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St. Patrick’s Festival presents

This Is How We Fly with Iarla Ó Lionáird

World Premiere

Commissioned by Solstice Arts Centre with support from the Arts Council of Ireland

  • Iarla Ó Lionáird – Vocals, samples
  • Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh – Hardanger d’amore, electronics
  • Seán Mac Erlaine – Clarinet, wurlitzer, electronics
  • Nic Gareiss – Percussive dance
  • Petter Berndalen – Percussion

Part traditional music, part contemporary composition, part dance, This is How we Fly has always defied genre and category. To mark their ten-year anniversary in 2020, the acclaimed contemporary folk group collaborate with the celebrated Irish singer Iarla Ó Lionáird. St. Patrick’s Festival is proud to present the world premiere of this ambitious commission from Solstice Arts Centre, Navan, which weaves an imaginative song cycle around Co. Meath’s long literary tradition echoing Ireland’s ancient literary history as well as looking to contemporary sources.

This is How we Fly are celebrating their tenth year of international performance, recording and collaboration. Over the past decade, the group has risen to become an internationally loved performance act with extensive tours throughout Europe, USA and Ireland. They have released two critically acclaimed albums as well as scoring award-winning film Wiki. As a live band their work centres on rapport and response, moving and sounding into uncharted territory to create folk music from an imaginary place, extemporising melodies and dance steps.

Iarla Ó Lionáird has carved a long and unique career in music both internationally and in Ireland. From his iconic early recording of the vision song “Aisling Gheal” as a young boy to his ground breaking recordings with Crash Ensemble and New York’s Alarm Will Sound, he has shown a breadth of artistic ambition that sets him apart in the Irish Music fraternity.
His performances and recorded output follows an ambitious arc that challenges musical identity from Folk to Worldbeat, from New Classical to Opera. But there’s no doubt he is one of our most distinctive voices and Iarla Ó Lionáird’s is one that ventures far beyond the boundaries of any one genre: a defiantly unclassifiable sound.

This is How we Fly

“It’s a bold and unfamiliar path, full of surprising diversions that reveal themselves surreptitiously. This is fresh-faced, unboxable music.” - The Irish Times

"You'll be charmed and even dazzled by this jazz-tinged stylishly modernized quartet of fiddle, clarinet, drums and, best of all, percussive dance." - Time Out New York

Iarla Ó Lionáird

“Magnificently expressive.” - The New York Times
"One of the most dramatic voices in contemporary music." - The Guardian