Fr. Liam Lawton was given the opportunity by the late Bishop Ryan to pursue his music ministry full-time; a ministry that Bishop Moriarty has continued to endorse and support. In this brief biography read about his path to becoming an internationally acclaimed composer and performer.
Liam Lawton was born in Edenderry, County Offaly in the midlands of Ireland and is a Priest of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Kildare & Leighlin.
When ordained in 1984 Liam was appointed to the Cathedral at Carlow, from there he went to teach at the Knockbeg College and in the year 2000 returned to post graduate studies at the University of Limerick.
With the support of the late Bishop Laurence Ryan, Liam began to further explore his love of music which had been nurtured in the home that he grew up in. It is a ministry that Bishop Jim Moriarty has continued to support and endorse.
In the past number of years Liam Lawton’s name has become synonymous with composing Sacred and Liturgical music.
Liam has recorded 12 albums to date and has achieved Platinum Status for his recordings on the EMI label.
His poetic lyrics are inspired by many sources including the ancient texts of Celtic Ireland. Much of Liam’s inspiration is drawn from the landscape of Ireland with its own unique and rich history. His melodies are full of pathos to stir the heart.
His music has been used in many an auspicious occasions ie The Memorial Services of 9/11 to Concerts in such places as the Vatican, The White House and The Chicago Symphony Hall, also in more auspicious State occasions such as Funerals and Weddings.
Liam’s choral music is used by choirs all over the world and has been translated and recorded in Spanish, German and Swedish and in the Irish language. Many well known artists both at home and abroad have recorded his songs.
Coming from a life in Ministry Liam has been closely associated with a number of charities and through his live musical performance he continues to raise much needed funds whenever possible.
His new recording Healing Song is the culmination of many years work and was recorded in Prague with the Prague Philharmonic Choir and will be released in early May 2009.
In the year 2000 Liam’s work was recognized in the US when he was invited to compose a work for the Irish American community in Chicago under the patronage of Mayor Richard Daley and his wife Maggie. This work was performed in Chicago Symphony Hall with narrator screen veteran Gregory Peck.
In the 10 years of the events existence Liam is the only composer that has been invited to return at least four times and has had such guest artists as Joan Cusack and John Malkovitch narrate his work.
In March 2004 Liam’s talents were recognized by recording giant EMI who signed him for a number of albums.
His “debut” album entitled ‘Another World’ was released in Ireland in October 2004. It featured such guest artists as Brian Kennedy, The Celtic Tenors, Roisin O’Reilly, Fionnuala Sherry, Eimear Quinn, and Moya Brennan, all of whom were delighted to guest on the album.
It was the platform for a major sell-out Irish Tour involving 51 dates in Cathedrals and churches all around the country. ‘Another World’ has since achieved double album sales. A DVD of one of the concert dates from that tour (St. Canice’s Cathedral, Kilkenny) is also available.
Liam Lawton’s second album for EMI – called ‘Time’ – was released before Christmas 2005. The album was recorded both here in Ireland and also in Prague with the Czech Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra. All the songs have beautiful string arrangements, the work of the great American arranger Gary Fry. It was produced by music director Mark Cahill whilst the orchestra was conducted by Arnie Roth, a name synonymous with some of the great contemporary artists and film scores.
It also features the beautiful voices of Roisin O’Reilly, Aoife Ferry and Nigel Connell guesting with Liam on several songs. Also guesting is the well known Irish actor Mick Lally who reads a special monologue piece on one of the tracks.
Liam’s third album Christmas Song includes a collection of Liam’s own favourite Christmas pieces with some new original music also.
America – GIA Record Deal
Along with his work with EMI, Liam has also published a number of collections through GIA, a major Christian music publishing company.
His recordings for GIA include “Sacred Land” and his latest release (Easter 2009) – Healing Song (see also below)
Liam’s latest album – released through GIA in the US – is a collection of liturgical songs, based on the theme of Healing. It includes music for Sunday Liturgy, music for Healing of the Sick, music for Funerals and Weddings and music of Praise and Thanksgiving to God.
The recordings feature the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra and the St. Colman’s Cathedral Chamber Choir directed by Dominic Finn.
Gallery of Album covers
click on thumbnails to view full-size images
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