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*Aisling Lyons. 

Multi-award winning harpist and concertina player Aisling Lyons has released her debut album.

Original compositions are featured among traditional Irish tunes in Aistear, Aisling’s debut album which was released on Friday. The holder of eight All-Ireland titles, she has performed and taught masterclasses in the UK, Shetland, Norway, France, Germany, USA, China, Canada and Australia. Her family is steeped in music and song.

Music has been an important outlet for the Newmarket-on-Fergus woman during difficult times including the death of her father John in 2019. “Aistear is a collection of some traditional tunes I grew up playing, my own compositions and tunes of other composers I admire. Music is an incredibly important part of my life and the compositional aspect has allowed me to express and explore emotion during difficult times”.

She continued, “Aistear is an expression of my journey to date – including the death of my Dad in 2019 and experiencing grief through the Covid pandemic. Aistear is also an expression of the fun and humour that I enjoy in music, the playful elements as well as the profound”.

‘Tune for Dad’ which is a composition of Aisling’s on the album was written when her father was ill, “I played it for him as a sort of get-well-soon tune really,” she recalled. “If there had been no pandemic, I suppose I wouldn’t have composed many of the tunes that are now on the album. So, while grieving, I channelled a lot of my emotions through music and composing.”

Her debut album has been described by legendary fiddle player, Martin Hayes as “a really lovely recording that I think any fan of traditional music would enjoy very much”. In August 2021, Buíochas, the first single from Aisling’s solo debut album was released and featured Paul O’Driscoll (double bass), Fergal Scahill (fiddle & viola) and Seán Lyons (guitar).

A past pupil of St Patrick’s Comprehensive in Shannon, Aisling graduated with a first class honours degree in Irish Music from the University of Limerick in 2021 and also got first class honours from the Professional Master of Education course in 2021 & holds a Grade 8 award with Distinction from the London College of Music.

Aisling is currently working with acclaimed Irish artist Aideen Barry,on a work commissioned by Music Network and the Irish Traditional Music Archives. In 2021, Aisling performed with Tolu Makay on RTÉ’s ‘Ireland in Music’ and for Michael D. Higgins’ 80th Birthday Celebrations on TG4. She is the current harp tutor at University College Cork and at the Irish World Academy of Music at the University of Limerick.

Aistear was launched at Ennis Trad Festival and its release was supported by Clare County Council.

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