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Irish Eyes

By Mattie Lennon


(A Hungary feeling)

The group is Edain. The title of the CD is Thar Saile. It has twelve tracks including "Se do Bheatha", "Crann Ull", "Peigin" and "A Stor".

Nothing unusual about that, says you. Or there wouldn't be if the group was from Cliften or Dingle.....or even Dublin. But it's not. Edain is based in Budapest and is made up entirely of Hungarians.

lldiko D. Kiss (the vocalist) is a Mathematics and Physics teacher who developed an interest in Irish music in the early nineties. "I liked very much Irish songs" she told me. Irish musician, Joe Carey invited her to Ireland and in 1996 (with her husband and brother-in-law) she spent three weeks in Mayo. She then spent a week in Miltown Malbay when the Summer School was on but didn't have enough money to enrol in any course. She says;" The Gaelic songs were beautiful so I decided to learn Irish. It wasn't easy to find somebody in Budapest who speaks Irish". At last she found Dora Podor, a Professor of Medieval Irish, in the University Karoly Gaspar. She spent three years learning Irish and formed Edain in 1999. Her brother-in-law, Zolton Dodo, (who accompanied her to Ireland) plays guitar.

Kata Asmany, who studied at the Frank Schubert Academy of Music in Vienna, is on tin-whistle and flutes. Janos Gueth who was a drummer (Rock music) for twenty years plays AND MAKES his own bodhrans.

When singing Sa Mhuta and Peata lldiko has a blas that would almost put a traditional singer in Doolin or Carna to shame. It's obvious that her heart is in it.

" I feel this is the style of singing, in what I feel myself at home. The way your sean-nůs singers are singing is my way. Once I met a lovely Irish Salesian, Jim o'Halloran, and he told me just the same (that I sing as your sean-nůs singers ). I had some songs recorded, and he took them with him to Ireland. These songs were broadcasted in a radio programme."

The CD's accompanying booklet gives the words of the songs in Irish, English and Hungarian. Kata Asmany put the Hungarian version in rhyme. Edain aimed to; "....arrange Irish songs in a way so as to make them pleasant to the modern ear, and so make the audience like them". The have certainly achieved that. If you were to walk into the Petofi Community Centre, in 02nd district of Budapest, on the third Friday of any month, and close your eyes, you could be at a Fleadh in Listowel.

And when you are having a riparian ramble by the Dodder or the Cashen, couldn't you just imagine that you are walking down by the Danube, and burst into Peigin Leitir Moir as follows; Orult egy no a kedvesem Leitir Moir-I szerelmesem Peggy, fektelen edesem, Nincs a foldon senki ilyen.

When I asked lldiko about Irish music in Hungary she said; "Our music is uncommon in Hungary. We don't play pub music, but traditional Irish music in Irish language. It is because I prefer sean-nůs and Kata likes jazz. We try to combine the mediaval and the modern version of a song, or to show the form of dance and song of the same theme. Sometimes we assemble songs to reels or jigs that we consider to be well-matched."

Their latest, 12 track, album "Ri Na mBocht" is a Christmas collection and most of the songs are in Irish also. The material on this CD took a lot of research as ".......there exists very few tunes and lyrics that are part of the Celtic culture and are also connected to Christmas." Included in the seven songs in Irish are, "Deus Meus", "Mac De", "Seoithin" and "Dreoilin."

Edain are very thankful to the Irish Embassy in Budapest for its assistance with this album.
You can contact
And you can order a CD( Price 16 euro inc P&P) at :
You will find Edain at

Below left to right: Zolton Dodo, lldiko D. Kiss, Kata Asmany, and Janos Gueth.


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