Following events in London, NYC and Austin, Other Voices travelled to Berlin last week for its first German excursion as part of Tech Open Air interdisciplinary festival. The evening took place in Kreuzberg’s renowned Riverside Studios, just a stone’s throw away from the longest remaining section of the Berlin Wall. The studio is the working environs for over twenty musicians including Booka Shade, Pan Pot and Victor Van Vugt.

Other Voices Berlin was kickstarted by Talos‘ aptly titled tune ‘Odyssey’.

Following dreamy, atmospheric indie-rock from the Cork band, audience members were introduced to a new group by the name of Them There. The band comprised of industry stalwarts Craig Walker (Power of Dreams) and Pheobe Kildeer (Nouvelle Vague), both of whom live and work in Berlin. The duo recently penned a track called ‘Fade Out Lines’, which has already reached the number one spot in Germany, Spain and Hungary, to name a few.

Attendees were guided into ‘The Piano Room’ for intimate sets from Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh and Berlin-based Tom Adams. Caoimhín is no stranger to German crowds having played the country’s biggest philharmonic concert halls with The Gloaming, but there was something very special indeed about hearing his spellbinding music for solo violin in a small room right on the banks of the river as evening fell.  

Tom Adams sat down at the piano to perform music from his debut album Silence, including standout tracks such as ‘Come On, Dreamer’. Adam’s falsetto voice and delicate, minimalist piano made for a simply beautiful performance that would no doubt appeal to fans of Nils Frahm, with whom he shares a manager. 

The excitement surrounding Soulé was electric as she arrived in Berlin for her first international gig. Her infectious energy and upbeat tunes such as ‘Good Life’ and ‘Trouble Maker’ got everyone on their feet and judging by the audience’s reaction this won’t be her last booking outside Ireland. 

Just before New Jackson, Ambassador Michael Collins took a moment to say a few inspiring words on Creative Ireland and the importance of supporting and encouraging our brightest talents on the global stage. 

Finally, giving a nod to the city which was once home to David Bowie and its thriving electronic scene – New Jackson brought the evening to a close with a sample of ‘Sound & Vision’ and tunes from his excellent new album ‘Night to Night‘. A memorable gig from a producer and musicians who has gone from strength to strength in recent years.

Words by Anna Job.

Posted on July 20th, 2017


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The Irish Museum Of Modern Art’s Summer Party on Saturday July 16 is back this year and it looks to be a big one.

Curated by actor Cillian Murphy, it will feature:

German pianist/ composer Hauschka.
The Gloaming composer and fiddler Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh
David Kitt’s electronic project New Jackson (DJ Set)
experimental madzers Meltybrains?

The music will take place in the Great Hall, the Baroque chapel and the outdoor lawn of IMMA.

More activity including “live interventions” by performance and film curator Anna Gritz of the Schinkel Pavillon Berlin are planned.

If you’re wondering why Cillian Murphy is curating, he has form in music, through his directing work for Money, he has featured on Orbital Paul Hartnoll’s music, starred in a music video for Feist and he was formerly in a band. More background for ya.

Tickets go on sale on Friday 20th May at 10am, priced €18 and are available through IMMA.

Posted on May 18th, 2016


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The Nialler9 TXFM show airs every Thursday night at 10pm for two hours. You can listen live on 105.2FM, online, the TXFM app or if you missed it, on the listen back function on the site, as per below. The show starts six minutes in, right after the news in each hour.

Some first plays for little xs for eyes, Laura Doggett, Slow Skies, Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh and Dear Desert in this show.


Listen: Hour One

  1. Girl Band – ‘De Bom Bom’
  2. Sinkane – ‘New Name’
  3. Dear Desert – ‘Give It Up’
  4. James Vincent McMorrow – ‘When I Leave’
  5. Laura Doggett – ‘Phoenix’
  6. Zola Jesus – ‘Dangerous Days’
  7. Vaults – ‘Lifespan’
  8. M83 – ‘Don’t Save Us from the Flames’
  9. Say Lou Lou – ‘Games for Girls’
  10. Snakehips – ‘Days With You’ (feat. Sinead Harnett)
  11. little xs for eyes – ‘Love Gets Lost’
  12. The SM Corporation – ‘Hammer (1986 Studio Version)’


Listen: Hour Two

  1. Cloud Castle Lake – ‘A Wolf Howling’
  2. Mark Lanegan Band – ‘No Bells On Sunday’
  3. Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh –  ‘What What what’
  4. Slow Skies –  ‘Ice Field’
  5. Ballet School –  ‘LUX’
  6. Hauer  – ‘Merc II’
  7. Dornik – ‘Rebound’
  8. Benoit & Sergio  – ‘Your Darkness’
  9. SL2 –  ‘DJs Take Control’
  10. Diamond Dagger –  ‘Licky 6’

Posted on September 8th, 2014


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From Thursday 7th to Sunday 10th of August, The Grand Social is hosting an all-Irish lineup of musicians and DJs as an excuse to celebrate the summer featuring Lasertom, Sleep Thieves, Bats, Get Down Edits, Caoimhin Ó Raghallaigh and more. Details:

Thursday Aug 7th

The Loft: Diatribe Records presents: Solo Series II
Caoimhin Ó Raghallaigh/Cora Venus Lunny/Kate Ellis/Adrian Hart.
Doors: 6.45pm till 11pm, Adm: €10/8

Friday Aug 8th

The Loft: Bats. Magic Pockets. Val Normal
Grand Social & New Natives presents
Doors: 8pm till 11pm, Adm: €8 (€6 cheaplist)

Later in The Loft: Get Down Edits & T/A/S/T/E DJs.
Doors: 11.30pm. Adm: €5

The Ballroom: Shotgun – 1st Birthday Party
DJ’s Rob Gilligan & Michelle Farley playing 60’s pop, beat, mod, soul & surf.
Doors: 10pm. Adm: Free

Saturday Aug 9th:

The Loft: LaserTom. Sleep Thieves. Adeyhawke (Grand Social & Technoir presents)
Doors: 8pm. Adm: €5

Later in The Loft: Burnin’ Up
One year birthday of Kelly-Anne Byrne’s Disco night with Ruth Kavanagh of Mother DJs.
Doors: 11pm. Adm: Free

The Ballroom: Indietronic
DJ Eamon Barrett spinning indie & electro anthems and party classics.
Doors: 10pm. Adm: Free

Sunday Aug 10th:

The Loft: Saucy Sundays
Bitch Falcon, Punchface Champions, My Tribe Your Tribe & more…
Doors: 6pm. Free admission.

Posted on July 21st, 2014

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Irish traditional music is a stranger to me. It’s always been. I’ve a cursory knowledge of some jigs, reels, sean nós, and some of the history of it but not much. As a Dublin kid and a Kildare teen, I wasn’t surrounded by it. My family didn’t play it or participate in it, save for my dad playing Planxty’s ‘Cold Blow And The Rainy Night‘ on cassette to us kids and some other records that were played on occasion. Trad seemed very much tied to places much more rural, more Irish, than I frequented.

That partly explains why I’ve never really delved into it. I dived too deep into other worlds of music to care for much of my life. Trad was accepted by me was a bedrock of Irish culture and I left it at that. It exists, it helped to define our place in the world, but it did not belong to me. It was old, I was young.

So when positivity and excitement poured from that world into mine and I wrote about these exciting things, I was quickly put in my place as a disrespectful unknowning fool. Admittedly, my less-than-precise choice of wording in the headline was always likely to upset the more knowledgeable but my intentions were noble. Here was music I had not really crossed paths with (dismissed would be too strong) peeking its way into my world, and as am I want to do, I zealously wanted to share it with others.

That experience left me slightly intimidated by my lack of knowledge about it. So much so that I didn’t broach the subject much more nor did I delve further. Small increments perhaps but nothing sweeping. Yet, the world of trad and my own, are increasingly poking each other, the latest coming from the album of the groups mentioned in that post, The Gloaming.

If I was to define some of values of music I love (not just like), one of those characteristics is the new: new ideas, new angles, new sounds, new techniques, new visions and new twists on old sounds. I think that explains why trad hadn’t reeled me in (ahem). I’m wired in a thirst for now, music that represents how I live, that mirrors me, that forges its own path, rather than immortalises those that have gone before it.

Watching the South Wind Blows documentary on The Gloaming broadcast on RTE a few weeks ago, fiddle player Martin Hayes echoed that thirst by referencing a desire to cast aside the shackles of tradition, to sidestep expectations (“I had to play music that I knew he couldn’t like,” he says in reference to his father P.J.), established restrictions in musicianship about how things were meant to be (“I had to approach it in ways that some people would find it offensive,” he says) and to make music that had a modern context (“You can’t be self-referential all the time. It has to reference itself against other music. The reality is that we do exist in the wide open world.).

Those self-imposed challenges over the years lead him to to form The Gloaming, a group featuring two other Irishmen: singer Iarla Ó Lionáird, Caoimhin Ó Raghallaigh, playing his hardanger fiddle (a special instrument of Norwegian origin with eight or nine strings rather than four) and two Americans, the guitarist and frequent Hayes collaborator Dennis Cahill and American pianist Thomas Bartlett (who the documentary reveals was an obsessed fan of Cahill’s music from the age of 10, and who booked a live show for him in Vermont when he was 11).

The Gloaming does create new ideas in old ones, by gelling the different experiences of the players. “I don’t recognise the lines that the rest of this band sees,” Bartlett says in the documentary. “They’re very happy to go outside of those boundaries, but the fact that I don’t even know the tradition helps make them disappear.”

The Gloaming album isn’t really “trad”, but it is charged by that sphere. The traditional sounds are clearly there but they’re incorporated with new textures. ‘Allistrum’s March’ has an traditional Irish melody supported by circling piano. The opener ‘Song 44’ begins with Bartlett’s delicate and pensive piano introduces Ó Lionáird’s gentle vocals which in turn, makes way for each of the other instruments and strings to build around the tune in suspense. It starts in one genre and ends up in a combination of a few.

The longest song ‘Opening Set’, taken from the band’s first live performance is a microcosm of the creativity that binds the players with each member getting a spotlight and the song building to a dizzying climax.

There are distinct experimental explorations. ‘The Girl Who Broke My Heart’ uses a contemporary classical dynamic space to explore a musical conversation between the two types of fiddle. On ‘The Sailor’s Bonnet’, Hayes deconstructs a well-known reel into fragments before reincorporating it with the full band. ‘The Old Bush’ has echoes of ambient contemporary minimalism as the two fiddles wheeze and drone in loose pattern with each other across seven minutes before they reconcile with the help of Cahill’s simple guitar encouragements.

The highlight, ‘Freedom/Saoirse’ holds contemporary and experimental textural characteristics in one five-minute song. A hypnotic piano establishes an elegance, Ó Lionáird’s expressive vocal follows the piano melody, the fiddles furnish the song with emotional strings and adds an ambient resonance.

The Gloaming achieves a spacious temporal glow. Its evocative arrangements let the tunes breathe between the players, using familiar language in what feels like fresh ways. It communicates with the outside world from Cork to Clare to Vermont to Chicago to Norway and beyond. It has a context in that wide open world and does something delicate with the weight of history that informs it. By satisfying my taste for new ideas on old music, The Gloaming makes me feel a little less of a stranger in my own land too.

The album is streaming for a short time on NPR.

Posted on January 17th, 2014


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Update: A few people have taken issue with my opinions below. Let me just stress this, I wrote this from my own view of why I felt trad was reinvigorated. I didn’t intend to make grand statements about trad music as a whole, I’m not a trad ‘expert’. The article title was intended to refer to my reasons (and to draw people in to reading it), i.e. five artists I wanted to shine some light on it their field to my audience and not some big statement designed to offend people who devote their lives to traditional music in Ireland.

Trad is as big a part of our heritage as it’s perceived that Aran jumpers, sheep, Guinness and leprechauns are. So it’s not surprising that the genre of music, in terms of a modern context, is often maligned as old-fogey music or music for pubs and rural areas. It’s understandable that trad will be disregarded by succeeding generations who hit upon their twenties who have grown up with it their whole lives in favour of a Skrillex drop or the more global R&B chart pop or something.

But there are movements afoot. Just as those who said the Irish language would die out were proven wrong by a reclamation of the language in the last 15 years by the very people who hated studying it in Irish schools (its neverending grammar and distinct lack of speaking the actual thing was the definition of no craic), so too, is Irish trad being reclaimed, being pulled back from the brink of its own folk obscurity and a lot of that work is being lead by a few individuals. Here are five reasons why Irish trad music is now very much modern music.
Five reasons why Irish trad rocks in 2012…→

Posted on April 27th, 2012


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Photo by Sean Conroy
Photo by Sean Conroy

Photo by Sean Conroy

Following the recent closure of his long running Small Hours show on Today FM, Donal Dineen is currently taking a month out of broadcasting to spend some down time back at the drawing board, but watch out for collaborations with Myles O’Reilly in the new year as well as podcasts/pictures/videos/articles & Parish music on a new website in the spring and a photo exhibition in The Joinery in April/May.

Donal plays The Pavilion in Cork on 22nd December. Here are his favourite new artists of 2011:

Read Donal Dineen’s top 5 new artists of 2011…»

Posted on December 12th, 2011


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It’s not often you get the opportunity to experience live music at 200 feet below ground level in a cave so I took the opportunity to attend one of The Cave gigs featuring James Vincent McMorrow, Lisa Hannigan and Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh performing in Mitchelstown Cave over the weekend.

The cave was discovered in 1833 by Michael Condon when he dropped his crowbar into a crevice while quarrying for limestone. Condon’s crowbar had slipped between rock and after moving some boulders in an attempt to get it back, he found the cave and its many chambers and passages. Totalling 3km in total,candlelight tours of the cave ran for 100 years until 1972 when the Condon family who own the land installed electricity inside it. Steps were installed seven years earlier. It was the first cave in Ireland to be set up for public visits.

Back in the present, it’s now run by family member John English but the family haven’t let things get too out of hand. Beyond their country house, only some outdoor toilets and a ticket stand signify this is no ordinary home. On a fine summer night, At the back of the estate, the limited capacity of around 100 people gathered outside the cave at 7pm. Groups of 10 or so at a time were led down the steep 88 steps into the subterranean space. One kilometer through damp yet lively underground passages and we found ourselves in a large cavern where the concert took place. Apparently, it’s not even the biggest of its kind – there is another three times its size much further in.

We are seated on a plateau two levels below where the performers played. After a few minutes of sitting down, the temperature, which was constant at 12 degrees, made itself known in your bones. It helps to wrap up warm if you’re going to spend two hours sitting in a cave. Once the music starts, the temperature was only a niggling concern.

The Stage was situated where the two people are standing.

Lisa Hannigan kicked things off musically with a solo set of new material. A couple of songs in particular stood out, one which talks of the months of “May and June” and another which uses places on a US tour as reference points for a larger elegantly told theme. One song could probably do with a rewrite, being that the chorus consists of the words – “safe travels / don’t die / don’t die” but it’s a trivial matter. Hannigan’s voice has only improved and in the dynamics of the cave, her range reverberated around a space which offers plenty of visual candy.

Those stalagmites, stalagtites, columns, damp eroded stone and soft rock, were eyeballed in detail during Caoimhín O’Raghallaigh’s set of experimental fiddle music. Caoimhín introduced us to a few different types of fiddles over the course of a half hour, each of them were used to experiment with melody and sound. Notes were left hanging in the cave for long moments as the eyes wandered around the beautiful natural underground amphitheatre. O’Raghallaigh’s idea was to play with the space, and there was no better place for it. A rustle of paper, the wipe of a coat sleeve or a chair creaking was audible for all present to hear while we were settled. These atmospheric sounds became part of the performances.

Having missed the chance to see James Vincent McMorrow perform in a church in Dublin earlier in the year, I figured a cave might actually be a better option. McMorrow clearly revelled in the environment and his solo set drew from his debut album Early In The Morning, with a couple of welcome surprises: a cover of Mark Kozelek’s ‘Like The River’ and a rare live rendition of the brilliant, and my personal favourite ‘Red Dust’ . McMorrow was the only musician on the night to forgo the speakers for a song and sing without amplification (admittedly not much power was required due to the acoustics of the cavern). Although the coldness became an all-consuming concern, his rendition of ‘If I Had A Boat’ unaided which saw him almost crack his voice after a long night in Galway the night before was the night’s only true aural test of the surroundings. The night came to a wonderful conclusion with McMorrow, Hannigan and O’Raghallaigh covering ‘Blue Moon’ in a perfect amalgamation of all the talent that had gone before.

Special thanks to Mary Hickson of the Cork Opera House for organising the whole thing, Kathy Scott for getting me in and especially, The English family for allowing 100 or so strangers onto their land for a unique and rare occasion. Myles O’Reilly was present to shoot the whole thing – that will be something to look forward to. In the meantime, my only regrets were not bring my Canon camera with me and not bringing another layer of clothing.

Listen to Caroline Hennessy’s piece on The Cave from Lyric FM.

Posted on July 27th, 2011


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A list of personally recommended events taking place over the next seven days in Dublin and beyond. All times are 7.30pm/8pm unless stated. Feel free to leave your picks in the comments.

Two festivals taking place this week: festival of World Cultures – with Amiina (pictured) and Hypnotic Brass Ensemble playing amongst others and Knockanstockan – ASIWYFA, Sounds of System Breakdown, Spook of the Thirteenth Lock and more.

Tuesday 20th July
Futures Apart, Kid Karate @ Whelan’s (€5)
Cut Copy @ Tripod (€22.50)

Wednesday 21st July
– nothing.

Thursday 22nd July
Nouveaunoise @ Tower Records (6pm, Free)
Kassidy @ Whelan’s (€15)
– !Kaboogie: Meljoann, Manus Goan @ The Sweeney Mongrel (Free)

See the full week’s listings »

Posted on July 20th, 2010


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