I Could Read the Sky

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Mark Schwartz
Of all the Irish music that's exploded on the global scene -- the Riverdancing, fiddling, piping, and whatnot -- pure traditional Irish a cappella, the style called sean nós in Gaelic, remains immune from commercialized razzle-dazzle. That's because the starkness of this haunting, ornate music has a habit of stopping listeners dead in their tracks. Iarla Ó Lionáird is a young master of this ancient art. Perhaps better known for his role in the Afro-Celt Sound System, Ó Lionáird had his solo debut on the excellent THE SEVEN STEPS TO MERCY, a down-tempo affair matching his beautiful tenor with droning ambient music. For I COULD READ THE SKY, another stunning outing, Ó ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Mark Schwartz
Of all the Irish music that's exploded on the global scene -- the Riverdancing, fiddling, piping, and whatnot -- pure traditional Irish a cappella, the style called sean nós in Gaelic, remains immune from commercialized razzle-dazzle. That's because the starkness of this haunting, ornate music has a habit of stopping listeners dead in their tracks. Iarla Ó Lionáird is a young master of this ancient art. Perhaps better known for his role in the Afro-Celt Sound System, Ó Lionáird had his solo debut on the excellent THE SEVEN STEPS TO MERCY, a down-tempo affair matching his beautiful tenor with droning ambient music. For I COULD READ THE SKY, another stunning outing, Ó Lionáird broadens the sonic palette with the addition of guitar 'n' fiddle duo Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill and the vocal companionship of Sinéad O'Connor. Inspired by the movie of the same name, SKY's mix of traditional and more ethereal soundscapes contrasts Ireland's pastoral heights with modern Britain's dreary industrial towns, without resorting to ham-handed cliches like techno beats or crunching guitars. That subtlety is what's especially enchanting about Iarla Ó Lionáird's modern Irish music: Unlke the majority of Celtic-inspired recordings that purport to transport the listener with cloying effects, Ó Lionáird's heartfelt singing truly opens up the mystery and timelessness of Irish song.
All Music Guide - Rick Anderson
Iarla Ó Lionáird's second solo album is a significant departure from the first. For one thing, I Could Read the Sky is a film soundtrack or, in the currently more popular phrase, a collection of "music written for and inspired by the film", so it's necessarily more impressionistic and programmatic. But it's also quite a bit more beat driven than its predecessor, and, therefore, a bit more reminiscent of Ó Lionáird's work with his regular band, the Afro Celt Sound System. Even with the beats, the music is invariably moody and generally downtempo. Ó Lionáird's haunting voice has much to do with that overall mood; on the very dark "Iron and Gold" and his arresting version of "I Am Stretched on Your Grave," his voice soars like a bird over a rocky and twilit landscape of synthesized chordal washes and tweaked drum loops. But the judicious use of eerie spoken-word samples "Knuckles to the Marrow," "In England" contribute to that ambience, as well. Other highlight tracks include a typically impeccable performance of "The Old Road to Garry" by fiddler Martin Hyes and guitarist Dennis Cahill. A surprise disappointment is Sinéad O'Connor's anemic performance of "Roisin Dubh." Highly recommended overall.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/10/2009
  • Label: Real World
  • UPC: 884108008324
  • Catalog Number: 84
  • Sales rank: 212,880

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Dream (1:37)
  2. 2 I'm Stretched on Your Grave (7:53)
  3. 3 Mother (4:45)
  4. 4 In England (2:50)
  5. 5 The King (2:07)
  6. 6 Iron and Gold (5:48)
  7. 7 The Old Road to Garry (5:04)
  8. 8 Consecrate (6:22)
  9. 9 Knuckles to the Marrow (6:47)
  10. 10 Prayer (2:58)
  11. 11 Grace (2:49)
  12. 12 Róisín Dubh (7:50)
  13. 13 The Mountains of Pomeroy (4:27)
  14. 14 Singing Bird (4:51)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Iarla Ó Lionáird Primary Artist, Piano, Harmonium, Keyboards, Vocals
Noel Hill Concertina
Martin Hayes Fiddle
Ron Aslan Keyboards
David Bottrill Piano, Keyboards
Caroline Dale Cello
James McNally Bodhran
Sinéad O'Connor Vocals
Dennis Cahill Guitar, Mandolin
Dermot Healy Spoken Word
Felix Howard Double Bass
Technical Credits
Noel Hill Arranger
Ron Aslan Arranger, Programming, Producer
Sinéad O'Connor Arranger
Mike Coulson Art Direction
Iarla Ó Lionáird Arranger, Producer, translation
Athena Connal Graphic Design
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Very good

    Thought provoking

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews