Áine O’Dwyer announces new album Gallarais, premieres “Underlight” here today

Áine O'Dwyer announces new album Gallarais, premieres “Underlight” here today

For her 2012 Music for Church Cleaners, the London-based Irish musician, unconventional live performer, and former United Bible Studies member, Áine O’Dwyer set up camp at St. Mark’s Church in Islington, London, for seven months of Saturdays and documented her loosely scored, improvised organ tones embellished haphazardly by clipped dialogue and coughing, footsteps, and vacuuming by the churches cleaners. In seriously embracing the performing space itself, she made towering conceptual music almost by accident.

Since …Church Cleaners, O’Dwyer has recorded herself in many atypical “found spaces” which have been as influential on her music as the many instruments she plays. For her forthcoming album, Gallarais, she lugged her harp, bells, bowed guitar, and more into a shaft of the Brunel Tunnel — which runs from Wapping to Rotherhithe under the River Thames in London — resulting in a transcendentally reverberant sonic experience. In the words of O’dwyer:

Gallarais was recorded between 2013-2015 in the shaft of the Brunel tunnel. The shaft itself is 50 feet in diameter and 50 feet deep, with an acoustic decay of three to four seconds. The square window located in the ceiling of the shaft invited a filter of sound from the outside world; trains from 14 feet below, overhead planes, and a pump mechanism, all synthesized with my own sonic contributions, becoming part of the shaft’s unified breath. This transformed the tunnels structure into a ‘mystic cave’ and host for transmigrational sound.

In addition to its purely acoustic characteristics, O’Dwyer also used the space of the tunnel as an acoustic recording “studio” and the tunnel itself as inspiration. The tragedies associated with the history of the tunnel’s construction (including the drowning deaths of six workers in January 1828) gave O’Dwyer the chance to use her voice in a “keening” capacity, as an improvised vocal lament tool.

MIE Music will release the mournful results on September 20 on vinyl and digital download (pre-order it here); and, although we are more than keen to hear O’Dwyer’s captured expressions of vocal grief, today we have the pleasure of premiering the album’s sensational, but speechless, harp-herded opener “Underlight” today. Find your own found space — or other special spiritual place — and get ready to loose yourself for a few minutes in its otherworldly vibes.


Gallarais tracklisting:

01. Underlight
02. Corpophone
03. Grottovox
04. Mouthtoum
05. The Dirge
06. Song of the Yahee People
07. Hippos Kampos
08. Beansidhe
09. Mrs O’Learys Keen
10. Hounds of Hades

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