There is an Island is an new trio featuring Michelle O’Rourke (vocals), Benedict Schlepper-Connolly (violin) and Garrett Sholdice (piano). Musical influences from folk song to Antony and the Johnsons, Efterklang and Nick Cave combine with lyrical preoccupations with memory and place. Emotionally rich vocals, minimal piano and liquid violin blend to create a sound at once transparent and full of warmth.
Expect hushed invocations, oceanic lullabies, and songs inspired by landscapes that linger in our hearts. O’Rourke, Schlepper-Connolly and Sholdice have worked together in various constellations over the past decade, most often under the aegis of Ergodos, the record label founded by Schlepper-Connolly and Sholdice in 2006. However, this new project sees them work together on original material for the first time.
Vocalist Michelle O’Rourke combines her classical training and background in Baroque music with an adventurous eclecticism and a passion for collaboration. Recent projects include the Ergodos Musicians “Songs” project which toured Ireland in early 2016, and, with composer Simon O’Connor, Left Behind: Songs of the 1916 Widows – a suite of songs inspired by the experiences of women associated with the 1916 Easter Rising in Ireland.
Benedict Schlepper-Connolly is a composer, producer and multi-instrumentalist from Dublin. As a composer, he moves between various musical forms, including chamber music, choral writing, orchestral work, arrangement, songwriting, field recording and music for dance and film. Benedict’s compositions frequently seek out an ecstatic quality, with a reduced palette of materials, rich tonal harmonies and rhythmic intricacy. He is a director of Ergodos (ergodos.ie).
Garrett Sholdice is a composer and director of Ergodos. His music has been described as possessing an “exquisite delicacy” (The Irish Times). Notable recent works include a piano concerto for Michael McHale and the Irish Chamber Orchestra, a new madrigal for London-based vocal ensemble EXAUDI, and a new work for Crash Ensemble’s Free State 9 showcase. He is a director of the Dublin-based record label, Ergodos.
The Santa Rita Concerts provide a unique, deeply immersive audience experience. Each evening begins at 7pm with a Santa Rita wine tasting, and a fireside interview with the artists. The performances take place at 8pm in the museum’s beautifully resonant downstairs gallery. The space is candlelit and the atmosphere highly intimate – a concentrated ritual shared by performer and audience.
"Maarja Nuut, a singer and violinist from Estonia, used loops and electronics to build austere, minimalist grids, with traditional-sounding waltzes and polkas floating in them like ghostly memories." – The New York Times