The Celtic band Orion has been a going concern since 1987.
Its music testifies to a wholly personal approach of the Celtic tradition. Powerfully swinging dance tunes alternate with haunting slow airs, graceful melodies and beautifully crafted traditional songs . On their first three albums, Orion also guides the listener through less known music by Turlough O’Carolan, the blind Irish harpist from the 18th century.
Today the band is playing almost exclusively its own compositions, combining a multitude of musical influences.
Since its foundation Orion has undergone a number of changes in its line-up, often including leading Irish, Breton and Scottish musicians.
Orion has played an impressive number of concerts and festivals, touring from Galway in the west of Ireland down to the Gaza strip in the Middle East. The group appeared in many radio and television shows and was highly praised on Radio France, BBC, the Irish radio, and the Belgian VRT-RTBF.
Their second album Blue Room appeared on the Breton label Keltia Musique.
Several prominent artists contributed to the making of this record:
Johnny Mc Donagh (De Dannan, Arcady, Riverdance), Céline T’ Hooft (Zap Mama), Youenn Le Bihan (Brittany’s champion bombardplayer, member of bands such as Gwerz and Skolvan), Wiet Van De Leest (fiddler with Flander’s foremost folkband Rum, and later on with Madou), the famous string quartet Halvenhalf, and Welshman Mike Butcher (sound technician to Marvin Gaye, Black Sabbath, Toots Thielemans, Philip Cathérine, Adamo, ...).
The Blue Room album has received the accolades of the international musical press and was printed on 32.000 copies so far.
Along with other artists such as The Chieftains, The Corrs, Altan, Déanta, The Poozies, Milladoiro, Billy Jackson of Ossian fame, Capercaillie, John Whelan and Eileen Ivers, Maighread Ni Dhomhnaill, Dan Ar Braz, Loreena Mc Kennitt, Carlos Nunez, ... Orion appears on more than twenty compilation albums (Narada-records, Sony Music, Earthtone-Universal, Keltia Musique, Fonofolk, ... )
In addition, their album 1990 has been re-released in 1995 to widespread acclaim (Keltia Musique, RSCD 218).
Restless Home, Orion ‘s third album features some of the finest musicians from Ireland, Scotland, Brittany and Belgium:
Philip Catherine (one of the world’s best jazz guitarists), Donal Lunny (Planxty, Bothy Band and Moving Hearts), Soïg Siberil (Gwerz, Kornog , Den, Pennou Skoulm, Celtic Fiddle Festival,...), Nicolas Quemener(member of Irish band Arcady, plays with Breton artists such as Dan Ar Braz and Gilles Servat), Alain Genty (bassplayer with Gwerz, Barzaz, Tony Mc Manus, ...).
During several months, the album was n°1 in the breton playlists and was elected "folk album of the year 1998" by several breton radiostations. The breton magazine Pays De Bretagne mentions Restless Home in a list of 15 best albums of the year 1998.
Restless Home was very well received by the general public: hardly thirty days after its release, 5.000 copies were sold in France.
The album has been described by critics worldwide as a masterpiece in Celtic music , thus confirming Orion’s position as one of the leading bands on the international folkscene today.
The group appears further on an album compiling the very best moments of the Cork Folk Festival since its inception in 1980 and is featured on the cover of several international magazines.
In march 2000, Orion is featured on Donal Lunny's compilation album for Saint Patricksday in France.
From 2000 till 2009 Orion was taking part in “La Casa de las Musiquillas Ocultas" conducted by Dick Van der Harst.
In september 2009 Strawberry Town, their long-expected new album was released.
Didier Mèlon reviewed it on the Belgian National Radio: "The wait was long, but definitely worth it. When listening to Strawberry Town, one cannot but agree that Orion's music is sophisticated, full of surprises and unexpected turns. A truely varied album, a once in a lifetime masterpiece."
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