I play an Alvaro Spanish-made nylon-stringed guitar and live directly above Kinnegoe Bay where in September 1588 a Spanish ship – La Trinidad Valencera – went down in stormy seas. Captain and crew were treated fairly well by the ruling Ó Dochartaigh chiefs in the rolling sheep-filled hills of Inishowen, but a much harsher fate awaited these tired, shipwrecked Iberians at the hands of the Hovenden brothers and their Elizabethan armies. After they surrendered they pleaded for a safe return to Spain, but over 500 perished, many of them systematically put to the sword…
That’s about as close as I get to Spain on this album! The opening piece Romanca –often thought to be Spanish – is in fact a traditional French tune having gained popularity by its appearance in the 1952 film “Jeux Interdits” ( “Forbidden Games”)…
On Sheep May Safely Graze, Seoirse offers soothing melodies that intricately intertwine contrasting and complementary energies solidly underpinned by his polished style with its warmth and careful pacing.
This is an open-hearted offering of pure emotion, a passionate dance between fingers and strings played with focused attention, with the hesitant certainty and confidence of a lover whose hand hovers tenderly above the familiar skin of his beloved.
This music doesn’t rush. It flows with its own gravity, one melody into another as streams to the sea, sound and mood moving organically and transcendently from ancient traditional airs and classical pieces into the present, from pipes, harps and piano to Seoirse’s guitar.
All mythical journeys involve crossing water, the element of emotion. This collection carries us magically and gently, note to note, track to track, from one carefully placed stepping stone to the next. The notes’ clarity invites us to feel the full reverberation of each plucked string. The space between is full of harmonic resonance – the rich stillness found in the depths of a rippling lake, the breath at the heart of music or meditation, the air that supports both wings and arrows, leaps of faith and parting glances.
Each piece has its own natural grace, swinging light-heartedly down country lanes on sun-speckled afternoons or marching, dark and sombre, leaning into the melancholy landscape of a soft Irish day. Others tiptoe delicately across a tightrope or an empty room, then leap gracefully like a dancer who trusts they will be caught in strong sure hands.
Whatever its origins or mood, every melody here shines with its own distilled acoustic beauty under the spotlight of Seoirse’s tender touch.