Interview with Celtic Singer/Harpist Orla Fallon

Orla Fallon 2 Interview with Celtic Singer/Harpist Orla Fallon

Orla Fallon is an extremely talented singer/harpist from Ireland who was one of the members of the amazingly successful group Celtic Woman. Nerdsociety recently had the opportunity to chat with Orla about her time with Celtic Woman, her solo career, and her terrific new CD called “Distant Shore”:

NERDSociety (NS): Orla, Tell our readers a little about yourself. How did you get started in singing and how long have you been singing for ? Did you come from a musical background.

Orla Fallon (OR): I can actually never remember a time when I didn’t sing. I’ve loved singing since I was a young child. I come from a very small village in County Wicklow, Ireland, and my love of music and singing was nurtured by my parents and my late Grandmother in particular. I don’t come from a musical family as such, but my late Grandmother had a huge passion for music, songs and stories and she instilled that passion in me.

NS: How were you chosen to be a member of Celtic Woman ? What was that process like ?

(OR): I was singing at a concert in The National Concert Hall in Dublin several years ago and David Agnew, who is Chloe from Celtic Woman’s father, approached me after the show and told me he loved my voice and asked if I had any recordings. He passed on my demo CD to David Downes, and David said he loved the haunting quality of my voice.

A few years passed and one day, totally out of the blue, I got a call from David saying he was putting together a show for PBS called Celtic Woman and he asked if I would be interested in getting involved. I almost jumped down the phone with excitement and the rest is history!!

(NS): You have performed for so many famous people. Is there one night or performance that stands out for you ?

(OR): I have always felt so privileged by the experiences that I have had through my music. I have had the privilege of meeting so many amazing people and played in places I could only have dreamed about. Each of these experiences have been amazing and each performance has been very special and had its own magic.

(NS): Was the decision to leave Celtic Woman a tough one for you ?

(OR): It was a very difficult decision for me to leave Celtic Woman. I had four amazing years touring the world and we achieved success beyond our wildest dreams. I loved the show and working with all the people involved, however, I felt the time had come for me to embark on a new musical journey of my own. I had longed to do a solo album for many years. A great friend of mine who died a few years ago always stressed the wisdom of ‘everything in its own time’ and I really felt that the time had come for me to carve out my own niche as a solo artist. In some ways, it would have been much easier to stay in Celtic Woman as it’s much harder to walk away from something that’s successful and start again but I just felt I had to carpe the diem!

(NS): I had a question about your performance style. I was wondering why you (and the Celtic Woman group in general) hold your arms at their sides when you sing. Your elbows are always bent but the arms are always at the sides. Any reason you perform that way ?

(OR): I’ve never thought about that, actually. I don’t think there’s any reason why we held our arms in this way, it’s just something that we do naturally.

Orla Fallon 1 Interview with Celtic Singer/Harpist Orla Fallon

(NS): What was your favorite part about being a member of Celtic Woman ?

(OR): I think it was the people we met through the music. It was hugely humbling the amount of lives that were touched by our music. I met so many amazing people who all had different stories and the music had a huge impact on them and their families. That really meant a lot to me as an artist.

(NS): Tell our readers a little about your new solo CD called “Distant Shore”. What can we expect from it ?

(OR): I’m really excited about my new album “Distant Shore”! It was produced by two amazing producers, Eoghan O’Neill and Dan Shea. Eoghan brought together some of the most amazing musicians I have ever had the privilege of working with. It was the realization of a lifelong dream to sing with people like Davy Spillane and Donal Lunny who are hugely influential in the field of Irish music. I had a ball working in Dublin and then I travelled to Nashville to work with Dan and had a wonderful experience. He really pushed me as a singer and got the very best out of my voice. This record is very much a collaboration of friends, old and new, making music together. I spent the last four years touring America and I was very much influenced by the sounds I heard when I was on tour. The album is like a long journey home for me, where I recorded songs that have been very special to me at different times in my life. I am delighted to have three original songs on the album. I think the album is a very uplifting album and is very much a celebration of love and life. It was important to me to be true to myself as a singer, but I also wanted to push the boat out a bit and try new things. Both Eoghan and Dan were fantastic in the vision they both brought to the project and I’m delighted with the end result!

(NS): Where can our readers go to find out the latest information on your work ? Do you have an official website our readers can check out ?

(OR): I have a great team of people looking after my web-site, I have to confess that I am quite technologically challenged but am getting much better on the computer skills !!! I also have a MySpace and Facebook . I love interacting with the fans and always try to respond personally to emails.

(NS): Do you have any message you’d like to pass along to your many fans ?

(OR): I would just like to thank all the amazing fans for their constant encouragement and goodwill. They have been fantastic and I’m really looking forward to meeting them when I head back on tour again in the not too distant future.

Thanks to Orla Fallon for her time. Her awesome new CD “Distant Shore” hits stores on September 22nd. You can also pre-order it at her official website,

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