Fearless, feisty Cork fiddler, singer-songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Clare Sands has been crafting groundbreaking macaronic works throughout 2021. Sands has embarked on a musical pilgrimage to Kilkenny in Ireland’s ancient East for the final release of her four-part music series. ‘Teacht an Fhómhair’ (Autumn’s Arrival) by Clare Sands and Hothouse Flowers front-man Liam Ó Maonlaí is out now.
It is said that ‘Samhain’ (Celtic festival) is a time when the veil between the living and the dead is thinnest, where the earthly world of the living becomes entangled with the world of the dead… We are one with our ancestors and all who have passed, from solas an lae, night ‘till day.
Sands & Ó Maonlaí recorded this paganistic, primal, pilgrimage over 48 hours by simply pressing record and seeing where the musical expedition took them. Created by fire and candlelight, they worked through the half-light, until awoken by bird song from their trance-like journey, only to return to this world with old ghosts by their sides.
The mesmerising video, created by visual artists and twin sisters Liadain Ni Bhraonáin and Kasia Kaminska was shot in three different locations around Inistioge, Kilkenny, capturing this world and the otherworld, the darkness, and the light. The primal performance explores Ireland’s rich soundscapes and landscapes through rise and fall, dusk and the dawn, navigating through uncharted territories where Irish and English languages, Traditional, Folk, and Contemporary music meet.
The four-part music/film series, titled ‘Tírdreacha agus Fuaimdreacha’ (Landscapes and Soundscapes), spans over four seasons, in the four provinces of Ireland, and features Clare Sands alongside four critically acclaimed collaborators: Susan O’Neill, Steve Cooney with Tommy Sands, Brídín and Liam Ó Maonlaí. Each collaboration explored the nooks and crannies of Ireland’s sights and sounds, whilst pushing the boundaries of Folk music in an inviting and invigorating way.
‘Tírdhreacha agus Fuaimdhreacha’ will be released as a special edition EP on January 27th 2022 followed by the release of a short documentary with its first screening in the Irish Arts Center, New York City, March 2022.
This project is supported by the Arts Council of Ireland.
Photo credit: Kasia Kaminska