Ghost Trio: a note

Cleek Schrey, Ivan Goff, Iarla Ó Lionáird

Cleek Schrey, Ivan Goff, Iarla Ó Lionáird

Ghost Trio produce a sound that might be described as coming up through the feet, settling mostly somewhere in the gut, reaching the heart at times, but less often the head. It’s earthy, gritty, scratchy, old music. Not just is it Irish traditional and American Old Time, it is also played and sung in a particularly low, drone-drenched style, rough, raw and rugged. The melody is often intentionally muddied both by heavy ornamentation and by the secondary sounds that each musician brings with them: the drones of Goff’s pipes, the resonating of Schrey’s 5×5 hardanger strings including the low C, and the sustains of Ó Lionaird’s harmonium (and its pedal squeak!). Although lots of musicians incorporate this style into their playing, the Ghost Trio is putting it out front and exploring it more comprehensively than most.

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