Genesis of the Smacht string quartet

Ergodos are shortly releasing a piece I wrote called Smacht. The piece is a 23 minute string quartet, but it didn’t start out that way. I want to take you back and show you how it began.

Smacht... in the beginningIt was Autumn 2011 and I was up to my eyes in the final year of my masters. I was at one of those points in my life where there’s a constant feeling that the world is falling in. And was suffering from the the ever-present pangs of self doubt: Had I made the right decision in pursuing music? Was it all just a pipe dream? Was the light at the end of the tunnel a train?

As well as trying to fulfil all my college commitments I was involved in the Dublin Laptop Orchestra – which had kicked off in ernest that summer. We had our first major gig happening in November with This is how we fly. I was in the throes of writing something for it… and was struggling.

Much to my shame I hadn’t actually known who This is how we fly were prior to that. And as I’d ultimately be writing something for them I was having a wee look on YouTube to see who they were. I came across videos of Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh performing his solo material with a loop pedal and was enraptured. I really liked the droney, hypnotic feel to his music. Read more

a dark horse

This week’s something for the weekend is the debut release of the Dublin based band a dark horse. They launched their EP a few months back and have been generating a lot of interest since. I know one of the guys, Hugh, so I came across it when he posted about the release and got really into it. It’s really nice blend of ambient folk music which kind of reminds me of The Shins or The Postal Service. The music is undoubtedly instrumental, as opposed to electronic, but there’s a great sense of space and ambience which creates an atmospheric, almost cinematic, vibe. Apart from the music I like that the guys have taken a DIY approach to releasing their music, writing, recording, mixing it all themselves as well as making some excellent videos and really nice artwork to go along with the EP. The reason I’m posting this a day earlier than usual is that they’re playing a gig in The Grand Social this evening as part of Hard Working Class Heros which would be well worth checking out.