I spend most of my day listening to music of all tempos and styles, so when I get close to the night, and bed is calling, I rarely put on music. I used to fall asleep with headphones in my ears but those times are gone and sleep is more precious. Occasionally, my head will be buzzing too much with work and plans that I can’t relax. Music can help then.

Here’s a 3-hour Spotify playlist featuring music for such an occasion, for sleep-inducing, quiet times, for background noise, for night-marches into a deep consciousness or whatever you’re having your self.

It features music, ambient, atmospheric and minimal from Aphex Twin, M83, Brian Eno, A Winged Victory For The Sullen, Jon Hopkins, Ebauche, Burial, John Foxx, Julianna Barwick, Tangerine Dream, Air, Stars Of The Lid, Boards Of Canada, Harold Budd, Laraaji, Arca, Nils Frahm and more. It will be updated again in future so subscribe. In the meantime, press shuffle and drift off when appropriate.

Next up on the themed playlists? Halloween, Running, morning time or something else? Let me know.

Listen to the ambient playlist

Nialler9 on Spotify.

Posted on October 22nd, 2015


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Sounds from a Safe Harbour is a new festival put together by Cork Opera House’s Mary Hickson with curated lineup by Bryce Dessner of The National taking place around the city of Cork from September 17th to 20th.

Billed as a festival of music, art and conversation, music will come from The Gloaming, Julianna Barwick, My Brightest Diamond, Sam Amidon, a collaboration between Lisa Hannigan and Aaron Dessner, New York So Percussion and Nadia Sirota, a bunch of Icelandic artist including composer Valgeir Sigurðsson, Amiina, Ragnar Kjartansson, Kjartan Sveinsson, Skúli Sverrisson and the record label Bedroom Community; This Is How We Fly; English organist James McVinnie, Donal Dineen, Crash Ensemble, Eat My Noise and more.

Wave Movements – a new composition by Bryce Dessner and Richard Reed Parry of Arcade Fire will be the focal point of Sounds from a Safe Harbour. It will be performed at Cork Opera House by the RTE National Symphony Orchestra and accompanied with film by the celebrated Japanese photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto.

Many of the events are inspired by the “harbour environs, themes of waves, water and movement.”

There will be screenings of Sigur Ros’ ‘Heima’ and The National’s ‘Mistaken for Strangers’ with conversations and a music trail to be announced. Cork Opera House, The Everyman Palace Theatre, UCC, Port of Cork, Triskel Christchurch, Firkin Crane, Crawford Art Gallery, Wandesford Quay Gallery and Sternview Gallery are some of the venues involved.

Tickets on sale from May 21 with more announcements in June.

“Sounds from a Safe Harbour has grown exponentially from my initial conversation with Mary Hickson into a huge, imaginative celebration and contextualisation of the initial idea alongside the port aspects of Cork,” says curator Bryce Dessner. “Rolling with the water, wave and sea themes, we decided to look to the river, the harbour and the port in making Sounds from a Safe Harbour. I’m especially looking forward to bringing ‘Wave Movements’ to Cork and performing it along with another composition of mine entitled ‘St. Carolyn by the Sea’, which myself and my brother Aaron will perform live the RTE National Symphony Orchestra.

“Collaboration is a huge part of my own practice and I enjoy very much exploring cross genre engagement. We have injected this energy into our festival and will be presenting music, art, film, conversation, dance and food across the weekend. The unifying factor being the music, this is the special glue that brings Sounds from a Safe Harbour home.”

Posted on May 7th, 2015


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Cork Opera House are hosting a 40th anniversary gig from the Kronos Quartet for their only Irish date this year on Sunday May 11th and news has reached that Julianna Barwick, whose Nepenthe album from last year gave much joy here, will join them for on support.

Daivd Harrington (violin), John Sherba (violin), Hank Dutt (viola), and Sunny Yang (cello) are Kronos Quartet, a string quartet who have collaborated with many composers and musicians including Terry Reilly, Philip Glass, Laurie Anderson, Tom Waits, Amon Tobin, Sigur Ros and Steve Reich over the years.

The event is a part of the Cork Opera House’s Contemporary COHORTs Series. Tickets €35 plus fee.

Programme for the night

Bryce Dessner / Aheym (Homeward) *
Terry Riley / The Serquent Risadome *
Donnacha Dennehy / One Hundred Goodbyes (Céad Slán) *
I. Is Léan Liom (I grieve for you)
II. Tomás Bán (White Thomas)
III. Céad Slán Dhuit (A Hundred Goodbyes to You)
Richard Wagner (arr. Aleksandra Vrebalov) / Prelude from Tristan und Isolde +
Philip Glass / String Quartet No. 6 * in three movements
* Written for Kronos
+ Arranged for Kronos

Posted on March 25th, 2014


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Julianna Barwick’s 2011 second album The Magic Place used her looped vocal lines to create sumptuous choral noise that has more in common with synthetic ambient music then community choirs. A ghostly gorgeous imprint was the outcome.

Nepethene feels much more alive. Taking advantage of an invite from producer Alex Somers to come to the popular artist haven of Iceland, Barwick has composed an album that breathes and sings in unison with its creator. Whether it’s a teenage girl choir or string section parts from Amiina, guitar from Róbert Sturla Reynisson from Múm or, even, a contribution from her mother, a former member of a travelling vocal group, Nepethene benefits from the input of others.

Posted on August 16th, 2013


Nialler9 Podcast

Number 36 and possibly the best artwork by Left Overs yet (grab the wallpaper). Hey, the tunes aren’t bad either. Right Click Radio 2XM’s Aoife Mc presents. Tracklisting and links after the jump…

Download: Nialler9 Podcast #36: TUnE-yArDs, Solar Bears, Lone, Abner Jay…

MP3: Nialler9 Podcast #36

Subscribe to the Podcast via iTunes

Podcast #36 Tracklisting »..

Posted on April 26th, 2011


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Fans of the likes of Grouper and Stars Of The Lid will find plenty to love in Julianna Barwick. The Louisiana native has just released her second album The Magic Place through Asthmatic Kitty and it is defined by looping drop-out rhythms, surging bass and choral tones. It all starts with her voice. Rather than coming across like calculated to-the-letter music, Barwick prefers to let the loop station be her guide (no words were harmed during this recording).

Her music is rich with undulating rhythms that occasionally stop off at a keyboard chord or two, or that gathers a hint of low-end, or perhaps some bare percussion, with it into its rolling structure. There’s a lofty “Gregorian chant” feel at times, but rest assured, it’s something you could get off your bin to if you’re that way inclined. For everyone else, The Magic Place is just beautiful calming music, with a hint of suspense to ensure saccharinity is not an issue.

Julianna Barwick – Prizewinning

Download: Julianna Barwick – Prizewinning (Alias Pail remix)

Posted on March 9th, 2011