FRACTURED AIR

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Posts Tagged ‘This Is How We Fly

Central And Remote: This Is How We Fly

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The idea of foreign fields appeals to me in both directions – the strangeness of the vast acres over there, but the memory too of every blade of grass back home, every ditch, gripe and clump of rushes.”

Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh

Words: Mark Carry

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The live performances of contemporary folk quartet This Is How We Fly forever fill you with awe-struck wonder and inspiration. The gifted quartet of Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh (hardanger d’amore), Seán Mac Erlaine (clarinets and electronics), Nic Gareiss (percussive dance) and Petter Berndalen (drums) have created their own unique musical language – ever since their self-titled debut dropped in 2013 – with a deep understanding and rich chemistry forever inherent between its members. An evolution it seems is always happening between the players and the band’s latest sophomore release ‘Foreign Fields’ marks a masterful exploration into new sonic plains that delves deeper (than ever before) into enchanting realms of new possibilities.

The opening notes of  ‘A Man Of Few Words’ begins with hushed fiddle notes and delicate percussive dance, before warm textures of electronics and Berndalen’s drums ascend into the ethereal mix. Ó Raghallaigh’s deeply poignant and mournful fiddle notes brilliantly close the piece. Each breath, pulse and texture of ‘The Bittersweet March’ is a joy to savour: the heavenly blend of woodwind and strings amidst the soaring crescendo of drums and percussion (towards the final section) harkens to a symphony of celestial sounds.

Some of the band’s strongest works are beautifully captured on ‘Foreign Fields’ (which was recorded live in Dublin’s Fumbally Stables). ‘Ri Rua’ is an uplifting, heartfelt  lament with a vast array of colours and textures swarming across the sonic space: the duet between MacErlaine’s clarinet and O’ Raghallaigh’s hardanger d’amore is steeped in jazz, folk and classical flourishes. The way the piece transforms and continually builds is further heightened by the myriad of rhythmic textures masterfully supplied by Gareiss and Berndalen.

To trace the origins of the sounds unleashed by This Is How We Fly is a near-impossible task. One of the great hallmarks of their musical identity is the boundless nature of their musical framework: age-old traditions of Swedish folk music and Appalachian music, Irish tradtional are embedded somewhere deep in the foundations but most importantly, many experimental and contemporary sounds and nuances seep into the music, like the river finding its sea. I feel this becomes the essence of ‘Foreign Fields’ and a piece such as ‘Ti Mor’ epitomises the bold spirit of the quartet’s latest masterwork. The hypnotic, trance-like rhythms – which feels rooted deep in Africa – creates an utterly transcendent electronic exploration. The deep dialogue between Gareiss and Berndalen as the footwork and drums become one sound-world of dark, menacing textures. The brooding strings further adds to the cinematic brilliance of this piece, shifting between dub and electronic sound worlds.

The last couple of This Is How We Fly live shows I’ve witnessed, the group played in the round, so the audience and musicians effectively became one. The musicians – and audience alike – share the same experience, feeling each other’s heart beat to the sumptuous textures and sonic timbres to the quartet’s empowering musical journey. It’s precisely this image that encapsulates their remarkable latest full-length where each and every breath is shared, in turn by musician and listener alike.

‘Foreign Fields’ is available NOW.

http://www.thisishowwefly.net/

https://www.facebook.com/ThisIsHowWeFly/

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Interview with This Is How We Fly.

 

 Congratulations on the truly sublime sophomore release ‘Foreign Fields’, it’s such a remarkable and stunning feat. One of the aspects I particularly love about this latest chapter is how the quartet explores much further and deeper into more contemporary and experimental terrain as illustrated by the wide range of sounds and possibilities attained throughout. Please take me back to the three nights of live performances at the Fumbally Stables and your memories of the music-making process during this special time? Describe the space as a live setting and your live set-up in this space too?

Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh: The Fumbally Stables is a small room at the back of the Fumbally Cafe in Dublin, just off Clanbrassil Street, which has built up a wonderful vibrant community around it over the last few years, and it is run by friends of ours.  We played three nights in a row in front of a small audience each night, maybe 40/50 people.  We played in the round, which is a real treat for us, and something that we had experimented with at both the Sirius Arts Centre in Cobh and the Solstice Arts Centre in Navan.  It’s such a lovely way to play together, as opposed to being fanned out across a stage, much more intimate and easier to connect with and hear everyone.  We played pretty much acoustically, with a small Genelec speaker for Seán’s live processing, and also some reinforcement for Petter’s percussion.

Nic Gareiss: It was January when we recorded so we tried to create as warm and inviting an atmosphere as possible: ambient light, candles, people sitting very close to one another and to us. I think that’s really evident in the recording and in the video Myles O’Reilly of Arbutus Yarns shot for the single “Rí Rua”. The idea of crafting the space for an audience to exist, in addition to the actual music or movement they experience is something I’ve become really interested in lately as a performer.  There’s something quite rewarding about preparing the actual space in which the “event” will occur and realizing that it has a large impact on the way the sounds and dance steps are received!

Seán Mac Erlaine: The really big part of what we do in performance is to make a very real communication between the group and the audience as well as a constant communication between the four of us making the music. So with this second album it seemed important to try and capture that and to try and get away from the typical recording studio set-up where there is physical separation between musicians. At the same time we like to present our music in the best way possible so we didn’t want this to have one of those live-album-so-we-can-forgive-the-crappy-sound attempts, y’know those ones where the singer forgets some of the words and the bass player is a little out of tune sometimes… We hired in Mats Helgesson from Sweden who is an expert in live recording and who managed to make us sound like we were in a studio but with an audience (who remained amazingly quiet!!!).

Petter Berndalen: Just for these concerts I had to think of several different angles. I would both play the concerts as a musician, but I also felt a responsibility to create something that was afterwards formable to a sound that had evolved into my mind from the launch of our debut album and up to now.

With the thought that I would like to mix our new album, the thoughts fell sharply in Mats’s direction. Furthermore, Mats and me put together an audio equipment of utmost quality, the choices we made of, among other things, microphones, preamps, cables, created a first form of what we can hear on the album today.

I’d love to gain an insight into your discussions and creative aspirations – as a quartet – that you would have been sharing and discussing prior to the recording/live performances back in January? For instance, having the gorgeous debut album already under your belt and having played many live shows worldwide in support of that album, you must have had a whole world of ideas and avenues in which you all wanted to explore on this highly anticipated follow-up?

CÓR: I think we wanted to create some music that was more integrated, rather than one person bringing a tune that the rest of the band then subsequently arranges.  So finding ways of writing music together was definitely a priority.  We also chose not to follow the route of making arrangements of traditional tunes, preferring to focus primarily on music we write.

SME: All those live gigs really shape the band so we start to understand more what the group can do and where we might be able to push things forward in our sound. The new album does – thankfully – sound different to the first one and I think it represents how we have grown together. Having writing time together was essential to make that happen and there’s more of everyone, and everyone at once, on this new record.

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The title-track is a formidable piece of music, eternally mystical and bright melodies of rejoice. This piece is essentially in two parts and how the darker, inward patterns of part B fades into focus is a joy to savour. Can you talk me through this piece and the layering/construction of the various elements? It’s one of those incredible feats just how these intricate layers of achingly beautiful sounds fuse together so effortlessly, and these warm textures and motifs forever heighten and inspire. As a title also (and particularly as the album title), I’d love for you to discuss the significance or meaning of the title?

CÓR: The title ‘Foreign Fields’ comes from a poem my cousin Anthony Cunningham wrote for his father.  Sonny left Longford for New York when he was a very young man, and though he reached into his eighties, he never once returned home.  The idea of foreign fields appeals to me in both directions – the strangeness of the vast acres over there, but the memory too of every blade of grass back home, every ditch, gripe and clump of rushes.

SME: It’s an example of what happens when we get to write in the same space together. All the parts are written in the room at once so that they interlock and reinforce each other. I guess it’s this approach to composition that we were really seeking out rather than taking a piece which more or less exists and either just playing it or, worse, playing on top of it. It takes much more time to develop music this way but it’s been really satisfying for us and a nice challenge to play too.

PB: My favorite moment in the creation of this composition was when I and Nic suddenly found ourselves in the rhythmic dark texture that companions the march melody. The sound of that rhythm, the rhythm in itself and the way it fits in its context is the result of my and Nics un verbal common language, constantly evolving over the seven years we have been listening to and communicating with each other.

I get the impression that ‘Fjellvant’ feels like a piece that perhaps Petter brought to the table? The voice treatments and cinematic dimension that this composition inhabits unleashes a wall of raw emotion. I wonder as the quartet would often be split up, both geographically and being busy with other projects and musical incarnations, do you find yourself composing as solo entities and only once you join up as a four-piece, would you suddenly begin sharing all these ideas? Do you see the compositional approach to pieces such as ‘Fjellvant’ or ‘Ti Mor’ (for example) alter in a drastic way, or would the creative process be a more constant process?

CÓR: I think Fjellvant started with the little few notes I recorded on an iPad during one of the band’s writing days.  We spent a few days in the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Monaghan, and would split up into pairs to work on stuff, so myself and Seán pulled Fjellvant out of the bag and he brought his electronics to the party.  When we brought it back to the boys, it already felt like a complete thing unto itself, so that’s how it remains!

SME: We’ve often played short solo sets so we thought let’s see if we can try duo material. Fjellvant (a Norwegian word pertaining to mountain walking) is one of the duos that made the cut. Also, hiking is something that Caoimhín and I really like to do and perhaps not on all of TIHWF’s to do lists! If I were to recast my life I might try being a singing contemporary dancer and sometimes the guys let me sing a tiny bit (I’m not going to bust out any moves with Nic beside me).

The album radiates the sense of a live performance where the band are playing live; sharing the same as the listener. The special, unique live shows of This Is How We Fly is ultimately translated onto the final album. Was this a primary objective for the band? Also, please discuss the aesthetic quality of your work and this space you travel deep inside when it comes to making music together? I love the solo pieces (however short!) that wonderfully bridge various pieces that form majestic interludes throughout (which again, brings you back to the band’s live shows).

CÓR: The audience has always been such an important part of how this band works, and we felt that perhaps we were losing something by going into studio to record.  We wanted to make this record in collaboration with our audience, from the crowd-sourced funding, to having their listening, enthusiasm and energy as part of the air around us as we recorded.

NG: We’ve experimented over the nearly seven years we’ve been performing together about how best to convey the way that live gigs seem so close to the heart of this project. As I mentioned, this has included work with filmmakers, including several collaborations with Myles of Arbutus Yarns and Donal Dineen, but also the creation of performances in unorthodox spaces, most notably a dilapidated Georgian House on North Great George’s Street in Dublin as part of Seán’s ongoing series The Walls Have Ears during the Dublin Fringe. The privilege and power of creating something in the moment, not only in front of an audience, but in response to them is endlessly invigorating for us. In this way, the in-the-round, mostly-acoustic, live format was the perfect avenue for us to try to share our interest in creating music as a practice of rapport.  This rapport is with the audience, with our own bodies, with the tools of our craft (drumsticks, fiddle bow, clarinet keys, dance shoes) and with each other.

PB: Sharing the same thing as the listener. To me, this is probably the only way I can or rather want to play music. I find no greater interest in sharing with a monologue. What’s interesting in a meeting with a listener, is the listener’s contribution back to the musician and the musician’s ability to take in this, do something of it and then share the next phrase with the listener, to hear what this one has to say this time!

The same is true of how we communicate with each other in the band. Just playing a song straight off just like it sounded last time, there are many others who find joy in that. But in the musical context I myself want to find myself in, I prefer to be 100% communicative in each phrase, every breath, every second.

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As solo musicians and composers, you have carved out unique solo paths with your own singular sound and musical identity. Please take me back to your earliest musical memories and the landscape that you feel has shaped and influenced your own individual musical paths? For instance, Nic, you have a really beautiful spoken word piece where you recount your memories of a teacher of yours in Limerick, the lyrics for which are truly inspiring. It is the way each member brings their own colours and rich language to the divine sonic canvas of the overall sound and how each one complements and further heightens one another, this must have taken you by surprise (in some ways) when you first came together and played together?

CÓR: I have so many memories from both listening to and playing traditional music that have shaped what I’m aiming for when I play.  Hearing Tony Mac Mahon stopping time playing ‘James Connolly’ in the Cobalt Cafe; fourteen hours non-stop playing with Dermy Diamond in Queally’s Pub in Miltown Malbay during the Willie Clancy, day after day after day, lit up by the man of the house throwing a step out of the blue; playing ‘The Rolling Wave’ by myself for hours upon hours on a New Year’s Eve, over and over again, until music became magic for the first time…

NG: Thanks! Often as part of our concerts, we each take a moment to allow one another to stretch out, allowing the audience to engage with our sounds individually. The piece “Scraping for Peggy” came out of this little band ritual and is dedicated to legendary Cork Irish dance teacher Peggy McTeggart. She said, “I’ll have no scrapers in our class”.  For her, “good” dance technique was adroit, crisp, and clean, resulting from a short sharp connection to the ground. This became a provocation for me to make whispery, gritty, hushed, or “dirty” sounds by sustaining my contact with the floor. There’s a playful sense of the joy of transgression, of doing what you’re told not to do, that honestly fills my heart with glee every time I get to dance the piece in her memory. For me, the connection to this older dancer and the way that tradition begs as many questions as it provides answers becomes a locus of performance but also of pleasure for me and hopefully for the audience as well.

SME: I’m not sure I have many early musical memories, I was into my teens by the time I got hooked on Bob Dylan and worlds surrounding that, but I don’t think you will hear much of that in my playing. Often the non-musical will inspire me as much as my listening habits. These days all I try to do is get out of my own way and let music flow and the direction I’m moving in is that the music has less and less to do with me than with the moment present, the players present and the people present.

PB: I remember that an early wish I had was the desire to possess the technical skills I have today on my instrument, but at the same time never heard of music of any kind before.

Today, however, I realize that my physical ability at my instrument and how it is intertwined with my wider musical understanding is the essence of what I do.

But to easily summarize how I have received my unique musical signature, I can say that it has arisen from many years of trying to translate Swedish folk music played on violin to same thing, but on drums.

An important question within my work is how central aspects of melody, such as hierarchical form and phrasing, melodic contour, ornamentation, etc. can be represented percussion playing on a drum kit where precise pitch transitions are not possible. Other important questions concern how to capture the rhythmic and metrical flexibility and ambiguity of Swedish traditional fiddle music on an instrument in which the rhythmic expression is precise and explicit.

Please shed some light on the Irish compositions ‘Ti Mor’ and ‘Ri Rua’. Can you recount your memories of the earliest versions of these pieces and how they bloomed over time? ‘Ri Rua’ feels like it could have originated between Sean and Caoimhin whereas ‘Ti Mor’ was a duet between Nic and Petter?

CÓR: Rí Rua was such an enjoyable tune to work on with Seán – trying to find ways of weaving notes, rhythms and phrases together on the two instruments.  I think the earliest version started with Seán’s phrases, and we worked out from there.

NG: Tí Mór began with a particular groove that’s created by a step known in Appalachian dance communities as the Tennessee Walking Step. The step is credited to Robert Dotson and was later modified and used by dancers in the US folk revival of the 1970s and 80s. It’s an insistent, bass-treble movement produced by stepping onto the floor and dropping one’s body weight through the foot (that’s the bass), then sliding backwards on the floor creating a sibilant brighter sound (that’s the treble part). Petter remarked that we rarely access this particular rhythmic pattern in our music and suggested we create something inspired by it. The piece winds up feeling like a track of Electronic Dance Music in which the beats are actually made by dancing!!

Lastly, the sprawling tour-de-force ‘Agus a hAon :: Mumpsimus :: Counterline’ spans the breadth of part B. I love this drifting, floating quality to the piece, how the woodwind dances its majestic dance amidst infinite colours of percussion and soaring fiddles. I get the impression this piece must have taken a considerable time to flesh out, so to speak and write the distinct movements inherent in this piece of music? Some of these melodies on the record sound at once wholly familiar and utterly unknown; perhaps one foot is steeped in tradition and the other is searching deep into new, unknown horizons.

CÓR: Yeah, I really love these three tunes! The second part of the first tune is really satisfying to me in its simple confusion. Mumpsimus is a waltz that initally made perfect sense to me but to no one else, hence the name, which means ‘a person who obstinately adheres to an idea in spite of evidence that they are wrong or unreasonable’.  And Counterline always feels SO good to play, again it’s very satisfying to me how the various parts interlock.

SME: There’s a mixture here of tightly written material and quite loose improvisation which feels nice, one moment we are in unison and then the atmosphere loosens and, as a player, you are free to contribute whatever feels just right for the piece. I know what you mean about the familiar sounding melodies, sometimes I wonder when we are writing, hey, surely someone has written this melody already, it’s so… simple! It’s hard to be objective but I haven’t heard anyone else playing them yet so I think we are in clear!

Your musical philosophy as a quartet. Can you somehow pinpoint what this is? Also, what you feel you have learned as a group over the past six (or so) years and what you feel comes next for the band, as you continually develop and evolve?

NG: I think Petter summed this up beautifully once during an interview we were giving at a French folk festival. He said, “You don’t need to practice to talk with your friends.” While we do of course see the value in rehearsal, the idea of being open to conversation in music-making – and being open to that conversation taking a radically different turn in performance than when you had it earlier in rehearsal, feels really crucial to this project. We want our performances to be very much about responding to one another and to audiences, wherever they (and we!) are affectually. As for what’s next: deeper rapport, perhaps an exploration of “home-ness” as opposed to the wonder and amazement of the “foreign fields.”  And maybe even an entire dance step-based EDM release!

SME: Yes, the essential philosophy would revolve around ideas of togetherness. Being together and listening. It may sound odd but listening is more important to us than even playing and there have been occasions where, on stage, each musicians stops playing but continues listening and we continue the piece without there being any piece left! In the seven years I hope we’ve learnt more about each other and, through that, ourselves. I think we are all pretty happy to continue as we started off with an openness to explore and push and learn and what that will sound like just depends on whichever moment you hear us.

PB: A dream I’ve been wearing for a very long time and which has become true with TIHWF is the fact that there’s no difference at all to just being together and playing music together.

‘Foreign Fields’ is available NOW.

http://www.thisishowwefly.net/

https://www.facebook.com/ThisIsHowWeFly/

 

 

 

 

Written by admin

October 12, 2017 at 12:23 pm

Fractured Air x Blogothèque – S02E08 | August mix

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August’s mixtape features a pair of tracks from This Is How We Fly’s eagerly-anticipated second album “Foreign Fields”, due for release on 15th September 2017. The four-piece comprise the renowned musicians: Petter Berndalen (drums), Nic Gareiss (percussive dance), Seán Mac Erlaine (clarinets, electronics) and Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh (hardanger d’amore fiddles). Hailing from Ireland, Sweden and USA, the quartet draw upon a rich tapestry of sounds and traditions, drawing upon the raw energy and rich dynamism of jazz and its true spirit of improvisation, together with traditional music’s eternal affinity and appreciation for honing and perfecting one’s craft. “Foreign Fields” is a joy to behold, its soul-stirring music navigates new sonic terrain while continually pushing its four composers to reach for new heights, forever onwards and upwards for this most inventive and mythical of bands.

UK producer James Holden’s “The Inheritors” (Border Community, 2013) was one of this century’s finest records, an album for modern times created by one of the most consistently innovative and singular artists making music today. With the announcement that it’s long-awaited follow-up, “The Animal Spirits” (due for release on 3rd November once again via Holden’s own Border Community label), it is bound to rise to the surface on many an end-of-year lists come December. The album (described as “synth-led folk-trance standards”) features Holden’s newly assembled group of “fellow travellers”, James Holden & The Animal Spirits. The personnel comprises long-time collaborators Tom Page and Etienne Jaumet, as well as Marcus Hamblett, Liza Bec and Lascelle Gordon. The album’s lead single, “Pass Through The Fire” has so far been unveiled, the track having been inspired by his 2014 trip to Morocco to work with late Gnawa music legend Maalem Mahmoud Guinia. James Holden was also recently added to the special guest curatorial program at this November’s Le Guess Who? Festival at Utrecht, where he has invited such stellar musicians as Serbia’s Mario Batkovic and Canada’s Jerusalem In My Heart to his lineup.

August’s mix also features new releases from: Julie Byrne’s “Not Even Happiness” (Basin Rock); Four Tet’s latest essential single for his Text imprint, “Planet”; Grouper’s new track “Children” (taken from her “Ruins” album sessions); Rafael Anton Irisarri’s mesmerising “The Shameless Years” (Umor Rex) and Hype Williams“Rainbow Edition” (Big Dada Recordings).

Fractured Air x Blogothèque – S02E08 | August mix

 

To listen on La Blogothèque:

http://www.blogotheque.net/2017/09/01/fractured-air-x-blogotheque-s02e08-august-mix

 

01. Psychic TV“Just Drifting” (WEA, Some Bizzare)
02. Moor Mother“Valley of Dry Bones” (Don Giovanni)
03. Mica Levi & Oliver Coates“I’ll Keep Going” (Slip)
04. Hype Williams“#Blackcardsmatter” (Big Dada Recordings)
05. Lee Gamble“Istian” (Hyperdub)
06. Rhythm & Sound with Cornel Campbell“King In My Empire” (Soul Jazz)
07. Ken Parker“My Whole World Is Falling Down” (Heartbeat)
08. This Is How We Fly“Tí Mór” (Self-Released)
09. Laurel Halo“Who Won?” (Hyperdub)
10. James Holden & The Animal Spirits“Pass Through The Fire” (Border Community)
11. Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith“To Follow And Lead” (Western Vinyl)
12. SAICOBAB“Bx Ax Bx” (Thrill Jockey)
13. Snapped Ankles“Hanging With The Moon” (The Leaf Label)
14. Ex Eye“Xenolith; the Anvil” (Relapse)
15. Suicide“Cheree” (Red Star)
16. Four Tet“Planet” (Text)
17. Washed Out“Down and Out” (Stones Throw)
18. Mariah“Shinzo No Tobira” (Palto Flats, Columbia)
19. LCD Soundsystem“tonite” (DFA, Columbia)
20. Severed Heads“Dead Eyes Opened” (Dark Entries)
21. Jefre Cantu-Ledesma“Echoing Green” (Mexican Summer)
22. Rafael Anton Irisarri“Sky Burial” (Umor Rex)
23. This Will Destroy You“The Puritan” (Julianna Barwick Remix) (Suicide Squeeze)
24. Grouper “Children” (Bandcamp)
25. Benoît Pioulard“Rook” (Beacon Sound)
26. Julie Byrne“Natural Blue” (Basin Rock, Ba Da Bing!)
27. This Is How We Fly“Fjellvant” (Self-Released)
28. Do Make Say Think“Shlomo’s Son” (Constellation)

Compiled by Fractured Air, August 2017. The copyright in these recordings is the property of the individual artists and/or record labels. If you like the music, please support the artist by buying their records.

http://www.blogotheque.net/
https://fracturedair.com/

Fractured Air 43: Seán Mac Erlaine “Music To Lean On”

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The Dublin-based woodwind composer (saxophonist and clarinetist) and music producer Seán Mac Erlaine is one of Ireland’s best-loved musicians and composers. Mac Erlaine has released two solo albums to date: 2012’s ‘Long After The Music Is Gone’ and 2014’s ‘A slender song’ (both released by highly acclaimed Irish label Ergodos). Mac Erlaine is also a member of the Irish/Swedish four-piece This Is How We Fly (alongside Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh, Petter Berndalen and Nic Gareiss) and has collaborated with numerous musicians in the past in both live and studio settings (The Gloaming, Bill Frisell, Lisa Hannigan, The Smith Quartet, Iarla O’Lionaird). This Is How We Fly have toured extensively internationally promoting their debut self-titeld album (having been released at the end of 2013 via Playing With Music). The annual site-specific Dublin-based Bottlenote Festival – a celebration of live improvisation where both national and international artists are invited to perform – is also co-run by Mac Erlaine.

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Fractured Air 43: Seán Mac Erlaine “Music To Lean On”

To listen on Mixcloud:

https://www.mixcloud.com/Fractured_Air/fractured-air-43-seán-mac-erlaine-music-to-lean-on/

 

“These are musicians I feel I can trust, to lean on, to deliver the goods when you might need them. I hope some other listeners find some of the same things here as I do.”

—Seán Mac Erlaine, September 2015

 

Tracklisting:

01. Vinicio Capossela ‘Abbandonato (Los ejes de mi carreta)’ [La Cùpa]
02. Jon Balke ‘O Andalusin’ [ECM]
03. Bob Dylan ‘I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine’ [Columbia]
04. Jan Bang ‘The Midwife’s Dilemma’ [Samadhisound]
05. Jon Hassell ‘Empire III’ [Editions EG]
06. Katsuya Yokoyama ‘Tsuru no sugomori’ [Ocora]
07. Bobby McFerrin ‘Circlesong Five’ [Sony Classical]
08. Romica Puceanu ‘Cînd ai Parinti Lînga Tine’ [Electrecord]
09. Paul Burch ‘Last of My Kind’ [Merge]

Compiled by Seán Mac Erlaine. The copyright in these recordings is the property of the individual artists and/or their respective record labels. If you like the music, please support the artist by buying their records.

 


 

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‘A Slender Song’ is available now on Ergodos.

http://www.seanmacerlaine.com/
https://ergodos.ie/

 

Written by admin

September 16, 2015 at 11:21 am

Mixtape: A Safe Harbour Vol. 2

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A Safe Harbour Vol. 2 [A Fractured Air Mix]

To listen on Mixcloud:

https://www.mixcloud.com/Fractured_Air/a-safe-harbour-vol-2-a-fractured-air-mix/

 

Tracklisting:

01. This Is How We Fly ‘Lonesome Road’ (excerpt) [Playing With Music]
// Bryce Dessner ‘Interview’ (excerpt) [Fractured Air]
02. This Is The Kit ‘Vitamins’ [Brassland]
03. Amiina ‘Rugla’ [Bláskjár, Ever]
04. Iarla Ó Lionáird ‘Scathán Na Beatha’ [Real World]
05. Julianna Barwick ‘The Harbinger’ [Dead Oceans]
06. Linda Buckley ‘Error Messages’ [Heresy]
07. Donnacha Dennehy ‘Misterman’ [Heresy]
08. Richard Reed Parry ‘Quartet for Heart and Breath’ [Deutsche Grammophon]
09. Seán Mac Erlaine ‘Buried Light’ [Ergodos]
10. Sam Amidon ‘Blue Mountains’ [Nonesuch]
11. Lisa Hannigan ‘Flowers’ [Hoop Recordings]
12. Skuli Sverrisson ‘Volumes’ [Sería Music]
13. This Is How We Fly ‘Pelargonens Död’ [Playing With Music]
14. Bryce Dessner (Copenhagen Phil, cond. by Andre de Ridder) ‘St. Carolyn by the Sea’ (excerpt) [Deutsche Grammophon]
15. The National ‘Sorrow’ [4AD]

Listen to ‘A Safe Harbour’ Vol. 1 HERE.

Sounds From A Safe Harbour is a festival of music, art & conversation, curated by The National’s Bryce Dessner, taking place on 17—20 September 2015 across various venues in Cork, Ireland. Tickets are on sale now.

http://soundsfromasafeharbour.com/
https://www.facebook.com/soundsfromasafeharbour

Mixtape: A Safe Harbour

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asafeharbour_sleeve

A Safe Harbour [A Fractured Air Mix]

To listen on Mixcloud:

https://www.mixcloud.com/Fractured_Air/a-safe-harbour-a-fractured-air-mix/

 

Tracklisting:

01. Amiina (ft. Lee Hazlewood) ‘Hilli (At the Top of the World)’ [Everrecords]
02. Sam Amidon ‘Saro’ [Bedroom Community]
03. Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh ‘big mammoth’ [Diatribe]
04. The Gloaming ‘Samradh Samradh’ [Real World]
05. Kate Ellis ‘Aisling Gheal’ (Trad. Irish. A Setting by D. Dennehy) [Diatribe]
06. Seán Mac Erlaine ‘Turaghlan’ [Ergodos]
07. This Is How We Fly ‘March For A Dark Day’ [Playing With Music]
08. Valgeir Sigurðsson ‘Big Reveal’ [Bedroom Community]
09. Julianna Barwick ‘Prizewinning’ [Asthmatic Kitty]
10. Mina Tindle ‘Plein nord’ [Believe Recordings]
11. Nadia Sirota ‘From The Invisible To The Visible’ [Bedroom Community]
12. My Brightest Diamond ‘This Is My Hand’ [Blue Sword (ASCAP)]
13. James McVinnie ‘Hudson Preludes: Follow Up’ [Bedroom Community]
14. So Percussion ‘Music for Wood and Strings: Section 3’ [Brassland]
15. This Is The Kit ‘Bashed Out’ [Brassland]
16. Amiina ‘Leather And Lace’ [Sound Of A Handshake]

Sounds From A Safe Harbour is a festival of music, art & conversation, curated by The National’s Bryce Dessner, taking place on 17—20 September 2015 across various venues in Cork, Ireland. Tickets are on sale now.

http://soundsfromasafeharbour.com
https://www.facebook.com/soundsfromasafeharbour?ref=hl

Chosen One: Bryce Dessner

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Interview with Bryce Dessner.

“I think that music is the great collaborative art that musicians exist in dialogue with each other and also in community with the audience.”

—Bryce Dessner

Words: Mark Carry

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Sounds from a Safe Harbour is a brand new festival of music, art and conversation, curated by Bryce Dessner of The National. Two years since its inception by Bryce and Cork Opera House CEO, Mary Hickson, Sounds from a Safe Harbour will bring a huge international creative cast to Cork this September to celebrate the port city’s place on the world’s stage in a unique setting.

Alongside Cork’s spectacular harbour environs, themes of waves, water and movement have been the inspiration for the festival, and will be explored through many new commissions and collaborations specially programmed for Sounds from a Safe Harbour. The festival will activate the City through many art forms including visual arts, conversation, dance, film and music. Collaboration and shared experiences are strong themes in the festival, and audiences are encouraged to immerse themselves and form part of the conversation.

One of the festival’s centerpieces will be ‘Wave Movements’ – a new composition by Bryce Dessner and Richard Reed Parry (Arcade Fire) – performed at Cork Opera House by the RTE National Symphony Orchestra and accompanied with film by the celebrated Japanese photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto.

Also on the truly inspiring programme will be the award-winning seminal Irish ensemble The Gloaming; The National’s Aaron Dessner’s collaboration with universally-acclaimed Irish singer-songwriter Lisa Hannigan; Shara Worden’s My Brightest Diamond; celebrated English organist James McVinnie; New York So Percussion and Nadia Sirota; Icelandic producer and composer Valgeir Sigurðsson with Icelandic compatriots Amiina,Ragnar Kjartansson, Kjartan Sveinsson and Skúli Sverrisson; Swedish / Irish fusion outfit This Is How We Fly; Parisian new-wave multi-instrumentalist Mina Tindle; US choral-based sound sculptor Julianna Barwick; American songsmith Sam Amidon; Kate Stables’ endearing folk outfit This Is The Kit plus many more.

http://soundsfromasafeharbour.com/
https://www.facebook.com/soundsfromasafeharbour 

Interview with Bryce Dessner.

The announcement of Sounds From A Safe Harbour was wonderful to see and a truly special lineup awaits us in September. It shows the spirit of collaboration and how over the last few years, there’s been so much fascinating and adventurous music. I’d love for you to discuss this whole aspect of collaboration as it’s something you’ve always been doing.

Bryce Dessner: I think that music is the great collaborative art that musicians exist in dialogue with each other and also in community with the audience. I think this is what pushes us forward, it opens new creative worlds for us as musicians. And also what’s interesting to me about doing this in Cork as a place is that in Ireland being a place of such tremendous music culture – for a small country it has such a huge global reach – of traditional music and the great bands and singers that come from there and all that. And then Cork being this gem of a city, this small city that feels like a village with so many beautiful venues and spaces, and the harbour and canals. The idea of bringing artists there is as much as about them bringing their music to Cork as it is Cork opening its doors and being a place for the musicians to discover, especially to interact with the Irish musicians who will be there. I mean that’s the stuff that makes me really excited and the driving force in my creative life is collaboration and community and embracing this more creative style of music.

I can’t wait to see your live performance of ‘St. Carolyn by the Sea’ because it’s such an amazing piece of music.

BD: Thanks. ‘St. Carolyn by the Sea’ is a significant piece for me that I wrote for my brother and I to play with orchestra and it’s very much about how we play music together but pushing it quite far structurally and formally and something quite ambitious with the orchestra. It’s going to be really fun and It’s not something we can do very often and to do it with such a great orchestra and conductor is a really amazing opportunity for us. The festival has a lot of these rarely heard before performances which I think is a big part of what’s exciting to all of us and hopefully part of the draw for people to come is for the stuff you’re not going to hear elsewhere.

I wonder Bryce in terms of the writing process for a composition like ‘St. Carolyn by the Sea’, I can imagine it evolved over quite a long period of time? It feels like it did as there are so many different aspects to it.

BD: I mean the actual writing of the piece which takes six months or so and then the music itself takes a lifetime in a way where the sounds and ideas that may have been somewhere in me or developing somewhere back then so once it’s time to write it down, it almost feels like it’s been there and you just have to figure it out. I always wonder how many of these pieces one has and how many more of them I can do but that piece has a lot of colours in it that I am proud of.

Another highlight will be the new piece you wrote with Richard Reed Parry, ‘Wave Movements’.

BD: Yeah that piece is a commission for the festival and there is quite a few commissions and new works that we’re doing. The Irish sisters from Cork, Linda and Irene Buckley are creating a new piece; there’s a more electronic group Eat My Noise who are doing a big collaborative work and there’s a couple of visual artists who are doing some new projects. I think that side of the festival is super important to us. Richard Reed Parry and I are really close friends and collaborators and we wanted Mary Hickson at the Cork Opera House who talked about the harbour and the theme of the water and sea is a big part of the Cork identity so we wanted a piece that would respond to that in some way. So, ‘Wave Movements’ is a string orchestra piece that all the rhythms are generated by the ocean. We actually spent time recording the ocean, I spent time in Cork on the sea there and spent time in the city thinking about the role of the sea there. It’s a sixty minute piece but what’s significant about it is in addition to co-composing it which is not a very traditional thing to do but incredibly fun and interesting process. The whole thing as a visual side of it, Hiroshi Sugimoto who is an amazing Japanese photographer did a film for it. It’s a really, really stunning piece of work and I think there’s a trailer up so you can see what it’s going to look like.

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As you say too Bryce, it must be this fun element when you’re working with close friends and family obviously with your brother, that’s the beauty of it when you’re sharing ideas with each other and creating something from that.

BD: I always say that my brother and I were born to collaborate- we’re twins and we’re playing in a band and it extends beyond just collaborating with one another. Aaron is writing a new set of songs with Lisa Hannigan, the Irish singer for the Cork festival and we being brothers that have always worked together, it really helps us and something we’ve learned from an early age on how to be good collaborators. And ultimately when you think of creative people there’s always the creative ego and the desire to express oneself but actually the stronger part of the creative life is being open and learning from other people and that’s why I do it and it’s always so interesting to learn from other musicians and other artists.

Another beautiful thing with The National is all the wonderful collaborators that are involved, for example some of the Bedroom Community artists and guest musicians who work in the studio on your songs so you can feel that special spark in all the National recordings too.

BD: There’s the five of us but then there is this really broad community of people like Richard Parry or Sufjan Stevens or Sharon Van Etten. There’s many many different people who have been a huge part in our career. The music itself is a good vehicle for that. In a way, The National sound is singular, it sounds like nothing else but it’s the sound of many voices and it’s not just us. I think that collaborative power of music is definitely part of The National story.

In terms of scoring music, it must be a lovely feeling when you hear an orchestra such as the Copenhagen Philharmonic performing the music that you wrote?

BD: Especially in our current world that is so digital and so virtual and the experience of the internet and always being online, the actual performance of things and the live event and the communal aspect of coming together to hear something or to play something or to experience the notes that are written on the page and then there’s the notes that you hear in the theatre and the things that aren’t written or sung in our minds and that aura of performance and there’s nothing to replace that. I think something like Sounds From A Safe Harbour is very much about that and like I said it’s very much about the artists as much as it is for the audience. It’s important for artists to have that opportunity to come together into an intimate environment to really have the possibility to work together, to work with different musicians and to encounter a new culture in public. I think that’s what pushes the creative world forward and hopefully offers people something new and some kind of transporting experience.

It definitely will, there’s no question about that. I wonder are there certain records you’re listening a lot to lately in the last few months?

BD: As far as things I’m listening to recently is a record that I worked on by a friend of mine, Sufjan Stevens new record ‘Carrie & Lowell’ which has been my soundtrack when I drive upstate a lot in New York, I have a little house in the mountains and I always put that on. I just think he is one of the most interesting musicians of our generation and that’s a record that I love. Also a record by a young singer This Is The Kit who will be playing in Cork as well- that record my brother produced, it’s called ‘Bashed Out’ and it’s a really, really beautiful record.

The whole aspect of scoring music and this idea of collaborating, it’s great too because as you say with the current age of downloads and digital, there’s a lovely sense of being in the moment and taking risks as well in obviously the best possible way.

BD: I think so. I think it’s always interesting when you spend a lot of time working on something, it’s like tending your own garden and then it becomes like reading your own palm and something that’s so familiar that maybe you’re missing. It’s always interesting when someone comes to me from outside and says, ‘Oh did you notice that at all?’ that little corner over there and you haven’t seen it before. To me that’s the beauty of collaboration is hearing the way other people respond to your work and that’s also the role of an audience and how they respond to you. It happens so often with the National songs where you get people developing their whole own personal narratives to a song and tell you after and I’m like ‘I never thought of that before’. But it’s a really beautiful way to make work is to share.

For instance, working with classical musicians who spend their lives playing instruments and really have developed such a fine ear, the way they tune and that’s part of having strings on a National record is that you spend six months working on a track and then to bring in just for a day, a really good group of musicians and have them channel their musicality at it and even just the way they would interpret the pitch or tune against it really gives it this human element that’s been really important to our recordings.

I love too how witnessing The National’s live performance how you are struck by the energy and rawness of the performance.

BD: I think we never felt the need to duplicate the records like the experience of us live is different from the album and I like artists that feel that freedom to make something new for the live show.

 

 


 

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‘Music For Wood & Strings’ is available now on Brassland.

http://www.brycedessner.com/

http://soundsfromasafeharbour.com/
https://www.facebook.com/soundsfromasafeharbour

Fractured Air Presents: COLLEEN (FRA) w/ special guest Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh (IRE) / Cork Opera House / SUNDAY 3 MAY 2015

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We’re delighted to be presenting the following double-bill concert with world-renowned composers Cécile Schott (Colleen) and Meteor Choice Music Award winning Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh (The Gloaming, This Is How We Fly). This is Colleen’s only Irish date for her 2015 European tour to promote her latest fifth studio album ‘Captain Of None’, released earlier this April via Thrill Jockey Records. Both artists have mastered their own respective instruments of choice; Schott’s treble viola da gamba and Ó Raghallaigh’s ten-string Hardanger d’Amore fiddle. Join both musicians on the Cork Opera House stage (literally) for an intimate gig set up to bring the audience right into the heart of the music. Concert takes place this Sunday 3 May, doors are 8pm and tickets are €17.50.

Tickets are available now from the Cork Opera House Box Office (Emmet Place, Cork), telephone: + 353 (0) 21 – 427 0022, or online from the following link:

http://www.corkoperahouse.ie/event/colleen-caoimhin-o-raghallaigh/2015-05-03/

Event Page:
https://www.facebook.com/events/667437746735775/

colleen

COLLEEN (FRA/Thrill Jockey)

The Paris-born musician Cécile Schott has been making music as Colleen for over a decade now: beginning with a string of much-loved records for The Leaf Label (debut 2003 album ‘Everyone Alive Wants Answers’, 2005’s ‘The Golden Morning Breaks’ and 2007’s ‘Les Ondes Silencieuses’, as well as 2006’s ‘Colleen Et Les Boîtes À Musique’, (an E.P. originally created for Atelier de Création Radiophonique as a commission from France Culture). After a four-year break, Colleen made her long-awaited return to music in 2013 with the release of her album ‘The Weighing Of The Heart’ via London-based label Second Language, its eleven songs featuring, for the first time, Schott’s own voice as well as a new-found love for Jamaican music and rhythm. Colleen’s highly acclaimed fifth studio album ‘Captain Of None’ was released by Chicago-based label Thrill Jockey Records in April 2015.

‘Captain Of None’ is characterized by a stripped-back sound palette (Schott adopts the use of two main instruments; the treble viola da gamba and voice) and finds Schott embracing her long-term love for Jamaican music in terms of the construction of her own songs (production ideas and experimentation with sound). The album was recorded entirely in her home San Sebastian studio, where two key things happened. Firstly, Schott wished to add basslines to her own music, which lead to her using an Octaver Pedal to create bass sounds (the pedal adds another octave below the original sound you are playing). Secondly, Schott began to use a Moogerfooger pedal to create the delay effects crucial to the dub reggae sound aesthetic. ‘Captain Of None’, together with it’s predecessor, 2013’s ‘The Weighing Of The Heart’, journeys Schott’s natural and beautiful transformation from instrumentalist to lyricist, where Schott’s songbook details the inner human life (“so rich and complex it’s just impossible to really understand it and that’s what is really fascinating”).

Colleen’s performance at Cork Opera House will mark Cécile Schott’s eagerly-awaited return to Cork to mark the release of ‘Captain Of None’, her fifth studio album. This is Colleen’s only Irish live performance.

Selected Press for ‘Captain Of None’:

“Colleen essentially provides a journey to this mysterious, elusive heart, one that requires an open mind and sense of adventure… valiant and genre-defying.”
(The Quietus)

“…the whole thing carves out and inhabits a persuasively exotic world of echo that invites total immersion.”
(MOJO)

“…positively vibrate with melodic ideas… the way Colleen uses classical acoustic instruments to reconfigure modern idioms recalls Arthur Russell’s cello-driven World of Echo or Hauschka… Somehow, Schott is able to make these disparate elements feel organic and effortless.”
(Pitchfork)

“The result is gorgeous, like a quietly brewing storm of layered pizzicatos, bouncing off the walls and grazing your ears as they glide past you.”
(Stereo Gum)

“Captain of None is her most ambitious [album] to date. The elegiac vocal elements that buoyed its predecessor are now well and truly on the surface.”
(FACT)

http://colleenplays.org/
https://www.facebook.com/colleenplays
http://www.thrilljockey.com/

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Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh (IRE/The Gloaming, This Is How We Fly)

Ireland’s Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh plays traditional and contemporary folk music on Hardanger d’Amore and other fiddles. The masterful musician and gifted composer is undoubtedly a national treasure; heralding a distinctive and utterly compelling voice in Irish contemporary music. In addition to being an established solo artist, he performs with two groups The Gloaming and This is How we Fly, in duos with Dan Trueman, Mick O’Brien & Brendan Begley, a trio with Martin Hayes & Peadar Ó Riada, and as part of many other collaborative projects.

2014 was a remarkable year for Ireland-based composer Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh. Firstly, January ‘14 saw the release of contemporary quintet The Gloaming’s stunning self-titled debut album via Real World Records. Subsequent concerts would be performed across the globe (including Sydney’s Opera House) to mass celebration and widespread critical acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic. As well as touring with his other band, the Irish/Swedish quartet This Is How We Fly, across both Ireland and Europe (and most recently across the U.S.), Ó Raghallaigh also performed a series of truly special solo concerts (entitled “In My Mind”, a solo fiddle and film show) across the length of Ireland for the month of October, organized by Irish Music Network. Despite the hectic touring schedules, Ó Raghallaigh also released two stunning albums: the solo album ‘Music For An Elliptical Orbit’ (via Dublin-based label Diatribe Records) and the mesmerizing ‘Laghdú’, a collaboration with U.S. fiddle player Dan Trueman. The Gloaming’s self-titled debut album was recently awarded the prestigious Meteor Choice Music Prize for 2015.

Selected Press:

“a seamless and unfettered soundscape… there’s enough space and light here for influences as diverse as baroque to minimalism to breathe free… the work of musicians reveling in the moment: a rare find.”
(The Irish Times)

“possibly one of the most fulsome and beautiful recordings I have ever heard. Great music has this magnificent power over us, a power to which the heart must yield always and without regret.”
(Iarla Ó Lionáird)

“ASTOUNDING… Replete with unexpected melodic twists and turns, the tunes are highly cinematic, painting richly impressionistic images.”
(Colm O’Hare, Hot Press)

http://www.caoimhinoraghallaigh.com/
https://www.facebook.com/caoimhinoraghallaigh

 


 

Fractured Air Presents: COLLEEN (FRA) w/ special guest Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh (IRE), Sunday 3 May 2015, Cork Opera House, Tickets: €17.50, Doors: 8pm.

Tickets are available now from the Cork Opera House Box Office (Emmet Place, Cork), telephone: + 353 (0) 21 – 427 0022, or online from the following link:

http://www.corkoperahouse.ie/event/colleen-caoimhin-o-raghallaigh/2015-05-03/