“A trio of undeniable range, vision, and chops. Ciarán O’ Maonaigh, Aidan O’Donnell, and Damien McGeehan are recalibrating how the sound of the fiddle is received and perceived in Irish traditional music, and are charting new territory for the instrument in the process. This is expansion through reduction, compelling the listener to ponder a rich, rewarding sonic palette produced by three fiddles and nothing else. Enchantment inevitably follows”. (Earle Hitchner, Wall Street Journal & The Irish Echo)
‘Fidil’ are a fiddle trio from Co. Donegal, Ireland. They are rapidly forging a reputation for exhilarating and challenging music that draws on the rich heritage of their native place and the famous fiddle style unique to this region.
Utilising several playing techniques such as strumming, fingerstyle, and percussion, Fidil are pioneering a truly original, fresh and exciting sound in the field of world music and in the ancient music of their homeland. Their music making is marked by an intricate and intelligent approach but most importantly, still manages to maintain and respect the element of fiery exuberance that is the hallmark of traditional fiddle music from Donegal. This is music for the 21st century – mindful of its origins but breathtakingly exciting in its ambition and delivery.
The band formed in late 2008 when Aidan O’Donnell and Ciarán O’ Maonaigh invited Damien McGeehan along to perform with them at the launch of their duet album, entitled ‘Fidil’. Although the trio had already played in numerous impromptu sessions together, they soon discovered a new chemistry when they sat down and began exploring each others individual influences and interests. After only a few months of playing together as a unit, they were awarded the ‘Young Musicwide Award’ by Music Network and started touring internationally, which to date has included performances in the UK, U.S.A, Canada and also extensively in mainland Europe.
Their debut album, simply entitled ’3′, was released in November 2009 to widespread critical acclaim and impressively received the coveted title of ‘Album of the Week’ with a five star rating across all musical genres in Ireland’s premier newspaper ‘The Irish Times’.
“Here is a place where strings are plucked and caressed, tickled and swept into fresh air by three exceptional and ambitious musicians who still cosset the music of their home place with unyielding affection. 3 is a masterclass in the marriage of tradition and musical exploration, and a milestone in traditional music”. (Siobhan Long, The Irish Times)
The bands follow up album ‘The Old Wheel of Fortune’ was released in late 2011 to further rave reviews. It again received The Irish Times ‘Album of the Week’ as well as a five star rating from ‘Songlines’ magazine who described it as:
“…one of the finest albums to emerge from Ireland this decade.”
2011 was also the beginning of an awe inspiring collaboration between Fidil and Senegalese Kora master ‘Solo Cissokho’. Having spent two days rehearsing with Solo for a performance at the ‘Earagail Arts’ festival, Co. Donegal, the quartet took to the stage and the result was an incredibly special fusion where the music of both Senegal and Donegal became one. The collaboration has since grown and has been performed at Celtic Connections (Glasgow) and the National Concert Hall (Dublin) amongst many other prestigious venues and festivals.