To be clear, then, the album is made up of Heaney reading his poetry, more or less alternating with O'Flynn's musical interludes - mostly on pipes, but also whistle. Wisely, they do not try to combine the two.
I wasn't sure it would be for me; but then, following Heaney's own translation of An Bunnan Bui, the pipes burst out playing the tune to the song; a shiver went down my spine, my hair stood on end.
I suppose Heaney's poetic vignettes of rural Irish life are providing the context for the music. Or is it O'Flynn who is framing the poetry - saying, as it were, what you can't say in words? Either way, there's a definite sense of attempting to re-connect with the traditions modern Ireland has rather left behind. The lack of accompaniment suits O'Flynn's unhurried, articulate style, as it did that of his mentor, Seamus Ennis; I've never heard him to better effect. There is always going to be a degree of discomfort when you pair a 'highbrow' artist with a traditional one; but Heaney's pieces are unpretentious and of the soil - literally in some cases - so it works pretty well.
It sounds a truism (but it actually isn't) to say that, if you like Heaney and you like Irish music, chances are you will like this.