On their 2016 album NORTH, Belfast-born fiddle players Conor Caldwell and Danny Diamond seamlessly blend their shared northern musical heritage with the fruits of further-afield musical adventures to create a landmark contemporary Irish fiddle recording. New compositions sit at ease beside forgotten gems from old manuscript collections; rich and inventive fiddle textures drift in and out with fiery melody lines, while careworn tunes learned in childhood are re-imagined and re-arranged.
NORTH is the latest in a line of acclaimed contemporary traditional/folk records to have emerged from the Irish Traditional Music Archive’s Dublin studio, following the likes of Lynched’s Cold Old Fire and Diamond’s 2014 solo debut Fiddle Music.
The album was hailed as ‘a long-playing delight’ in Siobhán Long’s 5* review for The Irish Times (July 29th 2016), nominated for Traditional Album of the Year 2016 in the same publication, and described as ‘a gem of a recording’ by Tony Lawless in a review for RTÉ Culture.
NORTH’s striking cover artwork, an abstract representation of two fiddles, was created by fiddle-player and visual artist Sinéad Onóra Kennedy; with typography and design by Dublin-based designer, musician & artist Aki.
The project, which was financed in part by a Deis recording award from The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon, was launched on 3rd July 2016 at the Willie Clancy Summer School by traditional musician and researcher Aoife Granville.
CONOR CALDWELL is a fiddle player and traditional music researcher. He was awarded a PhD from Queen’s University, Belfast in 2013 for his thesis on the Donegal fiddler John Doherty. Conor has taught traditional music at Queen’s since 2011, where he also worked as a Research Fellow on The Irish Song Project. He has toured Europe and North America with the band Craobh Rua while establishing a reputation as a fiddle teacher in his native city of Belfast.
DANNY DIAMOND is a fiddle player, composer, researcher and recording engineer based in Dublin, Ireland. In his music Danny creates a unique sound-world, rooted in the rich heritage of Irish traditional music, but incorporating wider influences from Nordic and American folk to baroque music to electronic music.
Danny plays with the contemporary Nordic/Irish band Slow Moving Clouds and the Irish traditional band Mórga; his 2014 debut solo album, Fiddle Music, was widely acclaimed as one of the top Irish traditional releases of the year, and he is currently working on a follow-up solo project, Elbow Room, which combines new and traditional music with live loops and analogue electronics.