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Profiles of the group members

DNO are:
Elisabeth McCarran: piano, synth, some flute, vocals, songwriting
Linda Andrews: strings (guitar, fiddle), back vocals
Guinevere Hughes : airs (pennywhistles, flute)
Anita Phelan: harp, strings (viola)
Ellen Butler: bones, doumbek, didjeridu, bodhrбn, other percussion

Desmond FitzMaurice: accordeon, vocals, recorders
Mic Mahoney: banjo, bass
Sean Power: bagpipe, effects, mixing
Harry Staunton: brass airs (sax)

Liz

Elisabeth McCarran
Liz is, unanimously, the leader of the troupe, together with Des and Linda. It is then no surprise that these three members of the group are its actually founders. Draнoicht na hOнche, meaning 'Magic of the Night' was formed not far back in time - on 1.May 2002, as a successor of the previously University-supported group The Leprechauns. In the beginning of April 2002, Elisabeth and her old friend Desmond FitzMaurice whom she knew from the UCL sessions and musical festivals, decided to begin a new project separatedly from the University College of London cultural program. In a week Linda joined DNO after seeing the three musicians (together with Mic) perform at Cavendish Sq. Linda soon brought her best friend Guinevere and Mic contacted Harry Staunton, who on his turn recommended Sean Power as the best pipe-man one has ever seen. Come end of May, the two final members of the troupe joined too, Ellen Butler from Glasgow and half Icelandic-Irish summer student Anita Gudmundsdуttir completing the number of nine.

Elisabeth instantly took things in control and managed to organise several rehearsals at Cavendish Hostel. The place soon became the troup's headquarters and the nine fellows started to gather there twice a week. The first public appearance of DNO was in front of UCL audience, at the 2002 graduation ball. The 'Niters have so far held half a dozen gigs at local London clubs and are planning to participate in the Royal Eisteddfod in mid August.

Lin

Linda Andrews
Raised by feminist goats in the wilds of Gwent, Lin came to London to work on a major in Mechanical Engineering at KCL with minors in Women's Studies and Literature. She can honestly say she left school to dance in Albert's Hall, but only for a weekend with the KCL Ballroom Dance Team. She now works as an engineer while pursuing her fascination/obsession with all things metaphysical and beadwork, from which she is occasionally diverted by the SCA, role-playing games, and Celtic music, all of which are necessary to distract her so she does not take over the world. (She insists that she would be a benevolent dictator. Really. All we can say is, beware the goat voice!)

Starting with the guitar and cello at the age of 6, Lin has developed her hobby into proficiency and has shifted to more 'traditional-sounding' instruments such as the typically Celtic fiddle. Lin is known as one of the most fast-fingered fiddlers around the place. In 2000 she won the Royal Eisteddfod competition for violinists performing an etude by Paganini which made the audience forget their own names!

Gwen

Guinevere Hughes
Gwen makes it her life's work to be left-of-centre. Being Buddhist from birth was a good start; she has expanded that to being vegan, green, sans tv, and a diehard Mac enthusiast (having, at last count, five under her roof). By the time she decided to play in the UCL, asking the DNO to take her in was a logical step. She's played woodwinds of some shape since before her own memory, and then in high school and beyond dabbled in voice, piano and flute. Now she spends all day crawling around various classrooms fixing computers (and practising handspinning), and off-times playing computer or other games, sewing and other needlecrafts, twiddling on her whistles, gardening, making middlin' bowls out of porcelain, and trying to figure out how to read in her sleep.

The sound of Gwen's flute is often compared to the falling of the yellow autumn leaves or the drops of tears of
Lъthien Tinъviel, the beautiful elven princess. She has been practicing this tender instrument since her 12th year of age and has taken part in various school and student's festivals around England, Scotland, Wales and even France

Ani

Anita Phelan
Officially known as Anita Gudmundsdуttir, the beautiful harper of DNO is the latest (and youngest) member of the troupe. She joined the 'Niters at the end of May when Gwen, her colleague at UCL, invited her to take part in the group's rehearsals. She brought her old grandmother's harp from Iceland and demonstrated exceptional skills. The group were enchanted by the sound of her harp. They instantly fell in love with the mysterious Icelandic fairy and accepted her in the troupe.

Much of Ani's past still remains a mystery to most of the group's members. It is known that her deceased mother was an Irish from co.Galway, and her father is from South-West Iceland. She arrived in England at the end of April to pass a summer course in journalistics, but apart from the busy times at school she was able to find some time to give freedom to her passion - Celtic music and playing the harp.

Ellen

Ellen Butler
The most silent of them all, Ellen Butler is yet probably one of the brightest talents. Born in a Scottish-Pakistani family and adopted as a child to her parents-in-law, she built a strong character during her hard childhood, to become a shining diamond in the crown of DNO. In 1990, at the age of 10, Ellen won the Stapleton Award on the Young Talents Contest in Glasgow. Following this success, she has so far built on her talents to claim four more medals from various singing competitions.

Nowadays Ellen plays traditional instruments in non-traditional ways, including didjeridu, gusle, saz, and mandolin, as well as singing. Perhaps eventually we'll get her to say more about herself. ;-)

Des

Desmond FitzMaurice
Also known as Desmond Morris (legally), he grew up singing with the choir at the First Unitarian Church of Downtown Dublin. He was briefly (for two shows) involved with a band called Security Blanket, which performed the songs of Crosby, Stills, and Nash, among others. He also wrote execrable songs which he played at the piano. Fortunately, he got better. As a twenty-first birthday present to himself, he turned the piano in for a guitar and started writing classics like "Amadea" and "Princes, Friends, and Lovers," which DNO still perform, occasionally to his dismay. He is the proud owner of four guitars: 1) a brand new Sunlite (never heard of 'em, but they seem to make great guitars!) gifted to him by his friends; 2) a 1960 rosewood and ebony 3/4 size Martin which once belonged to his mother; 3) a Martin "Backpacker" acquired from former 'Niter Kate Carran; and 4) a Takamine Jasmine which he picked up at a ridiculous price on eBay.

Des has also been spending time developing a solo act and has performed three shows, only one of which had any attendance to speak of. He has a website for his solo music at MP3.com and his own mailing list. His first recording project, a cassette tape entitled Me And The Guitarr, has recently been re-released as a CD and is available at his MP3.com site

Mic

Mic Mahoney
"Mic Mahoney is an infamous liar, who would rather falsify a document for free than accept pay for the truth, and yet he aspires to teach history to the children of Kent. Should this execrable person achieve this goal, we shall soon see the truth of Napoleon's assertion that 'history is lies agreed upon.' I have even seen him, in order to lend credence to his own opinion, attribute to me quotations I have never even considered speaking. No doubt he expects that I will never read his work, or that, as a generator of so many authentic quotes, that I will simply forget that I never uttered the words that he has placed in my mouth."

--Mark Twain

Apart from the prolific academic life, Our Mic does perform quite well in front of the mic. All kinds of string instruments are like obedient kittens in his strong arms. The things he does with the banjo would make Dan Harris blush with embarrassment (which he surely is doing up there, may he rest in piece)

Sean

Sean Power
Sean doesn't like cameras. Furthermore, he seems to be able to jinx everyone into forgetting to bring one to rehearsals. Therefore, we had no picture of him, until a couple of weeks ago, when he finally decided to bring one of his late high-school pictures.

As to his biography, it is rich in wild performances around the pubs in Dungarwan and Waterford, Ireland. According to the local police office, Sean is still staying at the top of their list of watched persons. Sean is though very hard to keep an eye on, which he can confirm with the frequency of his appearance on the DNO gigs (he claims that the reason is that he usually likes to sleep until 11am). However it remains a mystery what sort of activity forces him to take the night shift ;)

On the stage, Sean possesses a charizmatic presence, probably due mainly to the unique way he communicates with his Uillean bagpipe - a thing one should see live in order to understand.

Harry

Harry Staunton
Despite his young age, Harry has proved himself as a very experienced saxophonist. During the period 1998-2001 he performed in a jazz quartet named 'The Black Cats' in Birmingham. One year later, when he was accepted in Royal Guildhall College, he had to leave his friends and move to London. However he soon found his best surrounding and mixed with artists of his calibre who shared his obsession for the beautiful music.

Harry's presence in DNO adds a more modern approach in the group's otherwise quite traditional and 'classic' sounding. His main instrument is saxophon but he performs equally well with other brass air instruments, the trumpet and sackbut among his favourite ones.

Mark

Mark Beasley
Mark is our 'ears and eyes' abroad. His travels around the world are so frequent that, if he spared one penny after each, he would be now richer than Bill Gates!

Mark is a well known composer and has done hundreds of adaptations to old traditional folk songs. Currently he works for UNICEF in China, but he never misses a chance to send us some new idea. Special thanks to Mark

Lъthien

Lъthien Tinъviel
Well, she may be lost for the Real World now, but she is already a member of the group, isn't she?

For more information about the beautiful elven princess, a character of Tolkien's 'Silmarillion', go to our special
LЪTHIEN section