Virgin (VE 40, 1989)
A very unusual album, this - featuring as it does an adventurous mix of Ireland's finest traditional musicians in several original pieces of contemporary orchestral music (plus one trad/arr) by pianist and composer o'Suilleabhain, who is now Professor of Music at the University of Limerick. This is no lame new-age crossover music, but sparky, rhythmic stuff which makes richly imaginative use of all the musical palettes at the composer's disposal. At times it's reminiscent of Chick Corea, at others, it's like Bill Whelan's best work with Davy Spillane and in Riverdance. The core piece on side 2 is "Oilean/Island" a suite in 3 movements. Musicians on the album include: Matt Molloy on flute; Colm Murphy on bodhran; Mel Mercier on bones; Tony McMahon on accordion; andThe Irish Chamber Orchestra.