Saint Sister and Crash Ensemble perform live this Thursday from Derry.
Saint Sister, the Northern Ireland-native beloved electro-folk duo, and members of Crash Ensemble, the "new music" collective based in Ireland, will perform live from The Guildhall in Derry on Thursday, July 9 at 8 pm IST / 3 pm EST.
The live stream, part of the 'Courage' series from Other Voices in Ireland, will be featured right here on IrishCentral and over on our Facebook page.
About Saint Sister
Hailing from the north of Ireland, Morgan MacIntyre (Belfast) and Gemma Doherty (Derry) met in Dublin in 2014. Both had graduated from the same college that summer and stayed in the city to pursue music; Macintyre was working in a bookshop and Doherty teaching harp and piano. They had known of each other, through mutual friends, but not well. Over the years, they watched each other play from afar, once competing against each other in a battle of the bands, and later singing different Gorillaz songs on the same night with their college orchestra.
Doherty studied music composition; a multi-instrumentalist, she had aspirations of becoming a film composer. Exposed to a mix of classical and traditional music as a young child, and later playing in Irish folk bands, she found herself becoming disillusioned with performing whilst studying composition. Towards the end of college, she was drawn back to her first instrument, the harp, and rekindled a love for it through her experimentation with effects and electronics. Inspired by composers like Steve Reich, she began to create self-contained soundscapes with the harp at the center.
By contrast, MacIntyre has always been a songwriter. As a child she developed an obsession with lyrics, spending her formative years stopping and starting her cassette player in order to transcribe the words to her favorite songs. Absorbing the prophetic words of Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen, she began writing herself, cutting her teeth on Belfast’s open mic circuit. In college, she released music under her own name and started to garner early recognition. Praise from Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody & Joan Armatrading established her as one to watch, but she soon became frustrated by the limitations of working alone and went in search of a collaborator.
Chatting over coffee it quickly became apparent that they were hoping to build something similar. Between Morgan’s lyrics and Gemma’s soundscapes, their voices met right in the middle. Having both moved to Dublin from the north at the same time, to find the same thing, their shared experience cemented their friendship.
Their debut single ‘Madrid’ was written at the end of that summer, in a vacant student house, as was the rest of the EP of the same name. Released in autumn the following year, it established them as one of Ireland’s most exciting new bands. Built around mesmerizing close-knit vocal harmonies, electro-acoustic harp, and synthesizers, sonically they have been likened to Enya, Lisa Hannigan, Cocteau Twins.
In 2016, the band was named Best Irish Act by readers of the Irish Times. In 2018, their debut LP ‘Shape of Silence’ was met with critical acclaim and nominated for the Choice Music Prize and the Northern Irish Music Prize. They have toured extensively across the globe over the last few years on their own and in support of Hozier, Keane, and Lisa Hannigan. Some highlights include a stunning NPR Tiny Desk Concert, SXSW, and Glastonbury. Their latest release ‘Dynamite’ is the first of a new batch of self-produced tracks, recorded with Rían Trench in The Meadow, Co. Wicklow, and mixed in Berlin with Benedikt MacIsaac. More material will be released throughout the rest of 2020.
About Crash Ensemble
Crash Ensemble is Ireland’s leading new music ensemble; a group of world-class musicians who play the most adventurous, groundbreaking music of today.
"An Irish new-music collective with international cachet and considerable chops." - The Washington Post.
Performing worldwide, from the Edinburgh International Festival to Carnegie Hall, with artists as diverse as Íarla Ó Lionáird (The Gloaming), Bryce Dessner (The National), Richard Reed Parry (Arcade Fire), Sam Amidon and Gavin Friday, Crash has made an indelible mark on the Irish music scene and beyond.
Founded in 1997 by composer and artistic partner Donnacha Dennehy, Crash has worked with some of the most distinctive living composers including Terry Riley, David Lang, Michael Gordon, Louis Andriessen, Arnold Dreyblatt, Kevin Volans, Glenn Branca, Nico Muhly, and Gerald Barry. Crash has recordings on NMC, Cantaloupe, Nonesuch, Bedroom Community, and their own label Crash Records.
About ‘Courage’ from Other Voices
‘Courage’ is a new project that delivers uplifting, inspiring performances from brilliant artists to the public during the COVID-19 crisis. Courage will beam these performances directly into homes across the nation, from a number of iconic cultural locations. Its goal is to provide essential cultural output during this period. Music collapses distance in this time of isolation, it gives us courage, consolation, and brings us together.
Performances will take place on Tuesday and Thursday nights and will be made available worldwide, free of charge, thanks to the support of the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, RTÉ, and IMRO. Courage series one is currently being shown on RTÉ 2 Thursdays at 23:30.
Speaking of the project Minister Madigan said: “Building on the phenomenal success of the original Courage program with a reach of over 2.7m, I am delighted to support this new initiative of live-streamed performances from some of our best-known heritage sites.
"The outpouring of wellbeing created by the first series of performances will no doubt be carried through Courage 2 and reminds us that culture lifts us up beyond circumstance and challenges and is vital to the core of our collective humanity.”
IMRO Chief Executive Victor Finn said: “In times of crisis we often turn to music creators and artists for their unique ability to interpret and reflect on the world in which we live. Music is a collective experience that can overcome physical distance and is the perfect antidote to the growing sense of alienation and isolation we have all felt in recent times – even more so, now we are being asked to actively practice social distancing.
"The Other Voices’ Courage series brings some of our finest Irish music creators to the world stage from a number of unique locations around Ireland in what we hope will be inspiring and unforgettable performances.”
Other Voices founder and director Philip King said: “We are delighted to present this second season of Other Voices Courage as part of the Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is about bringing people together through music and recognizing the essential and powerful contribution that artists continue to make to our lives. We are inspired by the response here in Ireland and globally to the first season of Other Voices Courage, and our artists and crews have helped to bring beauty, solace, strength and a sense of belonging to people at this time of national and global crisis - is ar scáth a chéile a mhaireann na daoine.
"The Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht has played a leading and imaginative role in making it possible for our artists and crews to work together to create and present Other Voices Courage.”
Courage has been curated by the team that produces Other Voices and is funded by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, RTÉ, and IMRO.
In order to comply with the protection of public health, the Courage project has been designed to minimize travel, contact, and proximity for performers and crew. Producers are using the same protocols as film and television crews who continue to work and provide essential public service during this pandemic. This means using rigorous procedures and processes that comply fully with the Irish Government's regulations and restrictions.
Because of public health regulations, there can be no live audience in the locations where we film the artists, and the only people in the locations will be artists and strictly essential crew.
Saint Sister and Crash Ensemble perform live from Derry on Thursday, July 9 at 8 pm IST / 3 pm EST - tune in here!