MEET ATLANTIC ARC
Atlantic Arc is a collaborative ensemble of renowned traditional musicians and singers from Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland, under the musical direction of Dónal Lunny, one of Ireland's most accomplished performers, composers and producers.
Having formed in 2016 for a series of one-off shows, including Cork Folk Festival and Celtic Connections, the members discovered a shared interest in further exploring and cultivating contemporary expressions of traditional music. “The heart of this music is found in the Celtic countries along the arc of the Atlantic seaboard, from the west of Ireland to the coast of Galicia and expressing it in fresh ways that link it into contemporary music” Donal Lunny.
Their debut single, My Son David, was released on 13th April '21 to an outstanding response from the media in Ireland. The song is a dark murder ballad and a conversation between a mother and her son. It is a variant of the song "Edward" associated with the singing of Jeannie Robertson from Scotland. The track features the vocals of Atlantic Arc’s two distinctly expressive singers, Pauline Scanlon and Jarlath Henderson.
Following the success of a recent Kickstarter project, the group will be going into studio in Autumn '21 to record their debut album.
"effortlessly straddled the ancient and contemporary. From an enormous respect for traditional music, he has always mined its depths to reveal fresh perspectives, so that it sounds utterly in step with the times, always at the cutting edge". The Irish Times
Dónal Lunny is popularly regarded as having being central to the renaissance of Irish Music over the last four decades. Since the seventies Dónal has toured across the world, collaborating with musicians of many different cultures and has had involvement with some of the most innovative bands to emerge from Ireland including Planxty, the Bothy Band, Moving Hearts, Coolfin, Mozaik, Triad, ZoDoMo, Usher’s Island, and more recently, Atlantic Arc.
Dónal co-‐founded Mulligan Records and produced 17 albums for the label. Since then he has produced tracks for, and collaborated on albums with Kate Bush, Mark Knopfler, Indigo Girls, Clannad and Baaba Maal among others. He produced the internationally acclaimed album for EMI ‘Common Ground’ that featured Bono, Neil and Tim Finn and Elvis Costello. He continues his work in studio production while occasionally composing music for theatre, television and film.
“Donal Lunny is legendary amongst the great and the good of the Irish music scene; think of any famous
band or musician in this country and you can be guaranteed that he has worked with them” The Irish Times
Bouzouki & Guitar
Pauline Scanlon is a unique talent in modern Irish folk and traditional music. Her voice is almost other-worldy and yet very definitely coloured and shaped by the landscape and tradition of West Kerry. As a singer, she reaches for an emotional expression that is both human and true and presents it to us in laser sharp high definition. As featured vocalist with the Sharon Shannon Band for three years and as a solo artist, Scanlon has entranced audiences the world over with her distinctly delicate intensity. Pauline Scanlon has two solo albums to her credit, ‘Red Colour Sun’ and ‘Hush” and has guested on over 50 recordings so far. She has contributed to many movie soundtracks including the much lauded “King Of The Travellers’. Pauline has begun recording her 3rd solo album with longtime collaborator John Reynolds.
In 2009, Scanlon along with fellow West Kerry chanteuse Éilís Kennedy formed the vocal group 'Lumiere' and subsequently signed to Sony records in Ireland. They have released 2 albums to widespread critical acclaim and have performed all over the world together from London’s Barbican Theatre to New York’s Carnegie Hall.
Pauline has performed and recorded with a wide range of artists including Damien Dempsey, Sinéad O’Connor, Karan Casey, Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh, John Spillane and Seamus Begley and has been involved with a wide range of collaborative singing projects including ‘The Irish Sea Sessions’, ‘A Stór Mo Chroí’ and ‘Homeward Bound’ all projects involving the leading exponents of Irish song.
From Dungannon in County Tyrone, Jarlath Henderson has been playing the uilleann pipes since the age of 10, having learned from Armagh Pipers Club teachers Brian Vallely, Mark Donnelly, Tiarnán Ó Duinnchinn and Eamonn Curran. A talented and versatile musician, Jarlath also plays whistle, flute, cittern and has been winning over audiences with song.
In 2003 he became the first and only person Irish person to date to win the prestigious BBC Young Folk Musician of the Year Award, which led to him being invited to play at some of the most prestigious festivals in Europe. Jarlath is a three times ‘All-Ireland Champion’ uilleann piper, a teacher both in Ireland and Scotland and has featured in numerous BBC television programmes on piping and music. In 2008 he released his first album, Partners in Crime (Vertical Records), with fellow border piper Ross Ainslie. The album received massive critical acclaim from the general folk world as well as both Scottish and Irish pipers and was voted 6th Best Folk Album of 2008 by Mojo Magazine.
In 2016 Jarlath released his debut solo album 'Hearts Broken, Heads Turned' reviewed as 'ground-breaking by the music media. Since then, Jarlath has released two critically acclaimed albums; ‘Raw’, an uilleann pipe-centred album showcasing Henderson in a more acoustic and instrumental role and ‘A Moment In Time’, a concept duo album of music alongside regular collaborator, Innes Watson.
“a benchmark for the new generation.” Scotland on Sunday
Vocals, Uilleann Pipes,
A highly talented multi-instrumentalist from Co. Clare, Tara has achieved All-Ireland titles on fiddle in every age category including the All-Ireland Senior Fiddle Title and is an All-Ireland winner on the flute and saxophone. Tara won the coveted ‘Fiddler of Dooney’ competition, the prestigious ‘Michael Coleman Fiddle Competition’ and the senior Oireachtas fiddle title. She achieved her Dip. ABRSM in 2007 in classical flute, graduated in 2011 with a BA(Hons) in Music and Arts, and in 2012 with a B Mus. Degree, she also qualified as a Traditional Irish Music teacher with Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, achieving her TTCT in 2011.
Tara was selected by Donal Lunny for the TV series, 'Lorg Lunny', which culminated in the band Ciorras. She then went on to join the Galician piper Carlos Núñez and in 2014 she joined the Chieftains.
One of the most in demand session musicians in music at the moment, Tara regularly tours as a member of the Chieftains and has recently toured with the well known dance show, Heartbeat of Home. In 2011 Tara was one of the musicians chosen to perform the Queen of England's visit to Ireland.
Sharon Howley is a multi-instrumentalist from Kilfenora, Co. Clare working both as a performer and educator. Sharon began playing cello at the age of 10 and is now one of the pioneers of cello within Irish Traditional Music, crediting her unique style of traditional cello playing to her deep immersion in Irish music growing up, drawing on techniques from other Irish traditional instrumentalists to create an authentic ‘traditional’ sound.
A primary teacher, with two first class honours Masters degrees in Music, Sharon works with a variety of musicians, groups and organisations as a performer tutor, composer and arranger.
Sharon is the youngest member of Ireland's world famous Kilfenora Céilí Band. In 2016 she began arranging music for the 13 piece group, later that year she arranged Michael Jackson’s 'Smooth Criminal' and the video went viral.
With two Masters degrees in music, Sharon tutors, writes and arranges music for a number of organisations and projects, and has appeared on many albums for a wide variety of artists. In 2020 Sharon received the TG4 Ceoltóir Óg na Bliana/ Young Musician of the Year Award and in 2021 she was featured in the TG4 television special 'A Celebration of Women in Irish Music'. 2022 will see the release of Sharon's debut solo album, a CD of Irish traditional music on cello.
Graham is an experienced producer, composer and musician whose sensitivity and minimalist approach to
Irish traditional music has afforded him a place playing, touring and recording with, as well as producing, some
of the greatest Irish artists.
He began his professional career playing accordion, guitar, piano and mandolin with Fairground Attraction
which brought international touring and 2 Brit Awards. Graham joined Coolfin in 1996 and since then has
continued to work with a wide array of Irish artists - Donal Lunny, Coolfin, Clannad, Iarla O’Lionard, Moya
Brennan, Paul Brady, Altan, Solas, Declan O’Rourke and Dervish, as well as a being a member of the legendary
Moving Hearts and was Sinead O’Connor’s keyboard player and MD for over five years.
Graham recently produced an album with BBC Lifetime Achievement Award winners Dervish featuring guest vocalists David Gray, Steve Earle, Vince Gill, Imelda May, Abigail Washburn and Rhiannon Giddens.
Born in Glasgow, Scotland to a musical family, Ewen began taking piano lessons at 8 years old. Singing competitions and local talent contests followed, but it was not until into his teenage years that the seductive shape and sound of the bass guitar soon became the focus of Ewen's musical aspirations‚ discovering an old guitar in the family loft he started to pick out bass-lines from favourite records, finally graduating to the 'real thing' at 16 years old.
From the early 1980’s, Ewen began playing in a variety of Glasgow-based bands and some jazz residencies throughout Scotland until he joined the newly-signed Deacon Blue in the Autumn of 1986. Until 1994, the band enjoyed huge world-wide success with over 4m album sales, 12 UK Top 40 singles, 2 Number 1 albums, TV, radio, and tours all over the world. 1997 saw Ewen join the ground- breaking folk/crossover band Capercaillie, with whom he is still an influential member.
From Scottish progressive-rock singer Fish, English folk star Kate Rusby, Hue & Crys’ pop-jazz, appearances with Lou Reed, Michael Brecker, Chris Rea, and many more, Ewens’ versatility and adaptability over a wide range of musical styles have ensured that he is always in-demand.
Davie Ryan is a drummer with extensive experience both nationally and internationally as a touring, recording musician and educator in a range of diverse genres including, pop, jazz, folk, rock, world and traditional music.
Acts that he works with on a regular basis include Notify, Ariel Posen, Jack O’ Rourke, Marlene Enright, The Niall McCabe Band, John Blek, Paul Dunlea, and Rubyhorse. He has wide- ranging expertise as a recording artist and has worked with many renowned studio producers, including Grammy award winning Jay Joyce (Tragedy/Tragedy Studios, Nashville) and Ciaran Byrne (Cauldron Studios, Dublin), Christian Best (Monique Studios, Cork) and John Fitzgerald (Lettercullum Studios), amongst others. Davie is a graduate of both UCC and of Cork School of Music and is a Senior Drum Tutor at the CIT Academy of Popular Music.
He also teaches part-time as a music tutor for Music Mash Up, an inclusive community-based program providing mentorship for kids and teens from various backgrounds and abilities in association with Music Generation, Cope Foundation, Voices of Cork, and Foróige.