For some people music is a hobby, for others it’s a way of life. For others it’s a series of incomprehensible squiggles on a page of sheet music. For Aisling Quinn it’s about using the inner squiggle.“There is a unique note each person has inside them- like an inner squiggle. The challenge is to capture it and let it out!”
Born in Galway, Aisling spent her formative years devouring music, without prejudice to particular styles or genres. Their home was full of instruments and Quinn was tinkering on pianos and strumming guitars for as long as she can remember. Piano was the first instrument Aisling learnt formally but like most teenagers, the discipline to practice escaped her. “I always felt the piano was like a close friend but it’s hard to stay friends with someone when you have to pass an exam on them every year."
So, inspired by jazz and blues albums from the 30’s and 40’s and her mum’s Carole King LPs, Aisling decided to go down a more laid- back style of jamming, teaching herself as she went rather than being penned in by formal, structured lessons. Her curiosity and love of sounds led her to pick up many other instruments such as mandolin, flute, violin, bodhran, melodica and xylophone. Aisling steadily began settling into her musical skin.
In 2002, she embarked on the next step of her musical adventure when she moved to Dublin to begin a music production course in order to gain a better understanding of the technical side of the industry. In 2007, she released her first EP A Simple Arrangement, which received encouraging reviews, praising her “truly beautiful voice” and “undeniable musical talent”. Her confidence was growing and in 2009 she was contacted through her MySpace page by singer songwriter Albert Niland, who invited her to support him on his Irish tour. The same year, much lauded performer Rosey also invited her to tour with him.
In the same year Aisling began to delve into the world of theatre; composing the original music for Bluepatch productions of ‘Portia Coughlan’, ‘The Clean House’ and ‘Medea Redux’, which in turn led her to develop an original, collaborative theatre piece, "Memory Palace’, which debuted at the Galway Theatre Festival 2010 and was hailed by Irish Theatre Magazine as "intelligent, truly inspiring theatre".
Despite her new found love of the theatre, Aisling’s focus was really always very much on creating and establishing her own musical identity and since the release of the debut EP, she had been gathering a collection of songs with a view to releasing a record. “I felt, musically, I had my own unique point of view so the challenge was to achieve something whole and complete, artistically, with this album, for myself in the first instance, and then hopefully for other people to enjoy". Assembling some of Ireland’s finest session musicians, Aisling settled herself into Jam Studios, Kells, Co Meath, working with co-producer Martin Quinn. The end result is Let The Games Begin, a collection of eleven beautifully crafted songs, packed with colour, personality, melody and an endearing vulnerability.Quinn’s quirky and energetic take on pop, jazz, folk and blues is worth multiple listens.“Carol King, Nick Drake, Ben Folds, Rufus Wainwright, Joni Mitchell, Ed Harcourt, Merz, Aimee Mann they’re all floating around there somewhere bumping into each other, and saying hello!.”
Let The Games Begin will be released on Friday May 20th, 2011. Aisling Quinn will be touring Ireland from early April and will be joined by The Halliday Squares. In 2009, the track ‘When You Come’ achieved a semi final position in the ISC (International Songwriting Competition) www.songwritingcompetition.com, a prestigious US based competition that recognises new songwriting talent from across the world. And just recently, it was announced that her track ‘Song I Wrote For You’ also achieved a semi-final position in the ISC 2010. Judges included Tom Waits, Rhianna, Jeff Beck, Robert Smith, Jerry Lee Lewis and a host of industry names. Both tracks feature on the debut album.
Tour dates include;
Thursday 19th May Album Launch, Grand Social, Dublin
Friday 20th May Tower Records, Dublin. Instore @ 6pm.
Saturday 11th June Kelly's Bar, Galway
Friday 17th June Passionfruit Theatre, Athlone
For further information please contact Emma at Entertainment Architects on
01 2606998/ ei.dtlae@amme / www.entertainmentarchitects.ie