“Absolutely extraordinary… One of the Best Albums I’ve Heard This Year. Musically the gang are firing on all cylinders; thematically it’s fascinating; and historically it is horrifying and illuminating in equal measure…Wonderful music, fascinatingly presented”
Bernard Clarke, RTÉ Lyric fm ‘In the Blue of the Night Show’
“A work of singular genius…This brilliant suite of songs practices its own apparent witchcraft, seducing you straightaway with its beauty.”
“The wonderful ..innovative Irish ensemble Anakronos – which features the voice of Catriona O’Leary, Deirdre O’Leary’s clarinet, Nick Roth’s saxophones and the keyboards and percussion of Francesco Turrisi…… delivers an exquisite and refreshing sound in a saturated world that is slowly forgetting its ancient musical roots …a stunning bridge between the past and the present.
Best Albums of 2020
“A new take on what music can do and say. As O’Leary and Anakronos evince, music need not simply entertain us—it can also educate us.”
Colleen Taylor, The Irish Echo
“My anticipation soared when I opened the CD booklet, a beautiful production in all the key areas of design, historical background, musical intention and musicianship– particularly the latter.”
Dick O’Riordan, Sunday Business Post
“An innovative and exalted musical experience…The Red Book Of Ossory is a singularly effective combination of medieval melodies and contemporary psychedelic jazz, triumphantly portraying humanity’s duality in its music. It’s undeniably beautiful, but always with some dissonance—often subtle—sleeping beneath each track.”
Lori Lander Murphy and Owen Murphy Irish Philadelphia.com
“A recently-formed ensemble with a hint of the supergroup about them…as the debut album from Anakronos grows more familiar, it reveals and revels in layer after layer of sinister chills and thought-provoking arrangements and effects….Anakronos don’t sound quite like anybody else”
“One of the lovely things about the disc is the freedom of the music and the performances. The original medieval melodies are present and recognisable, yet treated with a flexibility and freedom which comes from the performers’ traditional music and jazz backgrounds. In style the disc is sui generis, reflecting the varied backgrounds of the performers who have synthesised influences into something entirely original.”
Robert Hugill, Planet Hugill
“Caitríona O’Leary has a lovely, bell-like voice with clear articulation and sensitivity to the Latin text. The performances are interesting, the sound is quite attractive, and not to be dismissed – a recommendation for this enjoyable collection.”
Michael Wilkinson, MusicWeb International
“The Red Book of Ossory” was written by a 14th century Irish Bishop for his trebles. Now this spiritual collection of songs enchants us to sinfully beautiful effect on the debut recording of the medieval jazz quartet Anakronos. The bell-like voice of early music chanteuse Caitriona O’Leary charms her way through between keyboards, a clarinet, the saxophone, and the folksy Irish bodhrán like a cat between the legs of the assembled party guests.”
Winifried Dulisch, Audio Magazine
“…The contemporary sounds heard here capture the essence of these beautiful, interesting pieces.”
Jan de Kruijff, Musicalifeiten
A specially-priced CD bundle of Roger Doyle’s three album releases on Heresy Records is now available from the Heresy Shop.
Available for a limited time only – it includes:
Roger Doyle’s opera which premiered in 2016 as part of the 50th anniversary celebration of Dublin’s renowned Project Arts Centre. Based on the life and works of the 16th century genius Giordano Bruno who was burned at the stake for heresy after a nine-year long trial by the Vatican.
THE HERESY OSTRACA
A remarkable remix and re-working of music from HERESY.
The album centers on a series of answering machine messages of Doyle’s family, close friends, colleagues and lovers, all of them recorded in and preserved from the late 1980’s.
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On Friday 29th May 2020 Isotopia Records will release a digital EP entitled The Quarantine Triology by Constance Hauman. It includes four tracks, three of which were written in March 2020 prior to the lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic in New York, NY. The recording marks Hauman’s first foray as a solo pianist and her first release of purely instrumental music. The recording features Hauman (piano), with contributions from the celebrated jazz virtuosi, Ross Pederson (percussion, synthesizers) and Julia Adamy (bass).
One of the most versatile performing artists on today’s contemporary music scene, Hauman’s rich imagination continually leads her to new realms of self-expression and artistic creation. In The Quarantine Trilogy she articulates her personal experience of the most disruptive, isolating, yet communally shared event of our time.
Following two highly acclaimed solo vocal albums – created with co-producer Ross Pederson – singer/ songwriter Constance Hauman leaves the vocals behind on The Quarantine Trilogy and channels her voice into the piano. The tracks Panacea, Total Lockdown and Apollo are real time improvisations between Hauman and Pederson. They were recorded at Isotopia Studios on the eve of New York City’s lockdown resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic. As social distancing regulations interrupted their recording sessions, they decided to leave the three tracks in their improvised states with the exception of Apollo for which Pederson and Julia Adamy remotely added drums and bass.
Spirit is an improvisation created by Hauman and Pederson on 13th January 2017, three days after Barak Obama’s Farewell Address. What began as an improvisation between strings and piano, became a moving tribute to President Obama’s legacy. Pederson asked Hauman if she wanted to add vocals or lyrics. Looking out the window at the full moon, Hauman said ‘There is only one voice I want to hear right now.’ They took phrases from Obama’s speach and added them to the track.
Since Spirit’s release on Soundcloud in 2017, the track has received over 85,000 streams internationally. Hauman comments on the inclusion of Spirit on this recording, ‘Given the uncanny and unsettling timing of this catastrophic pandemic and with the virulent and divisive political climate of this election year, it seemed fitting to add Spirit to the Quarantine Trilogy’.
The Quarantine Trilogy will be distributed digitally by Naxos and available on all major streaming and download platforms including, Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon, Soundcloud, Deezer, etc.
Ireland Performs, Facebook & Culture Ireland present Caitríona O’Leary in an online programme of unaccompanied songs: Ansacht na nAnsacht (Love of Loves).
On Saturday May 2, 2020, Heresy Records’ recording artist Caitríona O’Leary will perform an online concert of unaccompanied songs for Ireland Performs, an initiative to support presentations by Irish artists in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The event will be streamed through Caitríona’s social media channels and will also be carried on Culture Ireland’s Facebook page.
Ansacht na nAnsacht (Love of Loves) – Ireland Performs
Saturday May 2, 2020 at 12.30pm (Ireland/UK)
WATCH LIVE at that time
Ireland Performs was launched on April 3, 2020, attracting over 120,000 viewers from around the world during its first week. Funded by Facebook Ireland and Culture Ireland, a division of the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Ireland Performs has hosted artists including Mick Flannery, John Spillane and Sharon Shannon.
Caitríona’s performance of Ansacht na nAnsacht (Love of Loves) was conceived to celebrate the glory of unaccompanied song – a genre in which she is a recognized master.
“This music is a special genre of vocal art called sean nós…in this type of singing O’Leary is a master” – General Anzeiger (Bonn, Germany).
The repertoire for this concert is organized around themes of love and nature featuring songs from the 13th – 20th centuries including medieval songs, sean nós songs and folksongs from Ireland, Scotland and America.
Lori Lander Murphy‘s piece on the irishphiladelphia.com website highlights Caitríona O’Leary‘s latest release Both Sides Now (Ón Dá Thaobh) – an Irish language version of the song Both Sides by Joni Mitchell.
In it, Caitríona O’Leary says of Joni Mitchell:
“She’s such an amazing songwriter. Her music just bowls me over, it really does. I can’t sit through all of the album ‘Blue’ without just being an emotional mess, reduced to tears every time. It’s so unique, actually, she has a voice all her own – her singing voice, but also a poetic voice. She just touches on subjects and brings everything to life, she brings a whole story to life in just a few words. I think she is absolutely remarkable, so it was a total joy for me to immerse myself in her music and her songs…”
“I think it is possible to just understand yourself and your environment better through a variety of languages…And so I’m also singing songs that are newly translated/transcreated into Irish, or another language, and where that language then takes the song that it wouldn’t have gone before. So, for instance, I wouldn’t sing Both Sides Now the same way in English as I sing it in Irish. It would bring out something different, different musical passions and different musical results.”
Both Sides Now (Ón Dá Thaobh) marks Heresy Records’ first recording released exclusively for digital streaming and download services. The song is now available on Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon, Deezer and numerous other digital service providers.
On Friday 24th January 2020, Heresy Records will release a digital single version of Joni Mitchell’s iconic song, Both Sides Now, in an Irish language translation sung by Caitríona O’Leary. She is accompanied on the recording by guitarist Dick Farrelly.
Both Sides Now (Ón Dá Thaobh) was translated into Irish by the renowned Dublin-based poet Gabriel Rosenstock. The song was first performed by Caitríona O’Leary and Dick Farrelly in May 2016 in a production – starring O’Leary – entitled Sweet Fire: The Joni Mitchell Project as part of IMRAM Féile Litríochta Gaeilge (IMRAM Irish Language Literature Festival) and the International Dublin Literature Festival. Sweet Fire later toured throughout Ireland.
Both Sides Now is one of the best-known songs by Canadian singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell. First recorded by Judy Collins, it appeared on the U.S. singles chart during the autumn of 1968. The next year it was included on Mitchell’s album Clouds (which was named after a lyric from the song). It has since been recorded by dozens of artists including Frank Sinatra, Willie Nelson, Gang of Youths, and Herbie Hancock. Mitchell herself re-recorded the song, with an orchestral arrangement, on her 2000 album Both Sides Now.
Mitchell is said to have written Both Sides Now in March 1967, inspired by a passage in Henderson the Rain King, a 1959 novel by Saul Bellow. The following quote by Mitchell describes her inspiration for writing the song.
“I was reading Saul Bellow’s Henderson the Rain King on a plane and early in the book Henderson the Rain King is also up in a plane. He’s on his way to Africa and he looks down and sees these clouds. I put down the book, looked out the window and saw clouds too, and I immediately started writing the song. I had no idea that the song would become as popular as it did.”
Both Sides Now (Ón Dá Thaobh) marks Heresy Records’ first recording released exclusively for digital streaming and download services. The song will be available on Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon, Deezer and numerous other digital service providers.
Colleen Taylor‘s article The best Irish Christmas albums to listen to this holiday season in IrishCentral recommends Caitríona O’Leary‘s The Wexford Carols.
“This is an album that any Irish-American, any Irish person, and any lover of Irish history or music needs in their collection.”
“The Wexford Carols preserves Christmas tradition in Ireland, recreating the choruses sung in the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries, at midnight mass out in the fields. What could be more important at Christmas than an audible reminder of how music links us with the people, the stories, and the histories of centuries past?”
Holiday Special Offer!
Two Great Festive Bundles & The Wexford Carols CD
Five years ago Heresy Records released the Billboard #1 hit The Wexford Carols. To celebrate this anniversary, we are offering discounts on The Wexford Carols CD and a bundle including The Wexford Carols and two special edition holiday vinyl 7” singles from The Dublin Drag Orchestra.
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Berlin-based composer Boris Bergmann’s THE RICHTER SCALE is a new hour-long composition in eleven sections for musician and machine which uses the metaphor of turbulent geological upheaval as a social and political metaphor for the times in which we live.
The work will be performed and programmed by Steinway artist, Ji Liu on the Steinway D Spirio/r, the world’s finest high resolution player piano.
Wednesday 20th November 2019 at 6:30 pm
Steinway & Sons,
44 Marylebone Ln, Marylebone,
London W1U 2DB, United Kingdom.
Reception to follow – RSVP
Snoop Dogg’s website Merry Jane premieres Phat Blunt – Miss Velvet and the Blue Wolf’s first music video with George Clinton
Merry Jane have premiered the new high-octane video Phat Blunt by Miss Velvet and the Blue Wolf featuring George Clinton.
Directed by Gabriel “Video God” Hart, the video was shot across four countries on three continents that Parliament-Funkadelic and Miss Velvet and the Blue Wolf recently visited during their latest tour, which included the same scenic detours through Japan, Hawaii, and Australia featured in the video.
Read all about the track and the video on Merry Jane
“The Irish composer Roger Doyle received the honour of Saoi, the highest award open to an Irish artist. Doyle was presented with the symbol of the office of Saoi, the gold Torc by Irish President, Michael D. Higgins on 16 August 2019. The honour is bestowed by Aosdána, the state-supported association of Irish artists. Former award-winners include Samuel Beckett, Seamus Heaney, Brian Friel and Louis Le Brocquy.”
Michael D. Higgins praised the “exceptional body of work” of composer Roger Doyle at a ceremony to mark his election as a Saoi of Aosdána.
Two German websites Der Hörspiegel and Blueprint Fanzine have reviewed High Tides, the latest release on Isotopia Records by Constance Hauman.
“An impressive treasure trove which provides something for diverse moods.”
“Encased in a red digibook with a white design, you will find a CD in addition to a comprehensive booklet. It includes ten songs that Constance Hauman – a singer with classical training as well as an actress, pianist, songwriter and a producer – has recorded for her new work. The album begins with the title track, followed by a pop inspired song called “Run Sister”. Constance Hauman then explores different genres and styles, which demonstrate her skills in a broad sense. Overall, this album proves to be an impressive treasure trove which provides something for diverse moods.” – Michael Brinkschulte, Der Hörspiegel
“Constance Hauman perfectly understands her craft, knows how to use her voice in the right way and does so with real dedication.”
“In the latest delivery of CDs which I received from Blueprint, there were a lot of very strange albums. “High Tides” by the multitalented-artist Constance Hauman also belongs in this category of strange, yet enthralling music. This lady, who is in demand as both an opera singer and a pop singer, brings to light an album that creates a sense of tension between electro, ambient, classical, Wave, jazz, funk, pop and much more. Sometimes I want to call it a darker version of Kate Bush, but there are really no possibilities for comparison, at least I can’t think of any, perhaps I’m just too limited here. What I can say for sure is: Constance Hauman perfectly understands her craft, knows how to use her voice in the right way and does so with real dedication. Whether it bubbles, rings or rocks it hardly matters, what is prominently on display is the artist’s range. In my opinion, a particularly inspired track is “Lonely Xmas” a song that utterly hits its mark.” – Blueprint Fanzine
“With her sophisticated style and unique delivery of Folk, Traditional and Early Music songs, Caitriona O’Leary is no ordinary chanteuse. Her most recent recording The Wexford Carols is a seasonal mix, and a collaborative work with guests: Grammy nominee Roseanne Cash, Welsh singer Rhiannon Giddens and Tom Jones.
The twelve carols, all centuries old, narrate the biblical Christian story, lyrics interwoven intricately with orchestral, sometimes folksy musical arrangement. Produced by Joe Henry and Heresy Records, The Wexford Carols should be all-year-round recommended listening.”
RTÉ lyric fm has featured Heresy Records on its Sound Out with Ian McGlynn show from Sunday, March 31.
Included in the broadcast was music from Caitríona O’Leary, The Dublin Drag Orchestra, Mel Mercier and the Roger Doyle track Eighties Rampwalk from Heresy’s 2018 compilation of Irish electro-acoustic music A Map of the Kingdom of Ireland.
Listen to the podcast – Heresy Records section begins at 11′