VARO are singers and fiddle players Lucie Azconaga (from France) and Consuelo Nerea Breschi (from Italy) who perform traditional songs and tunes with arrangement influences from the Folk, Baroque and Classical traditions, weaving around the melodies with harmonies, drones, and countermelody. The duo met in 2015 having moved to Dublin to pursue their love for Irish traditional music, having travelled to Ireland along different musical paths – Lucie from jazz, classical music, and French folk, Consuelo from Irish trad, folk, and world music.
Following the success of their self-titled debut album released in January 2020, VARO are preparing to launch an ambitious collaboration project later this year, which will see the release of a new album featuring Varo alongside twelve of Ireland’s most exciting and exceptionally talented traditional and folk musicians and groups on the scene:
Ian Lynch (Lankum), Anna Mieke, Junior Brother, Landless, John Francis Flynn, Niamh Bury, Branwen, Slow Moving Clouds, Inni-K, Alannah Thornburgh, Cormac Mac Diarmada (Lankum) & Ruth Clinton, and Lemoncello.
For this collection, Varo have curated a selection of traditional songs, which each relate to themes arising out of the COVID19 lockdown: loneliness, isolation, relationships, being away from your family or home, the housing crisis, the importance of social interactions, mental health, and anti-racism.
As part of Tradition Now 2021, VARO will perform music from their debut album, and exclusively showcase some of their new collaborations welcoming special guests John Francis Flynn, Alannah Thornburgh, Niamh Bury, Anna Mieke, Branwen and Slow Moving Clouds to join them on stage.
Consuelo of Varo says “We feel extremely honoured and grateful for having been invited to play at Tradition Now this year. If you think about it, it’s quite surreal.
Before the first lockdown we had just launched our debut album as Varo and managed to do a month tour in Ireland before everything stopped its normal course. Since then, we have experienced a year of almost no live gigs at all, no sessions, no social gatherings.
Everything had to be re-imagined, and so we started a collaboration project, to fill the gap left from the lack of interactions with other musicians and friends. Now we are bringing this project to a venue like the National Concert Hall…something I definitely wouldn’t have thought about a year ago.
This year has taught us that it’s always possible to fill a gap, to maintain human connections, through exchange and creativity. We would like to thank Tradition Now and the National Concert Hall for giving us the opportunity to share this collective work, which for us represents a continuation of the sense of community that is so inherent to the Trad and Folk scenes.”
Lucie of Varo adds “We’re very excited to be playing the National Concert Hall, although it’s very surreal to be honest. And to be able to bring our friends with us, all these amazing musicians that we’re so lucky to have on board with us for our collaboration project… It’s going to be a bit of a mad night for us on many levels, playing our songs in this huge iconic venue, being on stage with so many friends after a year of almost nothing, and presenting for the first time some of the songs of our upcoming collaboration project.
So on the night, this hour of music will be divided into two parts. We will perform a Varo set in the first half, with songs from our first album and some new materials too. And in the second half, we will be joined by six acts from our collaboration project.
The idea of this project was born a year ago and consists of a selection of traditional songs written over the three last centuries, but that can illustrate people’s feelings and experiences over the past year in a kind of poetic sense. So we’ve been working with 12 other acts for it and it’s been a very special experience… The album will be recorded over the summer and our gig at the National Concert Hall will be the first show to present such a large part of it.”
Varo + special guests Live Stream from The National Concert Hall stage as part of Tradition Now, this Sunday 20th June. The concert will be available to ticket holders for a week following the performance. Tickets €12 are available from nch.ie
Pre-order Varo’s collaboration album, due for release late 2022, at: https://varodublin.bandcamp.com/album/varo-collaboration-project-digital-album
Tradition Now is an initiative of the Arts Council and the National Concert Hall
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