Released 30 September 1992

  1. Triangle
  2. Big Trouble In Old Baltimore E
  3. May Yo I
  4. Dragon
  5. Mother And Son
  6. Wintermoon
  7. River Of Life
  8. Trí Le Cheile

Liner notes

Ex-Clannad member Pól Brennan in collaboration with virtuoso Chinese flautist Guo Yue and Japanese percussionist Joji Hirota. 

A powerful and moving album which draws upon the strengths of three cultures. Driven forward by the energy of Joji Hirota’s drumming and lifted by the spiralling heights of Guo Yue’s melodies, the compositions are underpinned by Pól Brennan’s keyboards, guitar and vocals.

I left Clannad in 1990 because I felt I was in need of further musical challenges and horizons. If someone had told me that the end of September 1991 I would have embarked on a world tour with two Oriental musicians, I would have believed them! Thomas Brooman approached me on one of my visits to Real World with the idea of getting together with Guo Yue and Joji Hirota for some WOMAD festivals the following summer. I had experienced the inspirational flue playing of Guo Yue when I produced The Guo Brothers‘ album Yuan so I needed no introduction to his talent. I had never met Joji Hirota.

I remember saying “Let’s arrange a get-together at my home in County Wicklow and take it from there.” We got together in October ’90, and after two days of mainly musical dialogue, food, and pints of the black stuff, we went into my workroom and emerged at the end of the week with ‘Mother and Son’, ‘Triangle’, and ‘River of Life’… we were on our way!

After two more ‘writing sessions’, the second of which took place in the idyllic surroundings of Klaus Mueller’s studio Ceol Puca. We were ready to join the summer of WOMAD magic which saw us perform in many different locations from Seinajlki, Finland to Yokohama, Japan via St. Canices Cathedral, Kilkenny… this, after the shortest writing/ composing and pre- production period I had experienced in a long, long time.

Words by Pól Brennan


  • Ear-rufflingly warm with a distinctly comforting ambience. Q Magazine (UK)
  • It sounds new-agey with distinctly Celtic for the mind. Top (UK)
  • A reminder that Guo's flute is one of the great noises of the world. The Guardian (UK)



Musicians: Guo Yue bamboo flute, vocals; Joji Hirota percussion, shaku-hachi, vocals; Pól Brennan vocals, keyboards, tin whistle. Recorded at Real World Studios, Wiltshire, UK. Produced by Pól Brennan. Engineered by Richard Evans. Assisted by Ben Findley.

Special thanks to Liu Sola for the vocals on ‘Dragon’ and to Croi Wyss for vocals on ‘Wintermoon’.

Also thanks to Steve Weston, Chris Lawson, Caroline ‘T’ Taraskevics, Declan Colgan, Kluas Mueller &Kitty, Frank mcGuinness, Conal ó Dufaigh agus Pádraig Ó Rabhartaigh as Radio Na Gaeltacta. BBC World Service, Jeff Allen, Sensible Music, Musicmaker, McGuinness Forwarding, Olive Boothman, Tom Cregg, Will Hennessy and the people of Ballymore Eustace, Seamus miley, Poulaphouca House, the McCarrick family, everyone at WOMAD & Real World.

To our daughters Sará Kaya, Ying Ying and Kazumi.

Design and Art Direction by Malcolm Garrett & Sy-jeng @ Assorted Images. Series identity by Gary Mouat. Photography by Andrew Cameron. All tracks published by Womad Music Ltd.

  • Yuan

    The Guo Brothers

    Released 20 May 1990

    The Guo Brothers come from a culture which does not differentiate between folk and classical music, and their repertoire ranges from ancient Chinese tunes to modern, popular compositions. It is rooted, however, in daily human experience, and captures the landscape with exquisite musical imagery.
  • Music, Food and Love

    Guo Yue

    Released 01 February 2006

    From his early years in The Hutongs of North-East Beijing, through the Cultural Revolution that exploded in 1966 when he was just eight years old, to his departure for London in 1982 and his vivid, bitter-sweet memories of recent visits back to China, Music, Food and Love paints a vivid picture of a remarkable life.

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