Photo: Gearóid Ó Maonaigh
Ciarán Curran · Martin Tourish · Dáithí Sproule · Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh · Mark Kelly

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Altan's New Project: The Gap of Dreams

Míle Fáilte, a chairde!

Thirty years on the road and we’re at work on a new album to celebrate our long and happy road. We are looking for your help with our Pledge Campaign in order to record the album later this year, in Donegal, where our music, tradition and connections are rooted. We are really happy to have been able to do so much to bring the music and song of Donegal to the world and to contribute to its popularity as far afield as Japan and New Zealand as well as much nearer home.

The working title of our new project is “The Gap of Dreams” an expression in a beautiful ghostly poem, The Ballad of Douglas Bridge, by Francis Carlin, referring to the portal between this world and the Otherworld — “the gap o’ dreams is never shut’, says the poet. This is particularly true in the Donegal music tradition, where fiddlers often learnt tunes from the fairies, people were very aware that the Otherworld is always close, and musical giants such as the Dohertys, the Cassidys and the Campbells were well acquainted with the mystery of inspiration, where tunes and words indeed pop unbidden from an unseen realm that lay all around in the bogs and hills. We are actively walking the hills and valleys looking for fairies, to learn a few new tunes and songs for this new project. Can't wait! Pledge now…

The Gap of Dreams

Support the Altan Pledge Campaign to record The Gap of Dreams. We have a myriad of new gifts for you to avail of!

Altan: The Tunes

Altan are delighted to present their first printed collection of instrumental music. Spanning thirty years, twelve studio albums and comprising 222 tunes across its 206 pages, this book delves into the history, folklore and the composers and musical heroes from whom the music was collected.

Harmonic arrangements have been specially edited for accompanists and a range of photographs are placed throughout that chart the many friendships and adventures that come with years of playing music around the world.

Each chapter begins with an insight into the thought process behind the making of each album, underpinned by an in-depth introduction from Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh that paints a vivid picture of the people, places and events that inspired the band to begin and to continue its journey.

Read more and purchase online...

Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh receives Musician of the Year Award at TG4’s Gradam Ceoil

The premier award in the field of Irish Traditional Music every year is TG4’s Gradam Ceoil. These awards are given on the basis of achievement, excellence and creativity. This year, we were delighted that our own Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh received Musician of the Year at the Cork Opera House in recognition of her achievements as a fiddler, singer, broadcaster and lifelong supporter of the the tradition! Comhghairdeachas, a Mhairéad!