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West Ocean String Quartet

Saturday October 22, 2022 at 20:00
Irish Cultural Centre, London
£20, £18
Phone for tickets: 020 8563 8232
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West Ocean String Quartet - “A musical odyssey to soothe and stimulate the imagination”. Siobhan Long, Irish Times

The West Ocean String Quartet has been merging the worlds of classical music and Irish traditional music into a unique sound that has won worldwide acclaim. This concert will be the UK launch of their new album "Atlantic Edge".

Neil Martin, composer, cellist and uilleann piper in the band says…

‘Atlantic Edge', The West Ocean String Quartet’s fifth album, marks our 21st anniversary.

Since November 1999 it has been an endlessly fascinating journey of experimentation and collaboration, of seeking out other ways, of finding our own musical voice. Along the way we have shared stages and studios some of the very finest – Christy Moore, Liam O’Flynn, Stephen Rea, Maighread Ní Dhomhnaill, Matt Molloy, Brian Kennedy, Cathal Ó Searcaigh, Eimear Quinn… great experiences all.

Core to the journey has been the weaving of the quartet’s own tapestry, striving for ways to communicate through composing and arranging and producing what we believe in. A double (or maybe triple or quadruple) marriage over more than two decades is no dull jaunt.

For this recording, rather than our emphasis being predominantly on newly-composed music, we were drawn to traditional music from or about the west of Ireland, and so began a most pleasurable trawl through that rich vein of material. The seemingly endless store of inexplicably beautiful airs and robust dance music from along the Atlantic edge underlines how landscape shapes humans, and vice versa. The two become inextricable, interdependent, and when artists seek to express themselves it’s inevitable that something of that sense of place appears. Songs and tunes of love and exile and home and longing and heartbreak.

So to all of those musicians and composers, the mostly-anonymous creators of this wealth, we owe a great debt of gratitude. You have hewn from yourselves and your landscape music that is forever and indelibly etched into the hearts and minds of a global psyche. Moreover, almost all of this music was created in the oral tradition – tunes and songs played around with and hoked at and crafted over time, then ultimately set out on their ever-evolving journey, passed on from person to person and generation to generation. We similarly owe a great debt to those who had the foresight to collect and preserve it”.

"The breathtaking sounds of West Ocean String Quartet’s Atlantic Edge The West Ocean String Quartet has been merging the worlds of classical and traditional music into a unique sound that has won worldwide acclaim." Irish Times

Atlantic Edge is an album that celebrates the majesty of our west coast, mining its geographical and musical landscape. ” – Siobhan Long, Irish Times

Irish Cultural Centre
5 Blacks Road Hammersmith
W6 9DT

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