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Improvised Music Company & The Complex

Neil Ó Lochlainn's Cuar Album Launch

Neil Ó Lochlainn’s traditional/improvisatory chamber ensemble ‘Cuar’ launches their newest album in Dublin with an intimate acoustic performance upstairs at The Complex.

'Umhaill' Album Launch
Saturday 26th November, Doors 8pm
Tickets: €12 Early Bird until 20th Nov / €15 standard

‘Neil has an instinct and a feel for different strands of music that allows him to create uncompromised musical worlds that speak with real depth and authenticity’ - Martin Hayes

‘Umhaill’ is the second album by 30/30 artist Neil Ó Lochlainn’s acoustic chamber ensemble Cuar. The album takes its name from a suite of music written by Ó Lochlainn while resident at the Heinrich Böll cottage on Achill Island in September 2019.

History and landscape echo through Cuar’s works on this new album. The title track ‘Umhaill’ takes its name from pirate Gráinne Ní Mháille’s historic territory around Clew Bay, including Achill, while the deserted village at An Sliabh Mór near the cottage inspired more of the music. This album creates a cinematically vivid, dream-touched memory of Ireland’s past and present, expressed in music that uses a myriad of influences in its imagery - from south Indian rhythms to downtown jazz.

Ó Lochlainn’s variety of forms and approaches create unpredictable, in-the-moment soundworlds, often inspired by traditional dance and song forms. Where some of the works are notated in refined detail, others are loose sketches, inviting openness, spontaneity, and an indefinable, immediate presence of sound from the performers.

Cuar’s first album ‘Roscanna' was described by the Irish Times as “a long awaited, beautiful missive from the new post genre frontier”.

The album will be released on the 25th November and made available on CD and digital download.

Access notes
The performance space is up two flights of stairs and may be difficult to access for patrons with mobility issues.
The space is fully seated.
Gender-neutral toilet facilities are available on the ground floor.
If you have any other queries regarding accessibility, please contact us at admin @ improvisedmusic . ie and we will do our best to assist you.

More About this Artist

Neil Ó Lochlainn is a musician and composer from Clare. His work is dedicated to exploring the contemporary and the universal in the local. He has been described as "a musical seeker" (The Irish Times) and his work as "redefining the possibilities of Irish traditional music" (All about Jazz).

He began learning Irish traditional music on the flute and tin whistle in his locality at a young age and studied double bass with David Whitla at the Cork School of Music.

He is the co-founder and artistic director of Ensemble Ériu who, In 2015, received the TG4 Comharcheol Gradam. Their third album Stargazer was listed in Songlines’ 10 essential Irish albums of recent times. His chamber ensemble Cuar, which explores composition and improvisation within the framework of Irish traditional music, will release their second album ‘Umahill’ on Diatribe Records in November 2022.

As a jazz musician he has been bassist of choice for many of Ireland's leading musicians and was a member of the Louis Stewart quartet from 2012. He has received numerous bursaries and scholarships to attend workshops and residencies. He travelled to Chennai, India to study Karnatak music with Dr. K.S.Subramanian and has travelled throughout Ghana to study the traditional music of the Ewe and Dagara people. In 2019 he received the Next Generation bursary from the Arts Council.

Neil was chosen an IMC 30/30 artist in 2022/23, one of 30 outstanding artists shaping the future of improvised music in Ireland.

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