A Year in Music – Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh

Button Factory 2013

Button Factory 2013

A Year in Music – Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh

We had the chance to talk to Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh about 2016. You can see the results below.

What music grabbed you in the last year, can be new or old?

Seán Mac Erlaine’s Duo Series in Dublin throughout the year was amazing, some of the best live music I’ve ever witnessed – the one with Eivind Aarset was magic, and the series finished in style with Jan Bang, one of the most delightful performances I’ve seen.  Otherwise, I got a sneak preview of Adrian Crowley’s new record when I was in studio with Thomas Bartlett – it is absolutely stunning.  And as regards traditional music, the new album of Tony Mac Mahon’s slow airs is seriously powerful.

Anything that fell short of expectations?

I try not to have too many of those, they only let you down 😉

2016 was a year punctuated by the deaths of significant musical figures (Bowie, Cohen, Lemmy, Prince).  Any personal thoughts about this?

I suppose I feel that the deaths that are significant to me are the ones closer to home, the people you knew and loved, real live human beings that you’ve spent time talking to, laughing with, sharing silence.  Those big names feel more abstract to me, if that doesn’t seem strange?



Have you come across any books, movies or other art forms that excited you in the last 12 months?

Spotlight, The Big Short and Room were all powerful movies.  I did some music for the documentary film “Atlantic“, the follow up to “The Pipe“, which had a strong message.  Black Mirror and Stranger Things were creepily incredible, two of the best on Netflix.


Do musical formats (records/CDs/mp3s/streams etc) play a part in your world?

CDs in the car, digital at home, yep.  Our record player is gathering a substantial layer of dust, and I haven’t picked up the habit of streaming music yet.


How are things for yourself, any plans for next year?

Recording a new album with This is How we Fly in January in front of a live audience in Dublin.  We’re just finishing up our FundIt campaign at the moment, and fingers crossed we’ll reach our target! (Ed: Interview from December, target achieved!)


I’m working on some solo stuff at the moment, and really hoping to get something together in 2017 in terms of a solo record.  I’ve been really inspired by Seán Mac Erlaine to delve into live processing and writing my own code.  I’m getting so much enjoyment from that at the moment, and I’m running the whole thing on a tiny Raspberry Pi micro-computer.  Watch this space!


I’ll be starting a fiddle retreat in West Cork in March called Springboard, starting small this coming year with space for only 15 participants, and I’m hoping it’ll grow organically then over the coming years in a direction defined by the people who become involved with it.

The Gloaming have a seven-night sold out run at the National Concert Hall that I’m looking forward to.  Myself and Thomas also have a bunch of duo stuff that may see the light of day at some point – we’ve more than enough material recorded for a beautiful album, I think.



There’s another record in the works too, a duo with Garth Knox that will come out on Diatribe Records at some point next year.  He’s a wonderful viola and viola d’amore player who lives in Paris, and he was over here last year as part of my duo series in the NCH Kevin Barry Recital Room.

And I’m hoping to do some more writing and recording with Dan Trueman too. The Laghdú album I made with him is still my favourite thing I’ve done so far.




Categories: Header, interview, Music, New Music

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