Albam leis an amhránaí iomráiteach sean-nóis Treasa Ní Mhiolláin as an Sruthán, Árainn. Cloisfear ar an dlúthdhiosca dúbailte, Lán Mara, 19 amhrán traidisiúnta i nGaeilge agus i mBéarla. Ina measc, tá 8 amhráin a cumadh in Árainn, rianta nár eisíodh ariamh cheana.
Tá 30 bliain caite ó d'eisigh Treasa a halbam aonair An Clochar Bán ar chaiséad i 1989. Ó shin i leith, tá méadú ar a clú mar dhuine de na hoirfidigh is breátha de chuid na hamhránaíochta traidisiúnta in Éirinn. Le breis agus 45 bliain, tá sí ag canadh go náisiúnta agus go hidirnáisiúnta. Freisin, tá sí tugtha le fada do theagasc na hamhránaíochta sean-nóis do ghasúir scoile ar thrí oileáin Árann, ag taisteal trí shoineann agus trí dhoineann ar bháid farantóireachta agus ar eitleáin, ag cothú an dúchais ar son an chéad ghlúin eile. Saothar saoil atá san albam úr seo uaithi a cheiliúrann an oidhreacht atá cruthaithe aici d'Árainn agus don amhránaíocht thraidisiúnta.
Taifeadadh formhór na n-amhrán ar Lán Mara go speisialta sa séipéal is sine in Árainn, Séipéal Eochla, faoi chúram Jack Talty. Cé gur amhránaíocht aonair a bhíonn i gceist go hiondúil leis an sean-nós, ar 6 cinn de na rianta tá tionclacan ceoil le Saileog Ní Cheannabháin, Diarmaid Ó hAlmhain, Freda Nic Giolla Chatháin, Neil Ó Lochlainn, Locko Cullen, agus Deirdre Ní Chonghaile.
Idir cruinneas agus binneas, moltar Treasa go háirithe as a cuid foghraíochta agus as croíúlacht a cur i láthair. Is léi-se feasta a shamhlófar An Spailpín Fánach agus Cúirt Bhaile Nua. Fáilteofar go forleathan roimh an albam seo a dhéanann duine de mhór-laochra na hamhránaíochta in Éirinn a cheiliúradh, bean a bhfuil bua saibhir sainiúil spleodrach aici.
Ag labhairt di faoin dtionscnamh, dúirt an léiritheoir Deirdre Ní Chonghaile: "Ba mhór-onóir agus pribhléid dom a bheith ag obair as lámha Threasa ar an albam seo. Tá mé fíor-bhuíoch de na healaíntóirí ar fad a chur go tuisceanach cruthaitheach gairmiúil leis an iarracht, le pobal Árann a thacaigh ó thús deireadh, agus leis na hurraithe go léir ina measc an Chomhairle Ealaíon, Foras na Gaeilge, Comhairle Condae na Gaillimhe agus Ealaín na Gaeltachta."
Cló Iar-Chonnacht can be relied on to do a good job producing recordings of sean-nós singers, and this time they've excelled themselves. I first heard Treasa about 30 years ago and was bowled over by the quality of her singing and her songs, and nothing's changed. This double CD is, unbelievably, only her second solo recording, but its 19 tracks span her 45-year career and give a fine representation of her repertoire.
Her voice has a youthful energy and a clarity in pronunciation that enables even a southern saxon to follow the story (and all the words appear in an excellent booklet, complete with a bit of background in both languages). Variety is provided by the addition of musical accompaniment on some tracks, by duetting on two more (both feeling very natural), and by a couple of songs in English. These last ones demonstrate how versatile a singer we have here; both the macaronic 'Siúil a Rún' and 'Lord Gregory' are fine examples.
Nearly all the songs in Irish are from her native Aran Islands, the subjects ranging from historical drownings and the humorous vagaries of an early 20th century road building scheme to an air crash in more recent times, and give an insight into the breadth of this island culture - you come away from this recording feeling you've had an overview of one aspect of culture, one that Treasa's done a great deal to nurture and preserve through a lifetime of dedication. No wonder she's so highly regarded by the entire Gaelic community; this recording can only enhance an already impressive reputation.
(Review by John Waltham, The Living Tradition Magazine)
Treasa Ní Mhiolláin learned the singing trade at the local hearth on Inis Mór, the biggest of the Aran Islands off the west coast of Ireland, where and when swapping songs still was a daily activity.
Having quite a talent, she became the first Aran singer to perform regularly abroad. Thus she supported De Danann and Clannad in Germany in the mid 1970s, immortalised on "The 3rd Irish Folk Festival in Concert" LP. Three decades after releasing the cassette tape "An Clochar Bán" in 1989, she returns with the double-CD "Lán Mara" (Full Tide), featuring 19 traditional sean-nós songs in Irish and English which had been recorded at Séipéal Eochla, the oldest church at Inis Mór.
At least half a dozen songs of her selection are only to be found on her native island and have never been released before. There are local songs, e.g. about a drowning disaster way back in 1852 ("Aill na nGlasóg") or a plane crash in 1989 ("Bailéad an Phíolóta"); "An Craipí Bocht" is an Irish translation of the well-known 1798 rebel ballad "The Croppy Boy." More popular fare include the love song "Tiocfaidh an Samhradh," ditties such as "Dónall Og" and "An Spaílpin Fánach," the keening song "Caoineadh na dTri Muire" and the macaronic "Siúil a Rún." Among the English-language songs is the the Child ballad "Lord Gregory;" there is indeed an Irish connection though not in the west, the mentioned town of Cappoquin is located in the south eastern Irish County Waterford. Two-thirds of the album are unaccompanied, as is characteristic for sean-nós, and Treasa holds her ground with a clear-cut enunciation and a lilting intonation.