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Eimear Quinn and Gavan Ring mark 25th anniversary of Good Friday Agreement with new release ‘Peace Upon This Land’

April 11, 2023

In 1996, two years before the 1998, Good Friday Agreement, Eimear Quinn, as ‘the voice’ of Ireland sang the following words to Europe and the world:

‘I am the voice of the past that will always be,
Filled with my sorrows and blood in my fields;
I am the voice of the future…bring me your peace…
Bring me your peace…and my wounds they will heal.’

This year of 2023, being the 25th Anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, the song – Peace Upon This Land – celebrates and commemorates the answer to that earlier calling which the Good Friday Agreement brought to the island of Ireland.

Now Eimear Quinn, with Gavan Ring and the Dublin Brass Ensemble, sings:

‘There is peace upon this land,
When we in silence stand
When you take my hand…
There’s peace upon this land.’

Peace Upon This Land is a collaboration between composer Siúbhán Ní Ghríofa and lyricist Brendan Graham, who famously co-wrote the world-wide smash hit ‘You Raise Me Up’.

While the song has a personal intimacy as in…’when you take my hand’, it also references the bigger picture of people who, once not at peace, by taking each other’s hands…now finally come together…in peace.

Eimear is one of the pre-eminent Irish voices of her generation. She made her international debut in 1996 winning the Eurovision song contest with the ballad ‘The Voice’ by Brendan Graham who has also penned the lyrics to ‘Peace Upon This Land’. Her career has taken her around the world with repertoire that encompasses all of her musical loves and interests. Fusing Irish folk, classical, sacred, and medieval music Eimear has become a highly respected interpreter of Irish folk/traditional song in a classical context. Quinn’s soaring and emotive vocal style combines her classical training with her love of spiritual and Irish folk music, resulting in many invitations to sing Irish music in a classical setting for illustrious national occasions. These include the visit of HRH Elizabeth II to Ireland, the visit of Pope Frances to Dublin, at the Royal Albert Hall during President Higgins state visit to Britain, and for HRH Prince Charles for St Patrick’s day celebrations in London. Her unique sound has been the subject of an RTE documentary film The Living Bridge.

Joining Eimear and the ensemble for the single is Irish acclaimed tenor Gavan Ring. Hailing from County Kerry, Gavan is the youngest graduate to complete doctoral studies at the Royal Irish Academy of Music. Concert highlights include performances with the London Symphony Orchestra at the BBC Proms and Lucerne Festival under Sir Simon Rattle, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment at the Royal Festival Hall under Sir Mark Elder. Opera highlights include leading roles at Opera Royal de Versailles, Glyndebourne, Scottish Opera, Opera North, Garsington Opera, Wexford Opera. Discography included Gerald Barry’s ‘Alices’ Adventures Underground’, Larchet ‘The Complete Songs and Airs’, Rossini ‘Sigismondo’ (Bayerischen Rundfunks 2019).

The ensemble comprises some of Ireland’s leading brass, string, and percussion musicians and includes members of both the National Symphony and the RTE Concert Orchestra (RTECO). Members of the ensemble have worked with many orchestras and ensembles including the Irish Chamber orchestra, the BBC Symphony & Philharmonic Orchestras, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Wexford Festival Opera, the Irish Film Orchestra. Artists the group members have worked with include Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, Westlife, The Corrs, Kodaline, Sinead O’ Connor, Enrique Iglesias to name a few.

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