Traditional music, wherever you find it, has not stood aloof from the tools of change that characterize life in our modern world. As you listen to This is How we Fly, you might find yourself raising delightful questions as to the place, potency and possibilities of old music in a new environment. Or you might find yourself released from the games your mind likes to play, as you submit to its textured and seductive sound world.
TIHWF brings together four musicians, each of them rooted in different cultures and musical vocabularies, each on the cusp of their most fertile and creative years. Individually, each member has carved out a reputation for not just mastering their chosen fields, but rising above, redefining and renewing the musical world they come from. A sublime Irish fiddler who’s not afraid to step outside convention, a sophisticated Appalachian hard shoe dancer stepping into the rhythmic foreground, A thoughtful Dublin jazzman who has moved beyond the linear constraints of the genre, and a lyrical Swedish percussionist redefining the melodic and sonic place of drums within the contours of traditional song.
Stockholm’s Petter Berndalen and Michigan’s Nic Gareiss first met Dubliners Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh and Seán Mac Erlaine in 2010. The collective pedigree is eye catching, and includes bands like The Gloaming, The Chieftains, Darol Anger and Gjallarhorn, along with interdisciplinary work in theatre, dance and contemporary music. Their centred, inquisitive approach to finding a collective voice is now yielding a rich bounty of ideas, in the studio with the release of their eponymous CD and on festival stages where the music opens up to reveal a playful group energy with a liberated spirit. They’ve performed extensively in Ireland and Scandinavia, including performances at beacon festivals like Umefolk and Celtic Connection.
And what do those audiences hear? Traditional music certainly – Irish fiddle tunes from Sliabh Luachra, old timey music from the Blue Ridge mountains, and polskas from the Swedish regions where dancing still holds sway. But they come away with something else too. Captivating performances shot through with a brilliant seam of the contemporary, somewhere on a musical spectrum at home with artists like Arve Henriksen and Sigur Ros.
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The Irish Times“Fresh-faced, unboxable music. ”
Celtic Connections“A white-hot creative crucible uniting four pyrotechnic young talents ”
Le Cool“The group's genre-melding music is delivered with a lightness of touch that befits the name, with Gareiss's nimble-footed 'percussive dance' adding a spellbinding visual element to live shows ”