Celtic Joy

About 'Celtic Joy'


Label:Sounds True

As a young girl growing up in County Cork, Ireland, Nóirín Ní Riain learned more than 1,000 traditional songs from an elderly villager. Today, her angelic soprano is recognized worldwide. On Celtic Joy, Nóirín is joined by her sons Eoin and Micheál O’Súilleabháin to present an album for the Christmas season that offers songs of joy and grace.

“Although mostly from the Christian tradition,” explains Nóirín, “for us each song is an echo above and beyond the sounds of the universe. It is ‘theosony,’ our word for ‘the Sound of God.’” Recorded in the monastic chapel of Glencairn Abbey in County Waterford with only sparse organ accompaniment, these 17 tracks include notable classics such as “the Coventry Carol,” “Ave Maria,” and “Kyrie Eleison,” plus seldom heard songs “Lead Kindly Light,” “Caminus Ardebat,” and more.

What better way to capture the essence of the Christmas season than through the kindred voices of a mother and her two sons? Of their increasingly popular live performances as the ensemble A.M.E.N., Nóirín says, “Something happens in the space between the three of us that humbly and truthfully leads both the singers and the listener high up into realms of the divine.”