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VAR­I­OUS ARTISTS Sraith Oileán Acla/Achill Is­land Suite ★★★ In­de­pen­dent Re­lease

An ex­plo­ration of the shared harp­ing and pip­ing tra­di­tions of Achill Is­land and Scot­land, Sraith

Oileán Acla is so much more: an ex­ca­va­tion of the so­cio-po­lit­i­cal cross­cur­rents that have nour­ished the two places through the years. West High­land singer, piper and com­poser Allen MacDon­ald is at the heart of this live premiere record­ing, but it’s the col­lec­tive com­mu­nity voice that rev­els in its own story here: tales of tatty hook­ers and of pride in place (Dou­glas Hyde’s Éiróimid

Feasta) si­dle up along­side the beau­ti­fully in­ti­mate Dul go

hAl­bain, where whis­tles and harps trace the odyssey of the Achill Is­land potato pick­ers as they jour­neyed to Scot­land. Although still in evo­lu­tion, this is a fine snap­shot in time of a meitheal in its truest sense: a com­mu­nity col­lab­o­rat­ing with verve and imag­i­na­tion. achill­harpfes­ti­ SIOBHÁN LONG

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