Ali Turner on Guitar, Neil Ewart on Fiddle and Mohsen Amini on Concertina.
Muran are three friends who met whilst studying at The University of Strathclyde. Neil is a fourth year student on the B.A Applied Music Course and Alasdair is a second year student on the same course. Mohsen is a first year Chemical Engineering student.
All three friends are also active on the Glasgow Session Scene. They are all talented multi-instrumentalists who are passionate about traditional music. They skilfully play a lively mix of traditional and contemporary tunes from Scotland and Ireland.
Muran have been described as three individual artists who can each hold a stage alone yet, when they come together, are like the angles of an equilateral triangle but the whole is somehow greater than the sum of the parts.
This young, talented trio have obviously been playing for a number of years as their use of tone, technique, texture and dynamic is outstanding and shows the benefit of years of study in the Fèis movement, at the National Centre of Excellence and through the Comhaltas organisation.
The maturity of their playing is evident whether they are playing furious Irish reels or graceful waltzes. Their music is superbly played with plenty of energy and soul, driven but dynamically controlled.
Muran are creative and exciting musicians, skilfully playing a mix of traditional and contemporary Scots and Irish tunes with plenty of twists and turns and surprises that keep an audiences’ attention.
What characterises this trio is their exceptional tightness. The rhythmic guitar playing of Ali allows Neil and Mohsen to explore the melodic side on fiddle and concertina thereby producing an overall wall of sound that is attention grabbing.
Ali’s guitar playing is tight and melodic, precise and rhythmic and he has a contemporary acoustic style with criss-crossing rhythms, percussive techniques and, in places, jazzy influences. His finger picking style is instantly recognizable.
Neil has the confidence, born out of years of playing his fiddle, to tackle many and varied tunes. His sweeping fiddle playing can show a delicate touch which can then be accompanied by strenuous bowing. These combine to make him a wonderfully expressive fiddler, who has the confidence to take the bow off the strings on occasion and let his fiddle sing.
Mohsen’s concertina is the perfect complement to Neil’s fiddle. It is concertina music played “In the Irish Style”. His flying fingers deliver reels and polkas and the highly rhythmic complexities associated with set dancing. He has a large repertoire of tunes that marks the concertina style of the Irish Tradition.
Muran have eschewed the safe route taken by many Trad Bands and have produced a unique, original, gutsy, style full of soul, energy and swagger. Be prepared for toe tapping tunes, on occasions played at a blistering pace. This tremendously skilled young trio perform their music with maturity. It is full of fire and excitement; vibrancy and drive. The emphasis of Muran’s music is firmly on dancing.
Muran is a Gaelic word for the beach grass that grows on the Atlantic beaches in the Western Isles of Scotland. The island of South Uist in particular takes its poetic name Tir a’ Mhurain from this grass.
The usual material for thatching in the isles is Muran which grows on the beach dunes. The muran is laid on loose, and new thatch applied over the old every two years. Traditionally it was held down with an elaborate design of rope held down with stone weights. Chicken wire or fishing nets are now used instead.