Hunger Of The Skin

The new album from Brian Finnegan, featuring a genre crossing cast of 24 musicians, 8 tracks of newly composed original music, written in March and April 2020 and recorded at home in studios around the world. ‘Flow, In The Year Of Wu Wei’ is the first single from ‘Hunger Of The Skin’, it was released in June 2020 and was nominated for the RTE Radio 1 Folk Awards 2020, ‘Best Original Track’.

Hunger Of The Skin

In March 2020 I began a nightly ritual of making space to play and write, in truth it wasn’t an option not to, it felt like the house was being torn down and only in the night hours after my children had gone to sleep, did I find some semblance of stillness in which to turn complex old and new emotions and feelings into a form that has pointed me in the direction of ‘home’ all my


I’d always believed that grafting at composing was somehow to break the spell of the flow, but now i was having to reevaluate that opinion, the music was re-writing the rules. As many as half of the compositions on Hunger Of The Skin felt like they’d jumped off the back of a mustang, they blew through the door, defiant and bristling, at times I just had to hang on; night after night it went on. In what felt and still feels like extraordinary times of great reckoning, I was able to get the raw material out to musical friends and peers from many different genres and traditions, and somehow they found a way remotely, (23 ways in fact and no two the same) to flare the dust into breath. What an honour it is to know you all, you are the real deal..thank you for your contribution and your company! 



If all the days

on all of earth

in all of time

reached out their hand

and stroked your brow,

and felt

the sweat on your cheek

tingle now (as it does)

and loved and feared

this face veered

in a rush of light and sound,

as we all are,

as all corporeal life is too –

the ending buried in you

from the first blink –

they couldn’t touch you,

trace you, ache

for love of you

more tenderly than I do.


I stood in the fruit shop,

in the fattening heat,

and I looked around me at

all these bodies,

balancing their chosen weights

invisibly, behind straight faces,

and I thought

of the day you were born –

that streaming out of me –

and what the body

with its blood lion

knows to do,

and I remembered holding you,

your gold crown

between my breasts,

the hint of steam all over you:

this one recently arrived

from the great emptiness.


And I felt the war in this

world, the tearing down

of the big monoliths

of certainty and progress,

and the scorching of the earth-nest

till the children leap across the rails

their tails on fire, and I believed,

standing there

in the rot of melon

and the jam of plum,

that it all comes back to this:

the hand I risk

on your brow this morning,

how it tears me open

like a soft fruit

separating grain from grain,

revealing truth, and pain,

and something-without-name

but close

to bliss.


And this, my friends, and this

is what they’re cutting from us,

with their suits and ties

and slick white smiles,

and two-for-the-price-of-one:


Our tenderness.

Our pain.


If all the years

on all of earth

in all of time

reached out their hand,

and circled back again,

and lived?

They have. Put out your hand.

Touch what you love.  


Morna Finnegan 


Featuring a formidable cast of musicians and poets from around the world.

Brian Finnegan - flutes, whistles 

Séan Óg Graham - guitar, electric guitar, keyboards, programming, cavaquinho, ukulele, button accordion 

Liam Bradley - drums, percussion, loops

Ashley Hoyer - mandolin 

Patsy Reid - fiddle, viola, cello, string arrangements

Ian Stephenson - upright bass, fretless bass, guitar on Two Trees

Anton Boiarskikh - trombone 

Colum Sands - Voice

Morna Finnegan - poetry 

Gearóid MacLochlainn - poetry

Ant Romero - percussion

Connor McCreanor - electric bass 

Sarah Allen - alto flute 

Paul Dunlea - trombone 

Sheema Mukherjee - sitar, vocals 

John Joe Kelly - bodhran

Naimh Dunne - fiddle, viola, string arrangement 

Eva Roa Flores - vocals

Ollin Roa Finnegan - voice 

Leon Hunt - banjo

Melvin Iffil - steel pans

Ed Boyd - guitar 

Joseph Carmichael - guitar 

Boris Grebenshikov - poetry 

Tony Donnelly - voice