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Northern Lights - The Seastallion Project
A blending of Norse and Irish musical cultures (Groep Buitenland)

(klik hier voor Nederlandse versie)

Northern Lights is a blending of Norse and Irish: sagas, stories, soundscapes, cultural flavours and perspectives, through a meeting of their music and songs. 

Like the historic relationship between Gaelic and Viking cultures the traditional music of both sometimes clashes, creating a musical tension and a creative dissonance. Also, in keeping with that relationship, there is noticeable common ground borne of cultural exchange. Northern Lights delves into the shared themes of these traditions to create a unique and intriguing fusion.

Northern Lights is performed by:

Lorcán Mac Mathúna (voice, whistle),

Raphael de Cock (voice, bagpipes (Swedish, Galician, etc), uilleann pipes, chatkhan (Siberian Khakass zither), Hardingefele/Hardanger fiddle, Shruti box, Jew's harp)

James Mahon (Uilleann pipes; flat set and concert set, flutes, whistles)

Concept: For centuries Ireland had been under the influence of Viking invaders. This was not only a hostile relationship, but very often long lasting alliances emerged between the Gaelic population and the Nordic newcomers. Therefore it is not so surprising to discover a lot of similarities in the musical traditions of both regions, and of course, also intriguing differences. We started talking about putting together a programme which contained elements of Irish and Norse music. It is interesting that in traditional music each place develops its own flavour, that while there may be similarities and influences there are still very divergent differences. So we asked could we find common themes. We also wanted to highlight the differences between the traditions. Do they compliment each other? Do they clash? Is this more of a confrontation? 
We thought that we would compare our older music types such as Kveding (the medieval singing of Scandinavia) and Aislings, marches, and laments. And then some of the newer dance tune forms such as jigs and polska’s. We also wanted to connect songs with common themes such as sea journeys and exile, and songs with common tonality and delivery. 
This is the focal point of this trio by combining Gaelic sean-nos singing, Scandinavian kveding (medieval & traditional songstyle), uilleann pipes (flat and concert sets), swedish bagpipe(säckpipa), hardangerfiddle, flutes, whistles and percussion. Our style of delivery achieves these aims I think with interesting results.

Northern Lights toured Belgium 21-23/11/2008 (De Heksenketel – Antwerp; Celtic Art Gallery - Ham and 't Ey – Belsele). For upcoming performances check our myspace.



(Rafa)
18/12/2008 11:10

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