Preab Meadar is an innovative collaboration of fiddle and voice by two very talented and respected performers. It is a project of traditional music innovators, Daire Ó Breacáin and Lorcán Mac Mathúna, which is inspired by metrical techniques of Old Irish Poetry.

It uses complex alliterative patterns of syllabic Gaelic poetry of the mediaeval period as a basis for origional compound compositions with complex layered rhythms.

In an explorative compositional process that took four years, Daire and Lorcán have been redefining the terms for how the fiddle can combine with the voice in Irish music. Inspired by oral dance meters, medieval Irish poetry and a massive chain dance by the people of New Ross on the building of the town’s walls; they have defined new possibilities of rhythm and harmony in the partnership of voice and fiddle.

Their duet of voice and fiddle is, exciting, unexpected and refreshing. This is duet playing at its best.


The core content of this opus are compositions in the style of Preab Meadarach.

To put it plainly, preab meadarach is a metamorphosis from strict metre poetry into music. It is taking the complex metric rules of medieval Gaelic syllabic poetry and constructing compositional theory using the exact same metre.

Because strict metre poetry is syllabic, what you end up with is a complex rhythmic tune with a perfect lyrical fit. Every single note division has a corresponding syllable.

The timing patterns of Preab Meadarach are; similar to folk dance music; of strict repeating form.  




preabmdr hands

Preab Meadarach Is a study into the synthesis of words, music and dance carried out by Lorcán Mac Mathúna and Daire ó Breacáin.

The aim of this study was to establish a new collection of Irish dance rhythms from clues in the written language and deriving from first principle, new dance tune typologies. Compositions and dances stemming from a single source, the language, ensure their coherent connection.

The 12th to the 16th centuries in Ireland saw the pinnacle of structured language in the Dán Díreach. The structured methodology of this writing allows for its utilisation as musical composition rules due to its regular and rhythmic nature with repetitive literary ornamentation.

Through the course of our studies we established that the forms and terminology of this period suited the analysis of preceding and subsequent works of written art.  Indeed these rules originally arose from earlier Irish lyrics, a period that provided further terminology for works outside the rigid rules of classical Irish literature.



Metre (meadar): Pertaining to the metrical structure of the lyrics which has an exact and strictly repeating quantum approach.  Each tune typology, or metre, further requires rules of rhyme, assonance, consonance and elision.

Preab : :A term deriving of pre-Norman Gaelic descriptions of dance. Both modern Irish terms for dance (rince and damhsa) are Norman borrow-words.

The melodies in the genus preabmeadar are composed using an interpretation of rules set out in each typology. The lyrics or words of each poem, the melodies in each tune, the arrangements and dance  within each typology are interchangeable and can be performed in sets just as tune sets exist in the current repertoire of Irish dance music.





Lorcán Mac Mathúna is unlike any singer you have heard before. If what you know of traditional singing is based on the ballad boom and the typical trad band set up from the Bothy Band to Altan be prepared for a shock.

A new wave of discovery, represented perhaps most recognisably by O Lionard and Fowlis, has brought a more ancient and unconstrained singing style to light and Mac Mathúna is "at the forefront" of this new wave of traditional singers. read more

Daire Bracken has wowed audiences around the world with his high energy playing and stage presence. The front man in the massive trad group Slide he has regularly played star attraction in festivals throughout Europe and North America. read More