ireland, topping Hot Press’ folk charts and nominated one of the year’s top ten by the Irish Echo in the USA.

Since that auspicious beginning, Lúnasa has become one of the most sought-after bands on the international Celtic music scene, winning many awards including a nomination for Folk Album Of The Year in the BBC Radio 2 Awards and Best Traditional Album of 2005 in Irish Music Magazine.

Lúnasa’s sixth album Sé was released in 2006. One of the highlights of that the year was Lúnasa’s headlining appearance at Dublin’s National Concert Hall on 8th June. The concert was recorded by RTE Radio One for national and European broadcast.

2007 celebrated 10 years of Lúnasa. The BBC showed their support by filming their headlining show at Glasgow’s international jamboree, Celtic Connections – making Lúnasa the only band to have been filmed twice by the BBC at the event. The band also published their own book of tunes, Nótaí, compiled by band member Cillian Vallely.

Lúnasa’s most recent CD is “The Story So Far …”. This new CD encapsulates the band’s musical journey. It includes remixed and remastered tracks from all 6 Lúnasa albums and expansive liner notes on the band’s history with photographs across the past 11 years.


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