Ryan Vail and Eoin O’Callaghan aka Elma Orkestra are two musicians from the two sides of Derry/Londonderry who have have been composing music of various stripes over the last number of years and who have a common ground in the ambient, electronic and neo-classical genres.
Together, the pair have made an album called Borders in that vein, which across eight tracks puts that commonality to good use. Borders is a nod to their city and an acknowledgement of the need to overcome divisions. Brexit wasn’t even a going concern when the pair conceived the album but Vail says that the album “was written with the mindset that we were scoring the border between the North and South of Ireland. While performing the album live, the audience will see a visual journey across various parts of the border.”
‘Colours’ is the first track from the album and features Moya Brennan on vocals singing in both Irish and English. It’s a lovely expansive track that bodes well for the album.
The album also features turns from Stephen James Smith. The album will be released on Quiet Arch on June 14th.
“We know what we like and why we like it so we were hyper-critical of every sound we committed to,” said O’Callaghan. “We both have an array of old analogue gear and it always delivers. We were constantly aware of the important of having continuity throughout the album so we tried to limit ourselves to a sound palette. As time went on the palette grew in size but we kept it under constant scrutiny.”
“If listeners let the deeper meaning behind the project sink in as they listen, then the project will have a more powerful side note,” says O’Callaghan. “I want them to feel angry, happy, communal, empathetic and we can’t forget… they need to feel the need to dance.”