Two of Ireland’s best known sean-nós singers have launched a CD to raise funds for The Alzheimer Society of Ireland.

MacDara Ó Conaola from the Aran Islands and Sarah Ghriallais from Connemara recorded Peigín is Peadar, a traditional duet, while working remotely under lockdown conditions during 2020. And while the two are admirers of each other’s work, they have yet to meet in person!

MacDara’s wife Anna encouraged him to contact Sarah after seeing a television documentary about her. Sarah is a former winner of Corn Uí Riada at An tOireachtas. She has done much to preserve and promote the tradition of sean-nós, for which her family is famous, and to encourage the next generation of singers. In 2017 she served as Sean-Nós Singer in Residence at NUI Galway.

From Inis Oírr in the Aran Islands, MacDara also comes from a musical family. He has recorded with the cream of Irish musicians and performed at home and abroad. He recorded an influential and critically-acclaimed album, The Love Token.

Both singers witnessed the effects of Alzheimer’s Disease on members of their families, and they saw an opportunity to do something to help.

MacDara and Sarah were ready to begin recording early in 2020, when the Coronavirus struck. Isolated from each other across Galway Bay, they turned to technology. Sarah’s vocals were recorded in Blackgate Studio in Galway, while MacDara worked at home on the Aran Islands. Pádraig Ó Broin played guitar and other instruments, with percussion by Cormac Dunne of The Stunning. The CD was mixed and mastered in Dublin by Ciarán Byrne.

Everyone volunteered their skills for free, and MacDara designed the CD cover.

Blacknight stepped in to sponsor web hosting and ecommerce. The site Peigí is hosted on our siteBuilder platform, and Blacknight shopBuilder provides the technology to allow people to buy the CD, or to buy and download the tracks in MP3 format. Users have the option to make an additional donation to The Alzheimer Society of Ireland, if desired.

The CD features 3 different arrangements of the song, with instrumental versions of each one so you can sing along. There are six tracks in total and the lyrics can be found at Peigí

Beidh tóir ar an CD ó dhaoine a bhfuil dúil sa gceol Gaelach acu, agus ó phobal na Gaeilge agus pobal na Gaeltachta in Éirinn agus thar lear freisin. Is féidir é a ordú ón suíomh idirlín Peigí Tá MacDara ag freastal ar na h-ordaithe agus ag seoladh na dlúthdhioscaí as Árainn ar fud an domhain.

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