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After thirty years of playing on stages all over the world from Dublin to New York, Tokyo to Sydney, the premier traditional Irish band, Altan came back to the hills of Donegal to record their new album, The Gap of Dreams. The 13 tracks transport the listener to the lifestyle of rural Donegal, to a time before electricity when folks would gather together in the mists of winter to tell stories, sing songs and dance into the wee hours of the night. The music lifted the locals’ spirits and helped elevate them beyond the hardships of the day like famine, conflict, and emigration. It is this spirit that informed the development of the band through their many phases of growth from a duo performing in pubs to international touring and recording artists.
Singer and founding member Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh became the 2017 recipient of the TG4 Gradam Ceoil/Traditional Musician of the Year, one of Ireland’s highest musical honours, recognising her prominent role in supporting, nurturing and strengthening Irish traditional music.
‘Unhurried and richly stitched, with arrangements that let the music shimmer, Altan are back – with gusto.’ The Irish Times
‘A breathtaking and vital recording of Donegal music from its premier exponent, Altan, and a return to their earlier sound from decades ago with lots of breathing room and stunning virtuosity. Mairéad’s vocals are in full sail and beautifully recorded. The band has now crossed a generation but continues to set the standard for Irish Traditional Music.’ Bill Verdier, WXNA, Nashville