When a dream is born from love and passion, it will never fade away. Altan, the traditional Irish outfit, is that dream come to life. Formed three decades ago by Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh (vocals/fiddle) and her husband Frankie Kennedy (flute/tin whistle), their shared musical vision became reality on a few duo recordings before forming a full-fledged band – Altan. Even though Kennedy passed away in 1994, Mairéad and her bandmates have continued to keep the musical dream alive. In 2018, they release the beautiful and inspiring THE GAP OF DREAMS.
According to their label, “THE GAP OF DREAMS transports the listener to the lifestyle of rural Donegal, to a time before electricity when folks would gather together in the mists of winter to tell stories, sing songs and dance into the wee hours of the night. The music lifted the locals’ spirits and helped elevate them beyond the hardships of the day like famine, conflict and emigration. It is this spirit that informed the development of the band through their many phases of growth from a duo performing in pubs to international touring and recording artists.”
From haunting ballads to enchanting instrumentals, this is an album that is rich with emotion and a sense of wonder. While they take their craft seriously, there is still a sense of playfulness in the jigs. In keeping with the band’s original intentions, four of the songs are in Irish (Gaelic), which is Mairéad’s first language, and the language of the northwest of Donegal.
If you long for inspiration, it is time to step away from your daily routine and enter THE GAP OF DREAMS.