Old Bridge Music

Dialogues: Agallaimh

1 Three Piece Suite
2 The Bessweing Hornpipe
3 Deiri n De _Midnight in Annemasse
4 Paddy Whack_Colonel Robertson_The Maid at the Spinning Wheel
5 Gol na mBan san Ar
6 Banana Yellow
7 I love my love
8 Donald Maclean's Farewell to Oban_Duntroon Castle
9 An Claa r Bog-De il
10 Twinkle Little Star
11 The Hidden Pearl
12 Cnoca inin Aerach Chill Mhuire
13 Swinging the Lead

Dialogues: Agallaimh


An intricately-layered album of musical conversations. Rare traditional gems from Ireland, Scottish virtuoso pieces and an old-time American toe-tapper set off elaborately-arranged new compositions with Irish, African, Caribbean and jazzy influences.

“This virtuoso duo test the limits of Irish music with touches of calypso, bluegrass and 40s-style swing. Newman’s hot guitar licks and Ní Chathasaigh’s bell-toned harp are delights”


Scroll down for Review extracts and Tracklist.

SKU: OBMCD14 Categories: ,


Agallamh, f., a discourse, a dialogue, a disputation

Dialogues: Agallaimh is an intricately-layered album of musical conversations. From the purest well-spring of Irish music come the 17th century solo harp piece Gol na mBan san Ár, the newly-discovered 18th century Hidden Pearl arranged by Máire for harp and string quartet – graced by the haunting violins of Máire’s sister Nollaig Casey – and an elaborate 19th century set of jigs. Two of the four songs are here recorded for the first time in these versions, one of them being in the beautiful free-form, uniquely Irish “sean-nós” style. The Scottish tradition is represented by the Beeswing Hornpipe and the Highland piping tunes Donald MacLean’s Farewell to Oban and Duntroon Castle. From this traditional core, they explore new musical styles and approaches to arrangement. Three Piece Suite, composed by Máire in a traditional style, gets a slightly African-influenced treatment. Other full band arrangements include the irresistably jaunty traditional American Twinkle Little Star and Chris’s compositions, the Caribbean-flavoured Banana Yellow and the jazzy Swinging the Lead.

Click to read Máire and Chris’ biography.

Chris Newman
guitars, mandolins, electric bass, keyboards; Máire Ní Chathasaigh Irish harp, vocals, tin whistle, keyboards, string arrangements; Nollaig Casey fiddles, viola, backing vocals; Simon Mayor mandolin on track 13; Iain MacFarlane fiddle on track 8; Liz Hanks cello; Roy Dodds percussion


1. Three Piece Suite (The Chestnut Tree/Ril an tSuaimhnis/The Copper Hills of Beara); 2. The Beeswing Hornpipe; 3. Deirín Dé/Midnight in Annemasse; 4. Paddy Whack/Colonel Robertson’s/The Maid at the Spinning Wheel; 5. Gol na mBan san Ár; 6. Banana Yellow; 7. I love my love; 8. Donald Maclean’s Farewell to Oban/Duntroon Castle; 9. An Clár Bog-Déil; 10. Twinkle Little Star; 11. The Hidden Pearl; 12. Cnocáinin Aerach Chill Mhuire; 13. Swinging the Lead

Review Extracts

“Sparkling virtuosity and incredible tightness… A rich and breathtaking album, in which the various styles and instruments discourse together with consummate ease, grace and joy.”

TAPLAS (Wales)


“A beautifully produced, tight album… virtuosic… terrific articulation and ornament… and the slow air Gol na mBan san Ár achieves immense, droned pathos…”

* * * * THE SUNDAY TRIBUNE (Ireland)


“This virtuoso duo test the limits of Irish music with touches of calypso, bluegrass and 40s-style swing. Newman’s hot guitar licks and Ní Chathasaigh’s bell-toned harp are delights.”



“Dazzling… The whole album is so littered with gems that I’m having difficulty in containing the superlatives. Just take my word for it: the playing on this album is so good it should be outlawed!”



“Wie immer mit augenzwinkernden Wendungen perfekt gespielt und glasklar gemixt.”

FOLKER (Germany)


“A judicious mix of lively dance tunes, lovely songs, classic Irish harp music, and general purpose fun.

Ní Chathasaigh, who invented the playing of Irish dance music on the harp, is in fine form… and her singing in Irish is clear and strong as the wind. Newman (is) one of the most versatile and just plain fun guitarists around…”



“Chris and Máire are off on another journey of musical discovery with this latest CD… the apogee of instrumental music.

It’s perfectly played and exudes warmth, passion and pleasure. Truly wonderful…”

TYKES NEWS (England)


“The term virtuoso is much overused these days but for once it is the only appropriate word to describe this duo.

The breadth of musical ideas, coupled with outstanding technique makes this a truly remarkable album… with a dramatic range of both instruments and performers. There are slip jigs and reels aplenty… with a sparkling clarity of sound which is a joy to listen to. At the other end of the scale is Gol na mBan san Ár, a deeply impressive and emotive slow air delivered with a stark and brooding simplicity… A gem.”

FOLKTALK (England)