Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

27

Àine O'Dwyer: Gallarais

Karl Ackermann By

Sign in to view read count
Places of worship are hardly new venues for jazz or other forms of non-sectarian music. As far back as 1927, Fats Waller had recorded two pipe organ solos in a church in Camden, New Jersey. Stan Getz and Charlie Byrd recorded Jazz Samba (Barclay-Verve, 1962) at the Washington, D.C. All Souls Church on the corner of 16th and Harvard streets. John Zorn stepped away from his alto saxophone for an entire series of "Hermetic Organ" recitals, recorded at St. Bartholomew's and St. Paul's Chapels in New York City and St. Paul's Hall, Huddersfield, UK. Matthias Mueller's recorded a solo album at St. Lambertus Church outside of Bremen, Germany. Kit Downes (organ) and saxophonist Tom Challenger's produced Wedding Music (Loop Records, 2013) at the same Huddersfield location used by Zorn. Irish multi-instrumentalist Àine O'Dwyer focused on the pipe organ for her superb solo recording Music for Church Cleaners Vol. I and II (Mie, 2015), recorded at St. Mark's Church, Islington—London. She follows up that enigmatic release with Gallarais, a multi-instrumental solo album.

O'Dwyer is primarily a harpist but here includes percussion, recorders, vocals and a bit of organ, though the ambient and ghostly quality of the music often obscures the individual characteristics of the instruments. Contributing to the overall quality and dynamics of the sound, is the location of the recording. The Isambard Kingdom Brunel's tunnel, a memorial chapel on the Dingle Peninsula in County Kerry, Ireland is situated fifty feet underground.

The ritual of the opening piece, "Underlight," utilizes a strummed and plucked harp that sounds both present and distant. "Cordophone" and "Grottovox" embody the black-hole presence of the tunnel through O'Dwyer's wordless vocalizing, set in an ambient soundscape while "Mouthtoum" features the penetrating bite of the recorder. More abstract are the pieces "Song of the Yahee People," "Hippos Kampos" and "Beansidhe." The album closes with the drone of overlapping vocal tracks and minimal percussion on "Hounds of Hades."

The consistent elements in Gallarais are its haunting atmosphere and the congenitally eerie effects of the physical setting. There is more texture in this album when compared to the organ drone of Music for Church Cleaners but both are immensely appealing in their own way. O'Dwyer's improvises these pieces in real time; they are experimental and not without an anomalous Celtic flavor just below the surface. Very different and consistently engrossing music.

Track Listing: Underlight; Corpophone; Grottovox; Mouthtoum; The Dirge; Song of the Yahee People; Hippos Kampos; Beansidhe; Mrs. O'Learys Keen; Hounds of Hades.

Personnel: Àine O'Dwyer: harp, percussion, recorders, vocals, organ.

Title: Gallarais | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: MIE Music

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Gallarais

Gallarais

MIE Music
2017

buy
Gegenschein

Gegenschein

MIE Music
2017

buy

Related Articles

Read Pillars CD/LP/Track Review
Pillars
by Karl Ackermann
Published: December 10, 2018
Read Monk's Dreams: The Complete Compositions of Thelonious Sphere Monk CD/LP/Track Review
Monk's Dreams: The Complete Compositions of Thelonious...
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 10, 2018
Read Pardes CD/LP/Track Review
Pardes
by Rob Rosenblum
Published: December 10, 2018
Read Strings 1 CD/LP/Track Review
Strings 1
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 10, 2018
Read Music for a Free World CD/LP/Track Review
Music for a Free World
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 10, 2018
Read Rats Live on No Evil Star CD/LP/Track Review
Rats Live on No Evil Star
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 9, 2018
Read "Desert" CD/LP/Track Review Desert
by Mark Sullivan
Published: June 1, 2018
Read "Trajetórias" CD/LP/Track Review Trajetórias
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: January 5, 2018
Read "Code Girl" CD/LP/Track Review Code Girl
by Troy Dostert
Published: April 13, 2018
Read "Eclipse" CD/LP/Track Review Eclipse
by Geannine Reid
Published: June 10, 2018
Read "Multiverse" CD/LP/Track Review Multiverse
by Chris May
Published: October 30, 2018
Read "Attitude Manouche" CD/LP/Track Review Attitude Manouche
by Chris Mosey
Published: July 16, 2018