Online from Claregalway Castle
Thursday 17 December, 8 pm UCT
(available to 26 Dec)
Programme pdf

Vlad Smishkewych (voices, sinfonia, percussion), Rhiannon Giddens (voice, fiddle), Micheál “Moley” Ó Suilleabháin (voice, bodhran), Eamon Sweeney (baroque & renaissance guitar, lute, bandora), Yonit Kosovske (harpsichord)

The winter transition from dark season to light is one of the most deeply-affecting temporal borderlines, for humans and animals alike. No wonder, then, that so much of humanity’s music has been devoted to holidays and events that describe the relationship between people and the world (and occasionally the otherworld) during the moments of penumbra, that zone between the dark and the light. From solar eclipses and the Sol Invictus, to the very nostalgic music landscape of Christmas and other festivities of the Winter Solstice, this programme is at once both temporal and spatial. From Basque carols for the Annunciation, to latin plancti that mention the eclipsed sun lamenting the death of kings, to songs of difficult passage during the frozen winter season, the sound world of early and modern times interweaves in this innovative Christmas concert.

This programme is part of Borderlines , which is a music project series conceived by tenor Wolodymyr (“Vlad”) Smishkewych, where he is joined in collaboration by some of Ireland & Europe’s finest instrumentalists and singers. It is an extended venture, one that enters into a deep and very personal performer’s dialogue with song traditions across Europe and its peripheries. The title evokes a culturally varied, intriguing—occasionally dangerous—and chameleonic area between regions and peoples as well as between time and space, and implies a rich combination of languages, sound-worlds, and temperaments. The Borderlines project brings to musical life those leitmotifs that have penetrated the poetry, art, and music of the last fifteen centuries, through a series of performance and recording projects exploring themes across (or in spite of) borders.

A collaboration between Galway Early Music and H.I.P.S.T.E.R. (Historically Informed Performance Series, Teaching, Education and Research)