Ó Maonla¨ª - Biography
Born in 1964 mount Carmel Hospital.
His Mother Eithne Lydon was a trained pianist and
Actor from Galway. Her Father was also a passionate
piano player who bought his own piano at the age of
19. Liam grew up with this piano in the house. It
was on this piano he discovered a deep sense of musical
satisfaction. Liam¡¯s father taught him to sing
in his native tongue. 'He transmitted a love to me
that no book or teacher could' the love was of humanity
expressed through culture. Liam recognises the huge
importance of culture in the development of the human
species. 'We are connected. It has been said again
and again and again. God knows the ecstasy that lies
ahead. When the penny drops and we realise the wealth
in music and culture the world over. The flowering
of all life'
In 1981 he won the all Ireland final
as b¨®dhran player under 18. He has been a finalist
on the tin whistle, piano and as a singer many years
over. In Athlone he entered a group of dancers and
led them to victory in a set dancing all Ireland.
In Ennis in 1985 he and Fiachna Ó Braonain
,with the enchanting presence of Maria Doyle Kennedy
won a music award called Gradam Shlogadh. They had
put together a rhythm and blues group with all songs
written in Irish. This was the seed beginning of Hothouse
Flowers, which went on to be one of Ireland¡¯s
most successful rock bands and released seven albums.All
through the Hothouse Flowers years, Liam remained
faithful to his traditional roots. 'Traditional
music does not belong to me. I belong to it. The same
as the land.'
Liam as been involved in the Nuclear
Free Future movement for some time. In 2001 he helped
host the same ceremony in Carnsore point and Wexford
town. At the end of 2006 he will attend the nuclear
free future award ceremony in Navajo country. In 2004
he was a guest of the barefoot college ,Tillonia,
Rajisthan India. He played at the university in Jaipur
in the company of the finest regional musicians around.
Liam recorded the album Rian with his close friend,
renowned producer John Reynolds in 2002. It will be
released in Ireland November 2005 and is also being
released America, Canada, Japan, UK and Europe. He
is releasing the album through Rian Records his own
Liam went to Mali in January 2006 where he played
at the renowned Desert festival with Uillean Piper
Paddy Keenan and participated in the making of a documentary.
Himself and Paddy played with musicians from the greater
region from very well known artists to local tribes
people. It was an amazing experience of communication
between distant people and races through the medium
of music, and he learnt of the close relationship
the Irish harp and the African Kora.
Liam has also travelled extensively in Australia,
Japan, America, Europe, Scandinavia, Morocco and India
and has played and continues to play with the traditional
players of these places.
'I believe the style known as s¨¦an nos, carries
a sense of the soul of the land and the people who
are awake in that land. I feel, when in the company
of other cultures, the singing of this style opens
a window into what it is that connects us. Every country
has it's own s¨¦an nos.'
'words particularly English words are not enough.
They have been used to lie on a grand scale. They
continue to be used to manipulate and confuse. Music
has a purpose that remains to be seen. The potential
is beyond imagination. '