Altan is an Irish music group, playing traditional music in the Donegal style. The group was formed in the early 90s, after an album by founding members Frankie Kennedy (Irish flute) and Mairead Ni Mhaonaigh (fiddle), Ceol Aduaidh (“music from the North” in Irish gaelic)
Mary Bergin was born in Dublin in 1949, and starded playing the whistle at the age of 9, after hearing Willie Clancy (Uilleann Pipes) in concert. She moved to Spiddal, where she still lives today. She plays with Alec Finn (De Danann) and the group Dordan, and teaches the whistle.
Born in 1932, in Cloonfeighrin, Co Mayo, near the Sligo border, Roger Sherlock started playing on a Clarke whistle. He emigrated to London in 1953, and played with all the big names of that period; he recorded for Raidio Eirinn’s Job of Journeywork, and played with the Dunloe, Hibernian et Thatch Ceili Bands. He returned to live in Ireland in 1996.
Paddy Carty was born in 1929 in Rafford, Loughrea, Co. Galway. He played on a Radcliff System instrument, a keyed flute with similar fingering to the simple system flute, which allowed him to play in a traditional style, but also to play in keys not normally used by flute players.
His playing style is flowing and rhythmic, without being too fast or overdone with ornamentation. He often played with Paddy Fahy, a fiddle player in the melodic style of the area.
Déanta were an ITM group from Antrim in Northern Ireland, with wooden flute, fiddle, whistle, vocals and accompaniment on guitar, keyboard and harp. Their music is in the Northern style, wioth evident Scottish influences (the song “Culloden’s Harvest, or the highland “King George IV”) The recorded 3 albums, Déanta, Ready for the Storm and Whisper of a Secret, traditional Irish music in contemporary arrangements.
Colin « Hammy » Hamilton was born in Belfast in 1953 and started playing the Irish flute in the 70s. In 1979 he created the first Irish wooden flute making workshop, in the village of Cuil Aodha, Co. Cork. He still makes flutes today.
Irish flute player Peter Horan was born in Killavil, Sligo, in 1926. His mother played the fiddle and concertina, in a region where the fiddle was the predominant instrument. Surrounded by fiddlers, Horan developed a unique style on the flute; he also plays the fiddle, influenced by Michael Coleman and the music of southern Sligo.
The group Boys of the Lough was formed in 1967, and is still making music today. Their first album, Boys of the Lough, was released in 1972 with Cathal McConnell (flute, song) Robin Morton (song, bodhran, concertina) Aly Bain (fiddle) and Dick Gaughan (song, guitar)
Their music mixes the Irish and Scottish traditions with outside influences like Scandinavian music. In a career spanning over 30 years, they have released 20 albums.