Together Anne and Mary were once Anonyma and worked as a duo for five years, during which they toured extensively in the UK, the US and Ireland. They recorded “Burnt Feathers” for the Fellside label, produced by Martin Simpson, which has since become something of a collector's item. Their performances were marked by careful selection of material - a combination of Anne's songs, Mary's songs, traditional songs from Britain and Ireland and some songs by other contemporary writers. An early byline was “refreshingly distinctive”, because the powerful combination of two strong voices in harmony and the thoughtful arrangements brought a breath of fresh air to the folk music circuit.
Anonyma ceased to exist in 1989, when Anne and Mary both had separate interests to pursue. It was an amicable split, and the friendship has survived all the various changes since then. In October 1998 Mary joined Anne to do some songs at a house concert in Santa Cruz and the idea of the reunion tour was born. Both Mary and Anne have developed their voices and performance technique in the intervening years, as well as adding to their levels of confidence and experience, which means that a fine act has become even better.
They have a wide range of skills to offer festivals, either individually or together rurning workshops on voice, harmony, traditional song, storytelling, songwriting and Gaelic pronunciation. In addition, of course, to their concert skills.
In the Eighties Mary started to focus on working with multi-tracked voice in the recording studio, and recorded her solo album “Daughter of Lir” in 1991. Narada Records picked two cuts from this album, together with Mary's subsequent release “Cool Waters” to lead off their highly successful 1995 release “Celtic Voices”. This was followed by a guest appearance on John Whelan's 1996 Narada release “Celtic Crossroads” and a track on Narada World.
In 1997 Mary moved to California to join Martin Simpson's Band of Angels, and began her collaboration with William Coulter, which led to the 1998 Windham Hill release “Celtic Requiem”.
Mary also runs a variety of workshops for vocalists and aspiring vocalists as well as those interested in Irish language and culture. She has trained as a voice teacher with Frankie Armstrong, and has a Certificate of Music Education from Trinity College London.
they said about Anonyma ...
“A rare pleasure to hear two talented musicians stretching the boundaries of folk music and creating a distinctive sound” - Folk Roots, England
“Music to set your spine a-tingling! They blend together with a tension and power that grabs the attention .. The harmonies are thrilling” - Time Out, London, England
they say about Mary Mc Laughlin ...
“The Omagh-born Mc Laughlin has a powerfully emotive voice... But her strength lies in her ability to craft songs steeped in Celtic mysticism without sounding twee” - Hotpress, Dublin
“Mc Laughlin's voice is not only exquisite, it has an impressive range. On stage, she takes on some gritty, hardhitting stuff.” - Santa Cruz Good Times, CA
they say about Anne Lister ...
“Lister's music is bounded by a deep and reverent love for all things ancient... Light some candles, have a little wine and be swept away.” - Dirty Linen
simply are no finer song crafters than Anne Lister. She writes with the full
power, beauty and grace of the English language, and the fire of the bards.
Absolutely one of a kind and absolutely not to be missed”. - Chuck
Hall, Maiden Radio, MA.
33 Pine Gardens, Tranch, Pontypool, Torfaen, NP4 6BS
Tel/Fax 01495 763005