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Belfast, N Ireland, United Kingdom | INDIE | AFM

Belfast, N Ireland, United Kingdom | INDIE | AFM
Band Folk Celtic


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"THE DRUNKEN PRIEST and the ghostly hymns of autumn. Review by Catholine Butler"

June 2008 : MUSIC

The Drunken Priest: and the Ghostly Hymns of Autumn
Folk band Damanta ( an Irish-Canadian hybrid project) have released their new record (on CD and vinyl) entitled The Drunken Priest and the Ghostly Hymns of Autumn.

In 2005 lead singer Elegwen O' Maoileoin graduated from the seminary and was headed for the priesthood until he went on a pilgrimage to celebrate the end of his seven years of priestly training. Then the road curved and his path changed.

A long- time singer of Irish sean nos songs and Scottish ballads, an expert bodhran player and uillean piper, Elegwen took a hiatus from the seminary to pursue his musical talents and wander the world like the minstrels of old.

The sound of Damanta, and lead singer Elegwen O'Maoileoin's songs, have been described by Juno-winning folk producer Paul Gitlitz, as a cross between Ian Anderson (the voice of Jethro Tull) and Jim Morrison of the Doors. Except unlike Jethro Tull Damanta has a distinctly Irish sound.

Other influences are Christy Moore, Paul Brady, juxtaposed with heavier alt bands. Elegwen grew up listening to the Chieftains and Planxty and writes his own songs in both Gaelic and English. He also sings Irish sean nos on The Drunken Priest and the Ghostly Hymns of Autumn. Damanta are traditional and original.

Damanta's The Drunken Priest and the Ghostly Hymns of Autumn are on the Nowhere Town Records Label and distributed by Festival Distribution. Available at most record stores. For more information about the band, visit: www.damanta.com - The Celtic Connection

"Feature Article on DAMANTA by Catholine Butler"

June 2008 : MUSIC
Irish Music Songwriter Says: 'My mother raised me on Planxty'

DAMANTA will be relocating to Belfast in September to begin touring in Europe and recording in Ireland and Canada. They will play Dublin Crossing Irish Pub in Surrey prior to departing.

The Canadian folk band Damanta are poised to release their new CD entitled The Drunken Priest and the Ghostly Hymns of Autumn. Their music has been described as funk groove and Gaelic, influenced by Christy Moore, Paul Brady and Andy Irvine.

The unusual band name of Damanta comes from a quote by Irish feminist author Nuala Ni Dhomhnaill's, "We are damned, my sisters," Damanta meaning "damned," "deadly," or "awesome." When the word is used on the Aran Islands, it is an extreme superlative to describe say a very cold day or someone being a really great person.

I recently spoke with band member Elegwen O' Maoileoin who is an Irish sean nos singer. He plays bodhran and uilleann pipes and he is also the songwriter in the group.

O' Maoileoin said, "when I was growing up, I began listening and playing Irish music, like forever, mostly the Chieftains and Planxty. My mother raised me on Planxty and I remember the day I discovered that music existed that wasn't Planxty and Van Morrison, and that was The Beatles."

Damanta was formed in January 2005, just as O' Maoileoin was finishing seminary training for the priesthood in Vancouver.

"I was always exposed to a lot of religion and spirituality as a child and one of the things that always fascinated me about the priests was their sense of knowledge. They always seemed to know something that I didn't and the whole Jesuit mystique intrigued me.

"From the age of about 15, I was pretty convinced that I wanted a religious life so I attended Corpus Christi College and then went on to the Vancouver School of Theology into their Masters of Divinity Program.

"When I finished that, I was accepted into a PhD in Theology at the University of Exeter in England. Technically I'm still enrolled there. I'm on hiatus and could still finish my PhD in Theology in the next five years if I so chose.

"It was while I was at the seminary that I left Roman Catholicism and went to Anglicanism. It was discerned that the life of celibacy wasn't for me and, of course, that makes more sense for me now that I'm a wandering minstrel.

"I believe that someday I will return to the church but what I discovered was that people seemed to be listening more to my songs more than my sermons. So possibly my songs were better at expressing what I had to say."

Damanta will be relocating to Belfast in September, specifically because of touring in Europe and recording albums in both Ireland and Canada. But before they depart, they are booked at several festivals throughout Canada, travelling all the way to the Maritimes, playing pubs, folk societies and festivals along the way. One of Damanta's last gigs before embarking on their cross-Canada tour will be at the popular Dublin Crossing Irish Pub in Surrey. - The Celtic Connection

"CD Review ALIVE ON PENTECOST by Catholine Butler"

Alive On Pentecost

What a great CD cover with the trunk of the tree as rather sensuous woman and the branches her arms.

Damanta in the Irish language has several meanings, one could be damned or the other meaning deadly which the Irish often use to describe something that is really great or cool.

I first heard Elegwen O'Maoileoin perform at the Dublin Crossing Pub's, halfway to St. Patrick's celebration in September. As I listened to the session music, I thought this is very like some of the sessions that I've heard in Ireland. I was very impressed with Elegwen's talent and the number of instruments he plays... whistles, uilleann pipes along with Irish bouzouki.

Elegwan has an interesting background. He was raised in in Vancouver, Los Angeles and Vienna Austria, before returning to Ireland. Living on Inis Mor and Galway, he takes pride in speaking Irish (Gaelic).

All the songs on Damanta were written and composed by Elegwen. His style is somewhat reminiscent of the famous group Planxty

For more information about the band visit: www.damanta.com or go to Red Cappe Entertainment: www.redcappe.com.

- The Celtic Connection


(There was no where else in SonicBids EPK to include Press Releases, so we have added our for you here.)

For more information contact: Jon Mauro
1171 E. 14th Ave., Vancouver B.C. V5T 2P2
phone: 604-315-20954

In Brief…
No other Celtic folk band presents the ancient a cappella Gaelic sean nos song tradition alongside rocking electrified faerie ballads and lovelorn melancholic laments…all with a taste for the darker side of Irish music. Damanta's folk is fuckin' deadly!...

Celtic Folk Gets in Touch with the Dark Side

Folk band Damanta (an Irish-Canadian hybrid project) is in Vancouver finishing the mixing of their studio EP The Drunken Priest: and the ghostly hymns of autumn. In the last three years, Damanta has moved frequently back and forth between Ireland, Europe and Canada with the support of Dan Rothery at Image Artists International, a B.C. indie label.

"The Fall Song” recorded and produced by Juno winning folk-musician Paul Gitlitz, will be featured on the album along with both a folk and rock version of "The Drunken Priests of Donegal."

Begun by frontman Elegwen Ó Maoileóin in Galway, Ireland, the band has played Celtic festivals in Vancouver and Europe. Their mixture of ultra-traditional Irish music with rock elements increasingly gains them fans and has won attention of a famous Canadian rock producer – tentatively scheduled to record with Damanta this Summer in Ireland.

Priest Turned Poet

“Most of our songs are about the dark side of love,” says Elegwen, 27, who finished his training for the priesthood in 2005. After graduating, instead entering the Church he changed course to that of the wandering minstrel, writing original songs in the vein of other rock-fusion bands Jethro Tull, Planxty, The Tea Party, and Ashley MacIsaac.

Originally a three piece with banjo, fiddle, accoustic and electric lute, the core of Damanta now features two Canadians, Todd Biffard and Colin Cowan on drum and bass. With the full ensemble of 5 musicians playing at larger shows, Damanta sometimes plays smaller venues as a 3-piece power trio.

This versatility also allows the bands Celtic folk fusion songs to be heard in both intimate and large environments.
Both new singles can be heard on the band's myspace site and will be released on The Drunken Priest EP on St Patrick's Day, 2008.

Damanta will be playing at numerous shows in and around Vancouver before returning to Belfast, Ireland in May.

Select Reviews
"What a great CD cover with the trunk of the tree as rather sensuous woman and the branches her arms. I thought this is very like some of the sessions that I've heard in Ireland. I was very impressed with Elegwen's talent and the number of instruments he plays... whistles, uilleann pipes along with Irish bouzouki. All the songs on Damanta were written and composed by Elegwen. His style is somewhat reminiscent of the famous group Planxty."
-- Catholine Butler, The Celtic Connection


Founded by Elegwen Ó Maoileóin in January, 2005.

Damanta takes its name from the poem “Taimid Damanta, Dhearfaracha” by the Irish poet Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, which means, “We Are Damned, My Sisters”.

The Irish word Damanta, however, is sometimes used as the extreme superlative (in the dialect the island of Inis Mór’s). Damanta is also used to be “deadly” or “cool”, especially on Irelands Radío na Gaeltachta (Irish language radio station).

Damanta opened for Vancouver’s 2005 St Patrick’s Day parade in front of thousands. At the corner of Georgia and Granville.

Damanta performed in Ireland and across Europe. Booking shows in seven European countries.

Damanta played live on Ireland’s Radío na Gaeltachta, in Galway at the Arus na nGael.

Damanta includes members of Irish and Canadian nationalities, and promotes the Irish (Gaelic) language in their choices of traditional songs, and in their writing of new songs. As well as by bantering as Gaeilge on stage.

Damanta played live on 99.3 CFOX radio station in Vancouver in 2006.

Played promotional shows for Diageo, owner of the Guinness Corporation.

Damanta featured at the Spring Mysteries Festival in WA, the largest pagan gathering in America.

Damanta recorded a live-off-the-floor e.p., available in stores in Ireland, Vancouver, and CD Baby online through iTunes and other distributors.

Has received radio play in B.C. and Ireland of select songs from their e.p., “Alive On Pentecost”.

Toured the B.C. Gulf Islands, opening for acclaimed old-time band Dyad.

Interviewed by Nanaimo’s CHLY Radio station.

Currently performs as solo singer act, an acoustic 3 piece or a 5 piece with drum kit and bass.

Acquired a recording deal in April, 2007 for the full studio album “Amáraċ” to be released in autumn, 2008.

Has finished recording studio single, “The Fall Song”, with Juno-winning folk producer, Paul Gitlitz.

Recorded two versions (rock and folk) of The Drunken Priests of Donegal for the DRUNKEN PRIEST EP, set to release on St Patrick's Day, 2008.

- Damanta

"Music & Teaching CV and Resume for Festivals, Faires & Retreats"

Music & Teaching Resume for Festivals, Faires & Retreats

Elegwen Ó Maoileóin, M.Div., PhD(cnd.)

Contact: elegwen@yahoo.ca

The Story in Short…

Elegwen has spent his life divided between Europe and Ireland and Vancouver, Canada. A speaker of English, German and Irish, Elegwen has shared his love of music and spirituality by travelling widely and never turning down an opportunity to meet new people to teach and learn from. A student of mystical Christianity and Irish mythology, Elegwen has deferred his PhD on the feminist mystic Evelyn Underhill to part-time studies in order to pursue his performance career and finish some writing projects, including, "Celtic Spirituality & Myths: In the life of the Modern Minstrel" (2009), a follow up to his independently published, 2001, "The Celtic Mysteries: W.B. Yeats and Jewish Mysticism."

In the Irish-Celtic band, Damanta, Elegwen writes original songs about life drawing heavily from myth and faery tales. Though the band also performs covers, especially Planxty songs, and has actually gained many fans by tastefully and subtly adapting rock and metal songs to Celtic folk styles. While performing songs such as Tool's "Sober" and Stabbing Westward's "Waking Up Beside You," many listeners in Dublin and Galway thought they were hearing a traditional Irish song, that was merely unfamiliar to them. (These songs will be recorded in upcoming projects).

Listen to Damanta's recordings, from folk, to rock to Sean Nós singing: http://myspace.com/damantaofficial

2006 Inis Oírr, The Aran Islands Bodhrán Festival: Basic & Advanced Bodhrán

2004-Present Private Music Lessons Whistles, Pipes, Bodhran and Irish and Séan nós singing

2004-Present Spiritual Director For ministers, laity and professional musicians

2002-2005 Morning Star Centre for Spirituality Classes & Workshops: Spirituality, Meditation, Celtic Mysteries

2000-2005 Renaissance Festivals Celtic Spirituality & Irish & Scottish Song: Lectures & Workshops

2006-Present – Research PhD degree, part-time, University of Exeter

2005-2008 – Attended & taught at Summer Schools in Ireland

2004 – Accepted into University of Exeter's PhD programme

2005 – Graduated Vancouver School of Theology seminary with Masters in Divinity

1999 – 2001 Undergraduate studies: Corpus Christi College, Literature, Philosophy, Religion. Successfully challenged the B.A. degree, began graduate studies at VST graduate college & seminary.
Instrument & Music Experience

2007 – 2008 Recorded "The Fall Song" with Juno-winning producer,
Paul Gitlitz

Began recordings for album,
The Drunken Priest

Adding drums & bass to Damanta's acoustic trio

2006 – 2007 Recorded album, Alive On Pentecost, toured B.C.'s Gulf Islands, Ireland and Prague

2005 – 2006 Performed around Ireland, and toured Europe with Damanta

2005 St Patricks Day Parade Opened Vancouver Celtic Fest to an audience of 20,000

2005 – Present Lead singer in Irish folk band, Damanta

2005 – Present Irish Bouzouki

2003 – Present Uilleann Pipes, Irish Low Whistle

2002 – Present Traditional Irish Sean Nós singing

2001 – Present Irish Bodhrán

2000 – 2004 Gregorian Chant Schola

1996 -1997
Opera Singing, Vienna, Austria

1993 – Present Scottish & Irish Ballad singing

1991 – 1993 School & Community Choirs

1990 – 1994 Classical Violin, Orchestra

1987 – 1995 Irish tin whistle, Medieval & Folk Recorders

"What a great CD cover with the trunk of the tree as rather sensuous woman and the branches her arms. I thought this is very like some of the sessions that I've heard in Ireland. I was very impressed with Elegwen's talent and the number of instruments he plays... whistles, uilleann pipes along with Irish bouzouki.

All the songs on Damanta were written and composed by Elegwen. His style is somewhat reminiscent of the famous group Planxty."
– Catholine Butler, The Celtic Connection, October 2007


Dr. Sallie McFague, former Dean of Vanderbilt University, and Distinguished Professor in Residence at the Vancouver School of Theology:
CONTACT: smcfague@vst.edu School Tel: 604-822-9031

Alan Doherty, founding member of Irish band, Gráda, flute player on The Lord of the Rings.
CONTACT: aldoc51@hotmail.com

Education: Academic & Musical
Dr. Eitel Timm, former professor, University of Toronto, author, singer and musician in the 70's Celtic group, The Bothy Band.
CONTACT: merlin@goodnights.org

- Elegwen O'Maoileoin

"CLASS PROPOSALS for Faires, Festivals and Retreats"


For Celtic & Folk Festivals, Renaissance Faires, Musical or Spiritual Retreats
With Elegwen Ó Maoileóin, M.Div.
If you are interested in me teaching any of the listed classes at your event, separate from or in addition to performing with my band, DAMANTA or as a solo artist, please contact me at: elegwen@yahoo.ca

Introduction to Old Irish Sean Nós Song & Culture

Suitable for beginners, and advanced singers and lovers of song. Some familiarity with pronouncing Irish words is useful, but not necessary.
The sean nós tradition of Irish song is the oldest living musical tradition in Ireland. With experience in the sean nós community of the Aran Isles and Connacht, I will include my own unique encounters and notes from watching some of the masters of the craft. The class will listen to the famous recordings of singers such as Seosomh Ó hÉanaí and Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh.

The class will look at how and why sean nós began, and the role it played in Irish culture and music up till today. In particular, the class will look at examples of how the sean nós tradition has been changing in an attempt to become more commercial.
Enya's music, (Eithne Ní Bhraonáin, in the Irish) is an example of the power and influence that has grown out of the Irish culture of sean nós a cappella singing. The class will learn several sean nós songs, and practice the features of singing that make old style Irish singing unique.

Suggested Class Length: 2-4 hour Workshop, or short Daily classes.
Opportunity for a recital by the class is also an option for longer seminars.
Handouts with words, and notation will be provided.

Learning Irish: Beginner Classes in Gaeilge (Irish-Gaelic)

The challenge that intimidates most Irish descendents from learning their beautiful, ancestral tongue is the two-fold: Grammar and Pronunciation.
However, once pronunciation is understood, and learners see how simple the vowel patterns actually are, the Latin based grammar becomes far less threatening and is actually a joy to learn. Once these basic doubts are assuaged, students usually see how simple the Irish language actually is.
When you hear an Irish person say things, in English, like, "the cold is on me." This is more than just a feature of their dialect of English, it is a useful insight into the grammar and phrasings of their native tongue. Irish is a poetic language.
A sample of the different dialects of Irish is also a useful tool for the beginner to understand the variety and possibilities in Irish speaking, phrasing and pronunciation.

Suggested Class Length: 2 Hours Workshop or Daily 1 Hour Lesson
Hand-Outs will be supplied and tape recorders allowed.
Intermediate courses can also be offered in this subject.

How to Use Irish-Gaelic in Song Writing

Just as countries tend to play songs written by their own citizens, Irish radio stations around the world, including Ireland's own, RTE Raidió na Gaeltachta favour songs with Irish lyrics. The use of Irish and older Gaelic poetry, and original lyrics not only can help musicians and songwriters promote their music, but add a lovely quality to the song, as well as promote awareness of the Irish language.
Students will hear and see examples from modern Irish song writers, as well as listen to old samples from the sean nós and classical Irish song tradition. Examples of old Irish lyrical styles and popular, common and key phrases from Gaelic poetry and lyricism will be given for songwriters to draw from in their writing.
All songs sound better with a wee bit of Irish.

Suggested Class Length: 1-3 Hour Workshop, or Daily Classes.
Hand-Outs will be supplied and, as this is a songwriting workshop, tape recorders to be used only if whoever is sampling their song does not mind.

Celtic Mythology & Irish Music: Its History and Spirituality

This class is about learning how the stories and myths of Ireland intertwine with its music. Drawing on many personal experiences living with the people of the West of Ireland, especially on the Aran Isle of Inis Mór, the class will also hear the old myths and see how they have influenced song in Ireland.
Many of the superstitions and folktales of Ireland still guide the songwriters of Ireland, and shape the lives of Irish musicians. Most of the old songs contain references or make plain assumptions often missed, because these subtleties are rarely spoken of in Ireland. They are taken for granted: including, the roles of faeries, spirits, Christian myths, angels, Mary and the ancient gods of Ireland. Learning about the myth helps you appreciate and understand the music.
Students will look at all this, how the myths live still today in the Celtic mind, and how these myths and imaginings have and can influence more your own music and spiritual life as a lover of the Celtic world.

Suggested Class Length: 2-3 hour Workshop. Or a shorter daily Class.
If taught in its longer version, over a week, there is the opportunity for the class to rehearse and perform one of William Butler Yeats' musical plays at the end of the week (e.g. "The Cat and the Moon")

Beginner Bodhrán Drumming: Getting Rhythm

This is for people who have bought a drum, and maybe had some lessons, or sat in a few sessions, but still aren't confident enough to play so loud as to be heard. The bodhrán is a controversial instrument in Ireland. It's appearance in the hands of an unknown person often elicits groans and sidelong glances from the natives.
The key to being accepted as a bodhrán player in an Irish session, or anywhere, is rhythm. Rather there trying to jump straight into ornaments and triplets, like many new players, this class focuses on timing – feeling the pulse of the music. Through various exercises, students will emerge with better rhythm and confidence for their next session. We will also cover some useful, rarely known tidbits of wisdom for session etiquette; not to mention some excellent comebacks for snobs who like to make fun of us bodhrán players.
For example, someone says to you, "blood hell, is that a bodhrán in that bag of yours there?" You say, "yeah, it is, playing the uilleann pipes just gets a bit boring, I like to challenge myself sometimes." Smile.
From experience, I can say this lightens the minds of any hostile musicians you encounter, whether you do in fact play the pipes or not.

Suggested Class Length: 1-2 Hour Workshop. Daily 1 Hour Lesson.
Recorders are very useful to this class.

Intermediate Bodhrán: The Styles and Ornaments

This class is for students who want to tighten up their triplets, use of ornamentation, learning new ornamentation, syncopation and off-beat playing: All the things that make the bodhrán a wonderful addition to Celtic music.
Since the bodhrán is not formally a rhythm instrument, meant to keep everyone together, the class will focus on analyzing tunes, and learning how to spot places in the tune or song where the bodhrán can add something special. It is an ornamentation instrument. But like all such instruments, the challenge is knowing where and when to make your tasteful mark in a song or tune. You don't want to be that unchanging thumping in the background that everyone wants to fade out.
This class studies pieces of music where the bodhrán plays key roles, how it does that, and how we can do it too. A tasteful bodhrán player makes a session ten times better, and adds an energy that no other Irish instrument can replace.

Suggested Class Length: 1-2 Hour Workshop. Daily 1 Hour Lesson.
Hand-outs and music samples will be provided. Recorders are very useful for this class.

Advanced Bodhrán: Singing and Accompanying Tunes with the Irish Drum

There are three components to this class. 1. Singing with the bodhrán. 2. Advanced technique and ornamentation. 3. Accompaniment of tunes.

When I first travelled in Ireland and played and sang on the bodhrán, most musicians had never seen anyone do that before. Even in Ireland, many musicians think of the bodhrán still as something to carry sod. Most are unaware of its power as an accompanying instrument – even a solo accompaniment to song! Done properly, however, I have seen solo bodhrán and singer stop a noisy pub dead, and force everyone to listen. This is all about timing, and using the unique traits of the drum to complement the song: Whether a slow air, charging ballad, or rocking metal adaptation.

Along with this level of playing is increased focus on metronomic rhythm, off-beat playing and syncopation. Additional ornaments are also a part of this class; including variations on styles of tipping (high end, traditional) and use of the back hand to alter sound and supply additional rhythms.

Suggested Class Length: 2-3 Hour Workshop. Daily shorter lessons.
Hand-outs and music samples will be provided. Recorders are very useful for this class.

Irish Myths & the Modern Minstrel: How Can Myths Help the Modern Day Musician

A mixture of music therapy and spiritual direction. This class is suitable for beginning and advanced musicians, even professionals. It is also good for non-musicians, as it blends myth, music, and spiritual-psychology.
This is really a three-fold class. 1. It looks at what it means to play traditional music today, and how myths and stories can aid and council musicians in the struggles they face as "modern minstrels." 2. The group will hear from Irish myths, in story and song, and look at the psychology and spirituality that they have to teach us. 3. The class considers how the myths have been incorporated into modern music, and how their archetypes can guide us on our spiritual and musical path.

Suggested Class Length: 2-3 Hour Workshop, or as a short daily class.
Handouts and recordings will be supplied. Recorders not permitted.

Mystics & Minstrels: A Course on the Similarities Between Mysticism and Music

This class is suitable for musicians or music lovers, and anyone who is fascinated by the wayward life of the musician, or minstrel, or the strange path of the mystics.
Whether you are religious or not, the musician and the mystic are very closely related. Both live their lives guided by inspiration. Literally, the word inspiration comes from the Latin, in spiritu. Or how the spirit comes into us. History shows us that mystics were often persecuted for their individualism, their eccentricity and the belief that God or spirits gave them a special message to share with the world.
Musicians are like our modern day mystics. Some are made into saints, some are burnt at the stake (or their CDs are, anyway!) Anyone who has struggled down this path will appreciate the psychological, musical and spiritual insights of the mystics and minstrels of the past, and discover how we can learn from them today, to the benefit our lives.
The hardest thing for anyone in life is the struggle to share what makes them special with the world.

Suggested Class Length: 2-6 hour Workshop, or short Daily Classes.
Class includes handouts, recordings. Tape recorders are welcome. For the longer version of the course, bringing instruments, songs or music to share is encouraged.

Celtic Christianity & Pagan Music: A Spirituality of Nature

This course is informative for Christians and non-Christians. It is not a religious class, but one in history, music, and spirituality.

This a course for musical appreciation. In particular, appreciating the role of ancient pagan music, its sounds and development and how it came to be the heart of Christianity in the Celtic lands. Part history, part music, part psychology and spirituality, this workshop considers how Christianity developed differently among the Gaelic peoples. How their culture was so strongly different, and has remained so today, in its kind of Christianity. Even today the music of Ireland, and its elaborate mixture of nature, Christianity and the old pagan faith of myths interweave to form a culture whose economic revival was dependent upon this very unique combination of influences.

Students will hear about myths, Irish writers, music and the faith that made Ireland and the Celtic world the influential and rich culture it is today.

Suggested Class Length: 2-3 hour Workshop, or Daily class.

Request Details


The Irish Whistle and Low Whistle: Beginner and Intermediate
Uilleann Pipes: Beginner
Bouzouki: Beginner, Intermediate, and for Songwriters


FOLK TALES OF IRELAND: A Selection of Myths and Stories

W.B. YEATS: Participatory Class on the Poetry, Life and Stories of the Poet


THE IRISH ROSARY and Other Devotions: For Catholic and Anglican Traditions

MEDITATION & MYTH: Reliving the Spiritual Traditions of the Celts

- Elegwen O'Maoileoin, M.Div., PhD (cnd)

"The Fall Song - Damanta review"

Their music is often referred to as "the darker side of Celtic music" for its intensity and the vocal stylings. They make for an interesting and unique twist to the world of Celtic music. One that is very welcome indeed.

-- Bard Marc Gun, Celtic Mp3s Music Magazine - Celtic Mp3s Music Magazine


2005 THE HAZEL WOOD (single)
(single, produced by Juno winning folk producer, Paul Gitlitz)
2008 THE DRUNKEN PRIEST and the ghostly hymns of autumn

Radio Play:
CBC Radio
The FOX: First acoustic Celtic band featured on 99.3 the Fox (2006) in collaboration with a Guinness/Diageo promotion
Raidió na Gaeltachta (national Irish radio in Ireland)
CHLY Nanaimo
Raidío Failte, BELFAST

Various online podcasts and radio




"The sound of Damanta, and lead singer Elegwen O'Maoileoin's songs, have been described by Juno-winning folk producer Paul Gitlitz, as a cross between Ian Anderson (the voice of Jethro Tull) and Jim Morrison of the Doors. Except unlike Jethro Tull Damanta has a distinctly Irish sound."
-- Catholine Butler, THE CELTIC CONNECTION

With a new album out, "THE DRUNKEN PRIEST and the ghostly hymns of autumn", and a 45 show tour of North America last summer, Damanta enters 2009 with big plans and bigger performances.

Our Sites:

Review for Alive On Pentecost (2006):
"What a great CD cover with the trunk of the tree as rather sensuous woman and the branches her arms. I thought this is very like some of the sessions that I've heard in Ireland. I was very impressed with Elegwen's talent and the number of instruments he plays... whistles, uilleann pipes along with Irish bouzouki. All the songs on Damanta were written and composed by Elegwen. His style is somewhat reminiscent of the famous group Planxty." Catholine Butler, The Celtic Connection