This year’s annual MÓRglór Award 2022 has been awarded to Malbay Studios under the direction of Martin, Anne, and Seán O’Malley.
With the vista of the Atlantic as a backdrop, Malbay Studios is an integral part of the musical landscape of Clare. Under the careful and patient stewardship of Martin O’Malley, Malbay Studios has a reputation of distinction in recording, production and mastering since its establishment in 1997. Malbay Studios hosts music makers from many musical traditions, and from many places; most especially, it has contributed immeasurably to the community of traditional music in County Clare.
The O’Malley musical genes run deep in West Clare and the studio builds on those solid foundations. By way of Dublin roots and Boston travels, settling in Miltown Malbay was a homecoming for Martin and his wife Anne, his partner in the business. Joined by his son, Seán O’Malley, Malbay Studios is now a family enterprise.
With almost thirty years’ experience, Martin’s distinction as a sound engineer is matched by his standing as a songwriter and musician. That musicianship is key to his success as a sound engineer, bringing technical and musical mastery to recording and live event engineering.
Malbay Studios includes an enviable roll call of artists, including the Kilfenora Céilí Band, Tommy Peoples, Josephine Marsh, Cherish the Ladies, Dónal Lunny and the Atlantic Arc Orchestra, among many others. Martin’s vision for a first-class studio space where any fiddler, singer or piper would feel welcome and thrive, has been fully realised. Malbay Studios is a testament to Martin’s dedication to excellence, to place and to traditional music.
On Saturday October 22, musicians across the country will come together before an audience – both in-person and online – to acknowledge Malbay Studios’ major contribution to traditional Irish music with a concert in the glór arts centre in Ennis featuring the O’Malley’s family and friends, along with an impressive line-up of traditional musicians and singers – including the Kilfenora Céilí Band, Josephine Marsh,cEoin O’Neill and the Fiddle Case, P.J. Murrihy, Bríd O’Donoghue and the O’Brien Family, Tommy McCarthy and Louise Costello, and Francis Cunningham and Eimear Coughlan with many more to be announced. Tickets – each costing €25/€22 (conc) plus €1 booking fee – for the in-person event are available from glór.
The concert will also be recorded and available to view as an online event throughout the month of November – with tickets costing €10 each – to enable people far and wide to access it.
The annual MÓRglór award is named in memory of the late cultural visionary, Muiris Ó Rocháin, co-founder and director of Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy and President of Oireachtas na Gaeilge. The award has been developed by glór in partnership with Tim Collins since 2013. The award acknowledges the wealth of professional and semi-professional artists, alongside the talented individuals, groups and communities in County Clare. The recipient is nominated by an anonymous panel of traditional arts practitioners and experts, assembled by glór.