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John McLachlan - Drinking the Stars

Mary Dullea plays the solo piano music of John McLachlan on a new double CD entitled Drinking the Stars. Spanning his output from the 1990s to today, it showcases his compositional style and how it evolves over that time. The music ranges across splinteringly direct virtuosity, sinewy counterpoint, rich chordal meditation and much else besides; yet we hear unity in the artistic voice. The interplay of sets of terse miniatures, medium sized meditations, and lengthier immersive pieces gives a layered feeling when listened through as a programme. The selection of pieces includes nearly all of McLachlan’s piano compositions intended for the concert stage (as distinct from his pedagogical works).


Mary Dullea’s superb range of tone and mastery of timing are captured clearly and cleanly by Chris Corrigan’s expert engineering, in recordings made in Belfast and Kilkenny. This CD makes it possible to hear many works that have been heard only in live concerts before, by many pianists, scattered across many countries and years, and it is a great place to get an overview of this composer’s musical landscape.


The release features detailed liner notes and images by McLachlan alongside images by renowned visual artist Joanna Kidney. The project was supported by the Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon.

Track Listing:

CD 1

[1] Nuance
[2] Grand Action
[3] December (Winter Music)

[4] I. Arpa
[5] II. Scala
[6] III. Ananda
[7] IV. Kimata
[8] V. Nebula
[9] VI. Aurea

[10] VII. Maya

[11] VIII. Hikka
[12] IX. Fretta

[13] January (Winter Music)
[14] fíailí ceoil


CD 2


Stone Bell and Sandwave

[1] I. Fanfaron

[2] II. Sazanami

[3] III. Interse

[4] IV. Zebra

[5] V. Nimbus

[6] VI.Cairn

[7] VII. Aria

[8] VIII. Zerkalo

[9] IX. Comma

[10] X . Narita

[11] XI . Celesta

[12] XII. Béla

[13] XIII. Streel

[14] XIV. Iwa

[15] XV. Chikara

[16] XVI. Virelai

[17] XVII. Kengo

[18] XVIII. Ague

[19] XIX. Suna

[20] XX. Vita

[21] Ockham's Razor

[22] X

[23] November (Winter Music)

[24] Drinking the Stars


All pieces recorded at the Harty Room, Queens University, Belfast between 13th -15th April 2022 except for Nine, recorded at Castalia Hall, Ballytobin, Co. Kilkenny, 4th August 2014.

Engineer and producer: Chris Corrigan

The recording for Nine appears under licence from Divine Art Recordings Group, and was originally released on Metier MSV 28549.


Graphic Design by Illuminate Studio


CD project coordinated by Anthony Kelly & David Stalling


all rights reserved


About the artist:

John McLachlan was born in Dublin and studied music at the Royal Irish Academy of Music, and Trinity College Dublin. He has studied composition with William York, Robert Hanson, Hormoz Farhat and Kevin Volans. He holds a PhD in musicology from Trinity College Dublin, where he specialised in researching the compositional techniques of Boulez, Xenakis, Lutoslawski and Carter.His works have been performed in the US, Peru, Japan, South Africa, New Zealand, Malaysia, Britain, France, Italy, Germany, Holland, Switzerland, Finland, Denmark, Portugal, Spain, Poland, Romania, Moldova, Slovenia, Croatia, and around Ireland, with broadcasts in several of these countries. Performers who have played his music include the RTE National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, Opera Theatre Company, the National Chamber Choir, Concorde, Sequenza, Traject, Archaeus, Pro Arte, Antipodes, Ensemble Nordlys, The Fidelio Trio, The ConTempo Quartet, Evlana and Trio Arbós as well as many prominent soloists including Ian Pace, John Feeley, Mary Dullea, Darragh Morgan, Paul Roe, Satoko Inoue and David Adams. His numerous commissioners include the RTE National Symphony Orchestra, Music Network, Lyric fm, New Music Dublin, the Musica Viva Festival Portugal and the National Concert Hall.John is a member of Aosdána, Ireland's state-sponsored academy for the creative arts. His music is available from the Contemporary Music Centre His website is

John McLachlan - Drinking the Stars

  • Drinking The Stars is available in CD and digital formats. The double CD version comes as a limited edition 6 panel fold-out eco pack sleeve including a 16 page booklet with extensive liner notes and images by McLachlan. Images by visual artist Joanna Kidney also feature throughout. The CD is published as a first edition of 500 copies. The album is also available as a digital download (with a pdf booklet featuring full liner notes and images) and streaming via Bandcamp.


    Take advantage of our special bundle offer and get Drinking The Stars along with John’s debut album First for only 25 euros.


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