Éalú (pronounced “Ay-lou”) means escape, evasion, (unheeded) elopement, passage (of time, of tide). As each of these meanings has significance for me on my continued journey through life, Éalú seemed an appropriate title for the album. Thirteen years have passed since my last musical journey, and it has been a privilege this time to work with 17 talented musicians and five singers from four countries – Africa (Nigeria and the DRC), America, Ireland and Japan. The album contains 10 new instrumental compositions of my own, most of which are contained in the title track, Éalú, which runs to 9.5 minutes.
It is also my privilege to feature four new compositions by other musicians – two by Alan Griffin, one by Roger Doyle and the last by an unknown Spanish composer.
Also included are two songs and five works from the Irish tradition. The new material recorded here, I believe, is all the better within this shared space, drawing on each participant’s recorded contribution, adding varied shades of colour to this album of foreign links.
A difference between this album and other recordings of mine is that I do not play any high whistles: I play Susato low whistles in the keys of C, D, Eb, F and G. Also, unlike other previous recordings, there are no reels featured.