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Archive for February, 2018

DUBLINSOUNDLAB presents MUSIC CURRENT 2018 Contemporary Music Festival : 12–14 April, 2018 | Sponsored by IMRO

MUSIC CURRENT, Dublin’s annual contemporary music festival turns three this year and returns to Smock Alley Theatre showcasing the of best new Irish and international contemporary electronic music. Hosting concerts, panel discussions and a music commission, this three-day event runs from 12–14 April.

Now established in its third year, MUSIC CURRENT festival offers a unique blend of electronic performance and provides a much-needed platform for the newest contemporary electronic music. This year’s event showcases a distinct celebration of piano and keyboard music and welcomes many new international artists who will perform in Ireland for the first time. Curating this exciting experimental mix of new music, Dublin Sound Lab is delighted to host another cutting edge MUSIC CURRENT for 2018

With this year’s clear keyboard theme – pianos and electronics appearing in each concert – the 2018 programme features composer Stefan Prins (Belgium), pianist Stephane Ginsburgh (Belgium), the virtuosic Yarn|Wire ensemble (USA), accomplished improviser Izumi Kimura (Ire), rising stars of the Irish contemporary electronic music scene Francis Heery and Elis Czerniak, and in a new commission with MUSIC CURRENT the stunning pianist Xenia Pestova (UK) will perform new works with composer Fergal Dowling (Ire), Helga Arias Parra (Spain) and Silvia Rosani (Italy). Xenia who has been called “a powerhouse of contemporary keyboard repertoire” by Tempo Magazine, will also perform a special concert of new works developed during the festival by participating composers – one of whom will
receive this year’s MUSIC CURRENT COMMISSION award of €2,500.

The festival opens with PIANO HERO (Thursday 12 April, 8pm), an immersive cycle for midi-keyboard, grand piano, live-cameras, video and live-electronics (2011–). Stefan Prins makes his Irish debut at MUSIC CURRENT as festival guest composer. Prins is a fearless composer, eager to explore beyond convention and any perceived musical boundaries. His mastery of both technique and technology are evident in this Piano Hero series of pieces. At times whimsical, or even throw-away, the Piano Hero pieces demonstrate Prins’ dedication to revealing the relationship between materials and their context, and to imagining new musical forms through extra-musical materials and technologies. Together with Stephane Ginsburgh (piano) and Florian Bogner (computer music realisation) this team produce a tour de force of aesthetic and technological brilliance.

The virtuosic YARN|WIRE ensemble from Boston (USA) bring two new works by rising stars of the American new music scene – Catherine Lamb (“hypnotic… vivid, evocative” [The Guardian]) and award-winning playwright, performer, composer Rick Burkhardt – together they share a programme with Irish composer Ann Cleare with the Irish premiere of her spellbinding ‘I should live in wires for leaving you’. With these three works Yarn|Wire ensemble fill the space with a ‘theatre of objects’ that must be witnessed. Not to be missed!

One of Ireland’s most inventive improvisers, IZUMI KIMURA, joins forces with two of the country’s most imaginative composers, Francis Heery and Elis Czerniak, to reinvent the ‘prepared piano’ and extend its possibilities with live electronics through two new works specially commissioned for Music Current 2018. These new works are contextualised with John Cage’s seminal Sonatas and Interludes, one of the best-known works from the ‘inventor’ of the prepared piano. This programme is supported by Jeffers Pianos, in association with Galway Jazz Festival and Music Network.

Powerful, refined, sensitive, imaginative, precise, pianist XENIA PESTOVA brings her immense talents to the eight new works selected from the international MUSIC CURRENT ‘call for participation’. This spectacular programme also premieres two new commissions, including Silva Rosani’s award winning new work for piano, resonating metal plates and keyboard instruments. Together with the Irish premiere of Helga Arias Parra’s tactile ‘Astraglossa’, and Fergal Dowling’s new Arts Council commission – Mixed Synthetic Fabrics (for piano and live electronics) – Xenia has assembled a visual and aural feast.

The festival also features an opportunity for the public to engage with composers through a Public Panel Discussion at the Contemporary Music Centre Library, 19 Fishamble Street (Friday 13 April, 6pm). Entitled ‘Are We There Yet?’ the discussion considers current composition trends, performance practice, critical perspectives, and new directions, featuring festival composers Stefan Prins and Ann Cleare, pianist Xenia Pestova, sound artist Sven Anderson and musicologist Adrian Smith (DIT). Moderated by Evonne Ferguson, Director of CMC.


STEFAN PRINS: Thursday 12 April | 8pm | €15/10
YARN|WIRE: Friday 13 April | 8pm | €15/10
IZUMI KIMURA: Saturday 14 April | 6pm | €15/10
XENIA PESTOVA: Saturday 14 April | 8pm | €15/10

Box Office – Tel: 01 677 0014 /
Further info at:
TWITTER: @DublinSoundLab

Sponsored by IMRO

Vantastival returns to Beaulieu House and Gardens this June bank holiday weekend

Vantastival returns to Beaulieu House and Gardens this June bank holiday weekend and the 2018 Festival will once again be “powered by” Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, with Le Galaxie and The Stunning due to headline. Now in its ninth year, Vantastival is one of Ireland’s most unique independent music festivals, a relaxed and super friendly event attracting enthusiastic campervanners and music fans alike.

Le Galaxie, who have established themselves as Ireland’s top live dance act with their brand of thundering electro, will take to the Volkswagen Main Stage on Saturday 2nd June. The band’s third album ‘Pleasure’ is due for a full US and Europe album release in March. Also releasing a new album next month, 90’s Irish rock icons The Stunning will headline the Sunday night of Vantastival. One of Ireland’s biggest bands with a string of number one albums and hit singles, including the anthemic ‘Brewing up a Storm’, The Stunning are known for the quality of their live shows.

The festival returns to a 3-day format this year and the line-up also includes Irish/Sierra Leonean songstress Loah, who’ll bring her unique blend of genre-bending Afro-soul to Vantastival, while multi-instrumentalist RSAG will perform with a virtual band while his drums, vocals and sampler are mixed with an array of hypnotic imagery and silhouettes projected on-screen. Dublin rockers The Hot Sprockets, Choice Music Prize nominee Marlene Enright, critically acclaimed singer-songwriter Marc O’Reilly and the explosive trad of The Bonny Men will also appear at the festival. The bulk of the line up is yet to be announced and a large number of exciting up-and-coming Irish acts will be added to the bill in the coming weeks. Supported by IMRO, Vantastival has established its reputation for diverse and quality line-ups showcasing the very best of Irish music. The European Firestone Music Tour will also return to the event, with the Firestone Music Station proving one of the event’s most popular stages over the last couple of years. Over 70 acts are still to be announced and the full line up can be found at

Vantastival 2018 will take place from Friday 1st to Sunday 3rd June at Beaulieu House & Gardens, Drogheda.  Other attractions will include The Volkswagen Campervan Cook-off, interactive art installations, comedy, festival traders, a host of children’s activities and much more.  Vantastival has something for everyone, with or without a campervan. 3-day, 2-day and single day tickets are on sale now from and

Nile St. James releases one take ‘To Leave Behind’ video

Soul artist Nile St. James is proud to present his latest work, ‘To Leave Behind’. A one take recording, filmed in the beautiful Ormston House gallery of Limerick City, ‘To Leave Behind’ is a song that tells the story of an unrequited love, from the perspective of one who helplessly holds on to the small traces of hope that the love dormant but present, terrified to move on in case the feelings resurface.

Accompanied by Martin Atkinson, the song is stripped down to piano and vocals, magnifying the sense of vulnerability within the lyrics. Ormston House also lends to the haunting ballad featuring its natural acoustics that carry the music beyond the corners of the sparse venue.

Filmed by Shane Serrano of, recorded and mixed Ciaran Culhane and arranged by Martin Atkinson and Nile St. James, To Leave Behind is the first of a series of love performances form Nile St. James ahead of his forthcoming EP Meraki.

Twitter: @NileStJames_

New Delorentos Single Released Friday

Delorentos release their new single, ‘In The Moment’, this coming Friday, February 16th.

A bright, inspiring and melodic paean to capturing, immersing yourself in and living for “NOW,” it offers a further glimpse of what we can expect from the band’s fifth studio album which will be released later this Spring.

Together with first single (late 2017’s radio hit) ‘In Darkness We Feel Our Way’, it promises a sophisticated grasp of catchy, intelligent tunes and harmony with a warmth and vitality that builds on what the band have been about from day one!

The artwork for ‘In The Moment’ continues the band’s current theme of celebrating Irish artists and features a work (Achill By Night) by Gary Reddin (

Delorentos will be playing 5 intimate shows in Ireland in April 2018:

Friday 6 April – Dolans, Limerick

Saturday 7 April – Cyprus Avenue, Cork

Thursday 12 April – Roisin Dubh, Galway

Friday 13 April – Whelans, Dublin

Saturday 14 April – Whelan’s Dublin

Æ MAK Kick Off 2018 With ‘Glow’

Irish art pop outfit Æ MAK have announced their new single ‘Glow’. Wholly individual and constantly forward-looking, Æ MAK’s otherworldly soundscape, visuals and vibrant energy conceives a bewitching act. With tribal rhythms, soaring synths and lush vocal harmonies, Æ MAK conceive a holistic performance that transports audiences to another realm.

2017 saw their distinctive style showcased to highly receptive audiences at their first headline shows, as well as supporting likeminded songstresses Warpaint in Dublin; and performing at a number of acclaimed festivals throughout the UK and Ireland including Liverpool Sound City, Other Voices, Electric Picnic, and Hard Working Class Heroes.

2018 will see Æ MAK embark on a new journey, the first step of which is ‘Glow’. Poised delicately in the space between light and dark the song presents itself as a showdown. Creeping synths linger like shadows around soaring melodies and deep bass pulses through its veins. The listener is engulfed in sonic flames and danced through the fire. ‘Glow’ is a statement, a shot from a new and promising cannon. It is the start of something electrifying. It’s dance music with a bite.

Lisa Canny Announces Single and Live Dates

Lisa Canny, a Mayo native living in the UK, has amassed over two million streams online, sold out shows across the UK and US and co-written with a host of artists including Kaiser Chiefs, Melissa Etheridge and Akon. 

Now, Lisa Canny is set to release ‘Freedom‘, the debut single from her upcoming EP, on Friday 23 March 2018 and has also announced a nationwide tour taking in shows in Dublin, Galway, Belfast, Mayo, Limerick this April and May.

Lisa Canny has travelled the world and worked with a plethora of highly regarded names in the industry and was dubbed “Ireland’s next big female artist” by Miles Copeland of The Police. Heavily involved in traditional Irish music, Canny is the seven-time All Ireland Champion on harp and banjo. She was also named UK Future Music Songwriting Winner 2016, placed in the top ten of “Irish acts you don’t want to miss” by BBC America, has appeared on two PBS Specials, the Late Late Show, shared the stage with the likes of Gavin James, Lisa Hannigan and The Coronas.

Her awe-inducing and highly innovative performance style cannot be faulted and mirrors perfectly her organic and captivating song style. The release of ‘Freedom’ stands as a huge statement of intent for Lisa, and one that’s not to be ignored.

Born and bred in County Mayo, Ireland, Lisa Canny is a notably talented musician who creates expertly crafted modern traditional Irish music that’s distinctive, upbeat and effortlessly entertaining. Best known for her incredible covers, sold out live performances and her reputation for driving, propulsive and heartfelt delivery, Lisa’s mastering of technique and tradition is nothing short of astounding. Gifted with empowering confidence and a charming sense of honesty, the most exciting and consummate stage of Canny’s career is now pouring vehemently over the horizon.

‘Freedom‘ is available for streaming and download across all digital platforms from 23 March 2018.
April 1: The Bowery, Dublin
April 21:  Monroe’s, Galway
April 27: The Empire, Belfast
April 28: Town Hall Theatre, Claremorris
May 18: Dolans, Limerick

Sara Ryan Announces Brand New Single

Sara Ryan has had an exciting start to her career. Last year she released her debut single Belle, which won “Best New Comer” and “Best New Single” on Dublin CityFM. And to top the year off, she was crowned New Folk Artist of the Year at the Irish Folk Music Awards, alongside Damien Dempsey, Johnny McEvoy, The Druids and Aoife Scott.

The Kildare-born songwriter, now based in Cork City, built a strong and loyal following touring with Mick Flannery, Martin Harley, John Spillane, Wally Page, Luka Bloom and Cry Monster Cry.

2018 sees the release of her second single ‘Euphoric Recall’ on February 23rd and Sara embarks on a double headlining tour with Emma Langford, dates of the tour are listed below and on

Her much anticipated Debut EP ‘Glitter Skies will be released this coming March.

Sara Ryan brings a unique voice to the Irish music scene with memorable lyrics conveying stories as real as they are raw.

2018 is the year the world will discover this wonderful voice.

“I’ve known Sara since childhood. It’s been a joy to witness her young career, to hear her songwriting develop and her singing mature. This young lady has a huge career ahead of her.” Christy Moore. Jan 2018.


Feb 15th – Kenny’s Lahinch.
Feb 16th -Roisin Dubh, Galway.
Feb 22nd – The White Horse, Ballincollig (supporting Dave Geraghty)
Feb 23rd – Coughlans, Cork.
Mar 3rd – Nelliefreds, Dingle.
Mar 16th – The Moat Theatre, Naas.(supporting Mick Flannery)


Marc O’Reilly ‘Dollar’ Out Now

Marc O’Reilly has just unveiled his incredible new single ‘Dollar’ which is out now.

‘Dollar’ is about Trump & Co and political elitism, empty promises to help the working man and woman who are left behind as the rich get richer. The track is taken from Marc’s forthcoming new album ‘L’Etre Politique’ which is scheduled for worldwide release on 23rd March.

Marc O’Reilly has released 3 previous albums, ‘My Friend Marx’, ‘Human Herdings’ and ‘Morality Mortality’ and has enjoyed some recent international success with his track ‘Bleed’ streamed almost 2 million times on Spotify and featured on the soundtrack of the movie ‘Whatever Happens‘. His track ‘Healer’ was also recently used in the US TV series ‘Salvation’.

Marc is famed for his electrifying live performances and has appeared at many major European Festivals including, Glastonbury, Electric Picnic, The Great Escape, Eurosonic, Reeperbahn etc

Marc is confirmed to play at lots of Irish festivals over the Summer including Sea Sessions, Vantastival, It Takes A Village with many more to be announced.

Website –

Facebook –

Twitter – @marcoreilly

Instagram – @marcoreilly

Deep Sky Objects Announce New Single’This City’s At War’

A deep sky object is star cluster bright enough to be seen by the naked eye. That alternative-rock Kerry/Dublin trio Deep Sky Objects have adopted the name not only illustrates their ambition but the breath of their scope. Drawing on influences from The Smiths, Interpol and Radiohead, Deep Sky Objects light up 2018 with their new single ‘This City’s At War’ set for release March 12. The trio will launch the new single with a show at Drop Dead Twice in Dublin on March 9.

The vigorous, punchy Director-esque ‘This City’s At War’ is a search for an answer in a time of uncertainty. The fizzing melodic guitar counters with the languid melancholic vocal. “I don’t know who I’m fighting for” bemoans lead singer Kevin O’Brien at the centre of the song’s earworm hook. It begs the question, in a time when we all ‘must’ have an opinion, is it okay to say “I don’t know?” Must we have already picked a side? And is ignorance truly bliss?

Deep Sky Objects include brothers Kevin O’Brien (lead vocals and guitar), Thomas O’Brien (drums and backing vocal) and DD Foley (bass guitar and backing vocals). ‘This City’s At War’ was recorded in Whitewell Studios with Ciaran O’Shea and mastered by Fergal Davis. ‘This City’s At War’ features on the bands self-released EP of the same name released late 2017.

I think Kevin O’Brien could be one of the most personable vocalists I’ve heard in an Irish band in an age, I love this guy’s voice” says Remy Connolly of The Best of Music & Film Blog. “Each track is engaging, thrilling and well crafted. It’s a meaty well produced collection of tracks that is laser-focused on doing the simple things to perfection and boy do they excel”, remarks Indie Buddie.

Deep Sky Objects have set out with purpose and ‘This City’s At War’ sizzles with impetus and expectancy. As we enter the start of a bright new year Deep Sky Objects not only feel like a part of the commentary but also assures us of the potential that both the band and 2018 holds to dazzle us.

Live Dates:
February 15 – Crane Lane Theatre, Cork
March 9 – Drop Dead Twice, Dublin

Niall Hanna Releases Debut Album ‘Autumn Winds’

On his debut record, Niall Hanna brings new life to traditional songs in a uniquely northern style. Having won the Young Musician’s Platform Award from Arts Council NI, he has used this springboard to deliver a strong album of traditional songs from Ulster, incorporating two of his own newly composed songs, including the title track ‘Autumn Winds’.

The album breathes new life in to some of the most famous old ballads of Ulster. ‘Lough Erne Shore’ learned from the singing of Eithne Ní Uallacháin is a perfect representation of the tone of the record, marrying a lush modern arrangement with the beautiful old melody. Other classics such as ‘The Stately Woods Of Truagh’ and ‘Banks Of The Bann’ also feature, demonstrating Niall’s ability to interpret the big Ulster Songs in a way that will appeal to the listeners of today. Sensitively produced by Dónal O’Connor, the album incorporates contemporary musical arrangements and instrumentation, however the focus of this body of work is firmly on the voice, and this fine collection of traditional songs is delivered with conviction in Niall’s own unique style. A grandson of the legendary traditional singer Geordie Hanna, the ‘Lough-shore’ style of singing is strongly represented here. Juxtaposing the old with the new, Niall’s own song ‘Sweet Lough Neagh’ demonstrates his skill in composition, praising the tranquillity of his native Derrytresk, and the surrounding area in County Tyrone.

Rachel McGarrity adds fiddle and vocals to several tracks on the album, alongside the concertina and whistle playing of Niall’s brother Ciaran Hanna. Dermot Moynagh of Réalta provides Percussion/Bodhrán and Dónal O’Connor adds keyboards/piano culminating in a consistent, thought out sound that flows from the first track to the last.

In recent years Niall has toured Europe and Australia and has collaborated with many of Ireland’s finest musicians and singers such as John McSherry, The Rapparees, Martin Meehan, Buille and Cathal Hayden.

In truth ‘Autumn Winds ‘gives us a genuine insight in to Niall Hanna’s own musical passion for traditional songs whilst also demonstrating his ability to carry his great musical legacy lightly and add his own treasures to the great Irish song tradition.


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