The Vespertine Quintet launch their first eagerly anticipated record 'Before a New Harbour Can Be Built, Difficult Things Must Be Worked Out' with a celebration concert in their spiritual home of De Barras on Sunday 23rd April.
The quintet (which is made up of traditional string quartet and piano, with additional electronics, voices and other quirky instruments) began as a way to get through a particularly dark West Cork winter, hosting house concerts and playing the lush and ethereal music of Icelandic composer Olafur Arnalds and Estonian Arvo Part.
Since then, the last few years have seen them in two winter long residencies in debarras, collaborating with an eclectic range of artists and songwriters such as Adrian Crowley, Liam O Maonlai and Swedish Alto Camilla Griehsel, as well as bringing their music to arts festivals and concerts on some far flung islands of west cork.
Their debut record was recorded over the space of a year as live takes and mixed to 1/4” tape by Justin Grounds. As such it has a sound both old fashioned and conversely very modern. It features transcendent moments from concerts with Choice Music Prize winning songwriter Adrian Crowley and acclaimed Swedish Alto Camilla Griehsel, as well as intimate recordings where the quintet set up in their own rooms and captured the sounds of two of their own pianos. The microphones were placed to capture the creaks, the thrumming of the wood floor boards, the clicks of a piano key, music made by humans.
Alongside pieces by Purcell, Arvo Pärt and Benjamin Britten, there are new works by members of the group; Jo Perry’s beautiful instrumentals, Jessie Kennedy’s stunning song about Castlefreke, and the record finishes peacefully with a lullaby by Justin Grounds featuring a sound recording of his 18month old son singing himself to sleep.
It is available as download and 12" vinyl with beautiful cover art by cellist Tess Leak.
The opening concert promises to be a special one, celebrating many of the pieces on the record and with a handful of special guest performers.
released April 23, 2017
The Vespertine Quintet:
Jo Perry: Violin
Jessie Kennedy: Violin, Vocals
Justin Grounds: Violin, Viola, Glockenspiel
Tess Leak: 'Cello
Susan McManoman: Piano, Synthesizer
Adrian Crowley: Vocals
Camilla Griehsel: Vocals
Produced, arranged, engineered and mixed to tape by Justin Grounds
Album art by Tess Leak
Design by Jo Perry