Rua at the Celtic Cafe

The Celtic Cafe is grateful to Keltika Magazine of Italy for sharing some of the work of Alfredo De Pietra, its Music Column Editor, translated into English. Click here for Alfredo's bio page at the Celtic Cafe, with links to some of his other features available here at

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Liz Madden and Gloria Mulhall, longtime Celtic Cafe favorites, are making their North American debut in New York on Nov. 20 at the Villa Roma and on Nov. 23 at the "Temple of World Music" in New York City, Satalla. Click here for more information about that. Next month they perform at the Belfast Horse Show, with choreography by Hugh McKenna of Lord of the Dance. This event will be broadcast worldwide!

We're also very excited that Rua has a DVD on the way! Want to get an idea of their ethereal sound?

Click here for a full bonus track of Rua's
Fill a Rúin Ó (trad.) 2.72MB

Click here for an excerpt of
Fill a Rúin Ó 662KB

Thanks to Alfredo De Pietra, the following is an interview with Liz and Gloria about Rua's latest CD Dream Teller.

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What's the meaning of the word Rua?

Gloria & Liz: The literal translation of the word 'Rua' means red, but it pertains only to the colour of red hair.

Please tell us about your main musical influences, and your actual musical tendencies.

Liz: My musical influences and tendencies are so varied that it would be impossible to narrow them down. Apart from being a huge fan of classical music, I listen to jazz, world music, Irish, folk... the list is endless! For me, I tend to listen to great music or great songs (regardless of genre or composer). These are always the pieces that you wish that you had written!

Gloria: My main influences are really two-fold: First there the great melody writers and they range from Bach and Mozart to Sting and Jimmy MacCarthy. I say first because I think melody must come first as the backbone of a work. Second there are the great orchestral masters, Sibelius, Tchaikovsky, or Berlioz. As for musical tendencies, give me a good old melody in a minor key, preferably dminor and I'm happy in that sad way!

When did you begin to play together?

Gloria & Liz: Initially our relationship was of teacher and student, but due to a lack of piano practice we began to drink large amounts of coffee and discussing music. It was here that we discovered our mutual love of Irish music and began to work together. Even though we were performing and writing separately for many years, it astonished both of us (as Rua) as to how quickly our first album was written and finally created.

Please tell us something about "Dream-Teller"

Gloria: Dream-Teller was an instrumental piece that I had completed but had spent some time looking for a suitable title. While reading some Irish poetry I came across a poem called 'The Dream-Teller' by Irish poet Padric Gregory. We thought the title was perfect for the piece and for the album. The songs and tunes had already been chosen the Dream-Teller was the thread that put it all together. The poem is about keeping dreams close to your heart and that was perfect for our album.

How about "I am of Ireland"?

Gloria: Again I had this simple instrumental piece looking for a title. One night while reading the same book that gave the album the title I stumbled across the poem and read it over the music. It fit like it was written for the music. From there we decided that Gabriel would be perfect for the narration. His reading is quite dark and unlike anything else he's done. It is so beautiful.

Liz: When Gloria first played this piece of music for me, I loved it... when she suggested the poem 'I am of Ireland' as a narrative, I loved it even more. 'I am of Ireland' is a poem written by the Irish poet W.B. Yeats and much to our delight we have the great Irish actor Gabriel Byrne narrating it. Every time I listen to this piece of music I feel a great sense of honour and pride in being Irish, and as I don't have to sing for this piece I can enjoy listening to it everytime we perform.

Dream Teller is, in my opinion, a very "Irish" album, but please tell us something about the presence, on it, of something "foreign" such as Le Marais and Klezmer.

Gloria & Liz: When you write music or lyrics various influences creep in to the work. Creating music, song and story is about elevating the listener to another place and that's what the music of Rua does. It's not traditional music, even though there are traditional elements in it, it's not Classical music but there are classical elements in it, but it is 'Irish' in essence. Le Marais and Klezmer are two pieces that happen to have a French and a Jewish feel -- we don't set out to write pieces like that, they just happen. We recently performed at the World Music Festival in Israel and it was amazing to see how much the audience not only loved Klezmer, but also adored other tracks that are more distinctively Irish like Dum dumda diddle and Toss, which are from our first album. We have a tendency to cross boundaries with our music and that's the great thing about it... there are no limitations and everyone can enjoy it. Those influences will always creep in and we'd always want them there but the bottom line is that in essence we have a very distinct 'Rua' sound and that sound is Irish.

See the official Rua site at:

Click here for Alfredo De Pietra's section at the Celtic Cafe and click here to go directly to his own site.

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Interview: Alfredo De Pietra
Feature: Bernadette Price
Original Web Design: Alexander Servas

Rua debut in NYC - at Satalla
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