The 9th annual Sonic Vigil, Ireland’s primary improvisation and sound art event, is set to take place on Saturday 2nd May in St Anne’s Church, Shandon, Cork City. This year’s special guest will be Christina Kubisch, the renowned multi-award winning German composer, recordist and installation artist. Kubisch’s work spans multiple media and includes an extraordinary number of performances at many of the world’s most significant festivals, recordings on many different labels, and diverse solo exhibitions. Kubisch appears at 6 pm.
Every year since 2007, Cork has played host to Ireland’s most significant free improvisation event. SONIC VIGIL brings together outstanding improvisers, sound artists and field recordists from Ireland and abroad in a multi-hour celebration of cutting-edge, radical sonic experimentation. 18 remarkable musicians are placed into a randomly-generated timetable, producing instant, unknowable and unexpected interactions: sounds of kaleidoscope beauty, teetering on a tantalising abyss of risk make for an immersive, mesmerising and ever-evolving experience.
Hein Schoer, musician and soundscaper and developer of the remarkable Sounding Museum – a trans-cultural exploration of the sonic identity of our world – appears at 4 pm.
The event takes place from 2pm to 8pm. Audience members are free to come and go as they please, and are invited in amongst the musicians, encouraging an exploratory approach to hearing and allowing an exceptional sense of intimacy that breaks down performer/audience divides. Unparalleled anywhere in Ireland or abroad, SONIC VIGIL displays an approach to performance and sound that is unique, extraordinary and inspiring.
Sonic Vigil is supported by Cork City Council, Gruenrekorder and the Goethe Institute. Sonic Vigil 9 is managed by Danny McCarthy, Mick O’Shea, Karen Power, Irene Murphy and John Godfrey.
Sonic Vigil 9 features Arif Ayab, David Bremner, Mikael Fernstrom, John Godfrey, Paul Hegarty, Anthony Kelly, Danny McCarthy, miXile, Harry Moore, Irene Murphy, Katie O’Looney, Mick O’Shea, Robin Parmar, Karen Power, Caroline Pugh, Nick Roth, David Stalling, Sean Taylor.
Following on from their recent addition to the Ed Sheeran Croke Park line-up this summer, Bell X1 have announced a very special acoustic tour this October. Tickets are now on sale from all the usual outlets.
Paul, Dave and Dom have been busy in the studio recording their 7th album. This will be the follow up to 2013’s much acclaimed Chop Chop, which was their third Number 1, and their fourth consecutive album to be nominated for a Choice Music Prize Album of the Year.
Much of this tour finds them returning to some of Ireland’s most-cherished music venues with a few new special stops added in.
You can catch Bell X1 live this October in the following locations:
Irish artists, LIZ MADDEN (Vocalist/Songwriter/Producer) and FIONAN DE BARRA (Guitarist/Producer) have just been nominated for this years New Mexico Music Awards. Their arrangement and production of the original song “White Willow” written by Liz Madden and Katie Carpenter (of the Irish duo JEZZEBELLE), has been nominated in the Folk category. The awards take place on May 30th in Albuquerque, New Mexico. “White Willow” is taken from Madden’s new album LEGACY which has just been released on the Valley Entertainment label.
Liz and Katie are having great success with their songwriting collaboration, winning Best Irish Entry and Runner up in last years International Song of Peace contest and making the final of the 2014 Christie Hennessy Song Contest.
The much loved Dublin Alt-country act, The Blood Red Mountain Band, have spent some time crafting their new sound, and are set to release ‘All The Times’, the first single from their forthcoming album, “Far from Daylight”. Telling a tale of late night, drunken breakups; it’s a single rich in longing and heartache, in triumphant strings and edgy vocals.
The three boys and two girls of The Blood Red Mountain Band sail a peculiar ship made from bits of Americana, Country, Soul and Rock. Almost two years in the studio with producer Anthony Gibney -whose most recent work was Alien Envoy’s album ‘Loads’ (which got a 9/10 from HotPress)- they are finally ready to let their baby go out into the world. “I’m really excited to get this single out, we’ve put a lot of heart into these new songs and I can’t wait for our fans to hear it” said Alison Byrne, vocalist and oboe player with the band.
The single will be available on iTunes from Thursday,23th April.
To celebrate the launch, the band play in The Sugar Club this Thursday, 23th April 2015.
Tickets cost €12 on the door or can be purchased in advance from the Sugar Club. Support on the night from Andy Earley and The Dublin City Rounders.
The full album ‘Far From Daylight’ will be available from Sept 1st 2015.
Cork alt-punks The Grunts return with their ‘New York City Woman’ EP, released April 15th 2015 via the newly founded ‘Inner Chapter’ label.
The title track is a raw, rocking throwback the early Grunts EPs. Track Two ‘The Ballad Of Ed Gein’ serves as a hint of sounds to come from the band, fusing dark subject matter with a swooning, laid-back vibe. Final track ‘The Guy That Stalked You Has Become The President’ returns to full-on rock mode, a free-flowing ode to the joys of political scandal.
Dublin singer-songwriter, Billy Treacy, releases his new album, “Head Above Water”, tonight at Whelans, Dublin. The album is a collection of modern day folk songs from Billy, who was first introduced to folk music growing up over a pub in Dublin’s City Centre.
The most recent single from the album, “Temple Bar”, was a tongue-in-cheek look at Dublin’s cultural quarter, while “Woe!”, his commentary on families struggling financially in Ireland today, became a viral hit on its release.
Self-released, the album has been a couple of years of hard work in the making. Billy describes it as both a personal soundtrack and a mix of protest songs, love songs and observations of life around him.
He will be performing with a 7-piece band in Whelans tonight.
Tickets €13.50 available from WAV or on the door. Doors at 8pm.
“More Than You Can Chew carries a vague cryptic message that we’re still trying to figure out.” – Dara Farrelly, Featuring X
Launching their musical career in 2013 at just 16 years of age, Dara, Niamh, Jenny, Sarah and Eleanor has received critical acclaim with the release of their debut three-track EP (2013) and their impressive twist on Rea Garvey’s single Wild Love (2014) accompanied by their nostalgic music video which paid homage to Robert Palmer’s ‘Addicted to Love’.
The audio crafting quintet are now set to release new material throughout the year showcasing the band’s updated sound. More Than You Can Chew is taken from their forthcoming EP due for release this summer 2015. The official video for the new single will showcase footage of their forthcoming documentary which follows the quartet from the rehearsal room, to the studio and then the stage.
Lead singer Niamh Sharkey, explains the bands slight change in direction; “Launching ourselves at a young age and with a variety of influences; we feel it has taken us so long to find a style that suits us. We have been endlessly writing new tunes and find it’s getting easier to write as we get older and experience life. We have a lot of new material to release this year. More Than You Can Chew represents our fresh sound and feel this song holds the newvibe we’re going for. We plan to release two EP’s this year, and excited to hear the feedback!”
Drummer, Jenny McKeown adds; “The best thing about More Than You Can Chew is although an upbeat song, one you can dance to, if you listen to the lyrics you will hear it’s in fact a sad song. Although we feel it’s best not to reveal the true meaning of the song, as it allows people to relate to it individually and connect with the song themselves, isn’t that what music should be about? We also have a cool video in final stages of production and we can’t wait to share it. It’ll be randomly posted one day, that’s how we roll”
Now all 19 years and about to complete their first year at University, where the girls study a range of subjects from Film in IADT, Law and Languages in DCU to Sports, Exercise and Enterprise in DKIT; Featuring X have been quietly working on a number of projects for 2015 including a full documentary release this June.
The documentary follows Featuring X from their rehearsal room, to touring with The Strypes in December and capturing the E.Ps’ recording process. It also allows music lovers to “get to know” the girls that form Featuring X while following the full production journey from team meetings, rehearsals, photo and video shoots to their private lives. It also visits the topic of why Featuring X decided to opt out of their UK record deal.
After a busy yet successful 2014; with the release of their Wild Love single, being selected out of 800 bands for the Guinness Amplify outdoor advertising campaign across Leinster, playing a number of gigs and festivals across the country; also supporting Swedish rockers Thundermother, and Cavan rockers The Strypes the girls continue to learn grow and have fun with their musical career.
1-3 MAY VANTASTIVAL BELLURGAN PARK, DUNDALK
8-9 MAY CANALAPHONIC FESTIVAL RATHMINES/PORTOBELLO, DUBLIN
28 May WHELANS (upstairs) WEXFORD ST, DUBLIN
29 MAY KFEST MUSIC AND ARTS FESTIVAL KILLORGAN, CO. KERRY
31 MAY FIRESIDE SESSIONS FESTIVAL CARRANSTON LODGE, DULEEK
Alternative indie-pop outfit The Hard Ground have released “Triptych”, their second album. Triptych is the culmination of a year’s worth of material that has seen the Cork based band release the album in a staggered manner since May last year. Triptych: 1 and 2, both digital EPs, were released in 2014. The final EP in the series, Triptych: 3, the missing part of the puzzle, was released on April 10th, giving rise to the physical release of the full Triptych album, a culmination of all three EPs and a bonus track.
“Pucker” the band’s latest single, has been garnering much attention from both audience and industry, and recently received a nod of approval from UK music industry publication, “Record of the Day”. A dream-pop offering, the track has been featured across seventeen stations in Ireland over the past three weeks and has recently been playlisted on RTE Radio 1.
Seeking to approach the recording and release of an album in a new way, the band set about the project in early 2014 working with producer Christian Best in Monique Studios in Cork city. The method of release, inspired by the ‘triptych’ art concept, is a response to the challenges faced by recording artists in today’s music industry. The ‘album’ – the backbone of the record industry – has been rapidly replaced by an increasingly fragmented means of consumption.
Independently released, the constant writing, recording, and touring schedule has had a huge influence on the album. Undertaken as a real time recording project, the album documents the development of the band’s sound and songwriting over the last twelve months giving the listener an intimate insight in the creative process.
The Hard Ground tour Ireland over the next three months with dates in Dublin and Cork. For a full list of shows visit their website www.thehardground.com
The Centre Culturel Irlandais and the Contemporary Music Centre have just announced the recipients of their 2015-2016 Composer Residency. The composer’s residency initiative is part of a 30th anniversary programme of the Contemporary Music Centre, which will take place across 2016.
Four Irish composers have been selected to take part in the residency – Greg Caffrey, Rhob Cunningham, Benjamin Dwyer and Lioba Petrie.
Twenty-two artists across the spectrum of artistic backgrounds will spend from one month to three months in Paris to develop their proposed projects.
This year sees CCI partnering three Irish arts organisations for the first time in the awarding of a design residency (Design Crafts Council of Ireland – DCCoI), a music residency (Music Network) and a composer’s residency (Contemporary Music Centre).