Bell X1 have collaborated with The Theodora Byrne Ensemble to present a reimagined choral version of ‘Bad Skin Day’, a song from their 2008 album ‘Flock’.
Theodora shares a little bit about the process:
“I’ve loved ‘Bad Skin Day’ for years, and the simplicity is what drew me to this particular song. It’s perfectly crafted with everything in the right place, so I looked for the spaces where voices could be complementary to what was already there. I don’t want to detract from the existing beauty of a song I’m working on, I always hope to elevate it in subtle ways. I sent my first demo to Paul, and we threw some ideas back and forth, discussing some suggestions that he had, some of which turned out to be my favourite parts of the arrangement! Every song I arrange in this way goes through various stages, it’s a process with lots of trial and error, but it’s fascinating. I try to choose songs that spark a musical idea in my imagination. For this song, it was the guitar part; because it repeats over and over, I saw an opportunity to slowly interweave the choir into the music, creating a gradual dynamic build-up to the last chorus. Paul, Dave and Dominic have been so wonderful to work with, they were open to ideas and were so trusting and generous with their music”.
Paul from the band adds:
“Having seen what Theo and the choir had done with songs by Maria Kelly & Ciaran Lavery, we were delighted to collaborate on a version of ‘Bad Skin Day’.
It’s been great to breathe new life into the song like this, and a truly welcome way of feeling creatively alive and connecting with other artists and singers in this moment. It’s a trip, and really moving, to hear a bunch of people sing the “Someday we’ll all wear a crown…!”.”
Theodora Byrne is a Dublin-based session keyboardist and vocalist, choir director, arranger, and music lecturer. Most notably she has toured with James Vincent McMorrow, Saint Sister, The Coronas, and Sorcha Richardson. She is currently musical director for Playlist choir and has facilitated a range of community choirs and music groups both in-person and online since 2018. Theodora lectures in both the vocals and the music theory departments at BIMM Institute Dublin. During the Covid-19 pandemic, Theodora began creating collaborative virtual performances of bespoke choral arrangements of the music of Irish artists under the title of the Theodora Byrne Ensemble. So far, she has collaborated with Saint Sister, Ciaran Lavery, and Maria Kelly in addition to Bell X1.
Bell X1 are Paul Noonan, Dave Geraghty & Dominic Philips.
Formed in 1999, they have released 7 studio albums, 4 of which having been nominated for the Choice Music Prize. Over the past 2 decades they have become somewhat of a national treasure and are recognized as one of Ireland’s most popular live performers. They are known for their versatile musical palette, lyrical dexterity, and catalogue of popular singles. Their albums vary in sound and style, their range taking in pop, alternative, indie, hard rock, post-punk, acoustic, lo-fi, folk-rock, ballad, synth-pop, new-wave, electronica, and both country and western.
The band will be touring Ireland in the Autumn along with Dowry Strings, all dates via the website.