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The Kilkenny Arts Festival presents an extraordinary video and photographic sound installation by the Dublin-based artist, Anna Hill.  The exhibition, entitled ŒAuroral Synapse? sees Hill using low radio frequencies collected from the Aurora Borealis on a recent trip to Lapland. The audience?s breath will interact with projected video footage of this celestial phenomena.

In Spring of this year, Anna Hill journeyed to Finland where she documented and recorded ambient sounds, local musicians and singers and interviews with scientists studying the geo-physics of the aurora borealis. Her aim was to use the majesty, myth and actual sounds of one of the world?s most fascinating natural phenomena to consider the inter-connectedness of life, death and celestial events through sensory perception, interaction and human emotion. Presenting the work as a work-in-progress at the Tate Modern in May, Hill has since collaborated with the legendary vocalist Iarla O Lionaird to further develop the research into a wonderful exhibition which is on show at Grennan Mill, Thomastown, as part of this year?s Kilkenny Arts Festival.  

In a space devoted to her large format photographs (shot with a Hassleblad) and video projection of the Aurora and Lapland, a soundtrack built from a composition of O?Lionard?s voice, ambient recordings and low radio frequencies from the Aurora are designed to interact with the breath of the viewer - the deeper the breath, the faster and more intense the image of the Aurora. It is a fascinating example of human relationship with the natural world and the sublime.

"Auroral Synapse" at Grennan Mill, Thomastown. Saturday 9th - Sunday 17th August 2003. Admission Free.

Kilkenny Arts Festival 2003 - 8th - 17th August 2003
Tel: 353 (0) 56 775 2175    E:

Published 5th Aug 2003 »

Neguinha Te Amo Released on September 29th

Real World is delighted to announce the signing of the label’s first Brazilian artist.
To launch this South American star in the UK Daúde will be making her first ever live appearance at the WOMAD Festival in Rivermead, Reading (near London). She will be performing as a special last minute guest to announce her new album at 10.00pm as part of Club WOMAD accompanied by musicians including the great Webster Santos, the Brazilian guitarist who recorded her new album. If you’re coming to WOMAD don’t miss it!

To get a special advance taste of the album, listen to two tracks on this web site.

Published 23rd Jul 2003 »

“AFRO CELTS CHANGE FOR BETTER” - LA Times, July 12, 2003

Real World Records flagship artists the Afro Celts will play NYC's Central
Park SummerStage on Saturday, July 26, capping a US tour that’s drawing rave

The headline of Don Heckman’s July 12 live review in the LA Times proclaimed
“Renamed Afro Celts change for the better.”

Heckman’s review continued: “Afro Celt Sound System has established such a
solid artistic identity over the last decade that it was surprising when
the group announced recently that it would change both it’s name and it’s
style ... With the release of ‘Seed,’ the band presented itself as the Afro
Celts, reflecting a desire to maintain its core musical elements while
loosening the connection with technology ... The most notable distinctions
from past efforts seemed to be a reduction of DJ-like samples and
programming with an increased emphasis on interactive ensemble work ... by
the time the set fully unwound, guitarist and co-leader Simon Emmerson’s
assertion that the Afro Celts have “finally become a band” had been fully

Published 21st Jul 2003 »

AFRO CELTS: Announce Summer 2003 U.S. Tour

Groove-oriented mix of traditional African and Irish sounds on display at
summer festivals, including New York City's Central Park SummerStage

With critics hailing their fourth album 'Seed' (Real World Records) as a
major step forward in the group's ongoing evolution, the Afro Celts' will
launch a U.S. summer tour at the Santa Monica Pier on July 10. Afro Celts
will perform their signature combination of traditional Irish music fused
with African instruments, international rhythms and a patchwork of textured
electronics, at a number of summer festivals across the country this year,
including a show at NYC's Central Park SummerStage.

The line up for Afro Celts' summer 2003 tour includes: Simon Emmerson
(guitars, bazouki); James McNally (whistles, bodhran, keys, accordian,
guitar); Iarla O'Lionaird (vocals); N'Faly Kouyate (vocals, kora); Moussa
Sossokho (talking drum, djembe); Johnny Kalsi (percussion, dohl, tablas);
Emer Mayock (Uilleann pipes, flute); Miraed Nesbitt (fiddle); Ian Markin
(drums); Francis Hylton (electric bass).

Since the release of 'Seed' on March 25, 2003 critics have praised the
album's innovative approach to songcraft and instrumentation, along with its
intrinsically danceable grooves.

The Dallas Morning News's Gromer Jeffers, Jr. called the album, "defiantly
original," and predicted "cuts like 'Nevermore' and 'Green' will send
partygoers to the dance floor."

Detroit News and Free Press critic Martin Bandyke called the Afro Celts'
sound, "...An unusual but seamless blend of Irish and African music joined
to irresistible dance grooves... hypnotizingly beautiful music."

According to Global Rhythm's Marty Lipp, "The group's sprawling songs build
up momentum as they move through an array of soundscapes... Anyone with an
open mind could easily get carried away by the kaleidoscopic tapestry of

For full details of the dates check out 'Tours' on this website.

Published 17th Jun 2003 »

Pape and Cheikh tour the UK

This is a rare opportunity to catch one of the most interesting new groups to come out of Senegal – beautiful, lyrical, uplifting songs driven by acoustic guitar. The tour begins on Thursday 19 June at London’s Jazz Café and runs until 31 July. More details of dates can be found under the ‘Tours’ section.
“ Pape and Cheikh’s passionate, driving vocals are as effective on the acoustic funk songs as the folk-rockers, but the pair are at their best when backed just by their own guitars on songs like the gently exquisite ‘Jello’. A great album” (Robin Denslow for Songlines Magazine)

Published 16th Jun 2003 »

Sevaras Reputation Established

Sevara Nazarkhan and her five piece band have been touring as support act for Peter Gabriel throughout Europe during April and May. Her duet with Peter for ‘In Your Eyes’ has been one of the highlights of the show. You can catch a song from her performance in Rotterdam in the video section of

Whilst in London for two nights at Wembley Arena with Peter, Sevara and master musician Toir were invited to sing on BBC television’s ‘Later With Jools Holland’ which was broadcast on June 30th.

Such is Sevara’s reputation that she appeared on the front cover of The Telegraph’s Arts supplement on May 24th entitled ‘Siren Of the Silk Road’. In a double page spread article she is described: “As tiny as Kylie, she’s Central Asia’s emerging pop diva – poised to become a major star’.

Published 11th Jun 2003 »

Blind Boys of Alabama - Highlights !

The veteran Boys have had their usual six months of international touring and recording highlights. They have covered Australia and New Zealand and have just finished a series of outstanding performances with Peter Gabriel on his recent European ‘Growing Up’ tour where they had audiences dancing in the aisles to their own gospel favourites and in one of the most beautiful moments of Peter’s show accompany him on the song ‘Sky Blue ‘ (from the recent album ‘Up’). Whilst in London for two nights at Wembley Arena the Boys were invited to appear (for a second time) on the TV programme Later With Jools Holland ( which was broadcast on June 3 on BBC 2 ).

On the recording front the Blind Boys have been invited to guest on a whole range of recent albums – including Jools Holland’s ‘Small World Big Band (Volume 2) More Friends” from which ‘Rock Me’ was the successful and much played single; Lou Reed’s critically acclaimed musical artwork ‘the Raven and Ibrahim Ferrer’s Buenos Hermanos.

Early this year the Boys were inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame at the Dove Awards. They won the Dove Award for Best Traditional Gospel Album and performed Higher Ground from their recent album at the ceremony.

Blind Boys of Alabama – Looking Forward To!

August 9
The Fighting Temptations Staring Cuba Gooding and Beyonce Knowles, this Paramount movies release features an on screen performance of ‘Soldier’ from the Blind Boys.

November 7
Brother Bear, the big Disney animation of the year, will have the Blind Boys singing a Phil Collins composition as the title song of the movie.

Summer touring from May to September
Throughout the USA the Boys will be performing dates with Buddy Guy, Robert Cray, John Hiatt and Etta James. September 20 is a performance at the New York Literary Festival, NYC. Check out all the dates on the touring section of the website.

Autumn 03
‘Go Tell It On the Mountain’ to be released on Real World Records. This is the Boys first Christmas album and classic seasonal songs are given a radical and unique interpretation. The guest line up includes Tom Waits (Go Tell It On the Mountain), Mavis Staples (Born In Bethlehem), Solomon Burke (I Pray On Christmas), Aaron Neville (Joy To The World), Shelby Lynne (The Christmas Song), Michael Franti , Les Mc Cann with others still to be announced. Instrumental guests include John Medeski (Hammond B3 and piano), Duke Robilard (guitar), Danny Thompson (double bass), Michael Jerome (drums) with special appearances by Robert Randolf (pedal Steel guitar).

Published 3rd Jun 2003 »

Iarla takes up new residency

Afro Celts frontman Iarla O Lionaird has been made sean-nos Singer-in-Residence at The Irish World Heritage Centre at the University of Limerick. Iarla is using the opportunity to complete the centre's MA in Ethnomusicology.

Published 23rd Apr 2003 »

Yungchen Lhamo BBC2 Special 19th April

On Easter Saturday 19th April Yungchen Lhamo is performing two songs as part of a Lesliey Garrett TV special "Sacred Songs" to be shown on BBC 2 at 8 o'clock. Along with other guests Baaba Maal will also be appearing.

Published 16th Apr 2003 »

I Loved The Way makes it into the movies

Pina's track 'I Loved The Way' is in an Italian film called 'Dillo Con Parole Mie' (Say It With Words) which is about a group of young Italian adults who go on holiday to Greece, and the resulting love affairs and post adolescent complications they encounter during their stay. The track will also appear in the French film 'Ta Soeur', directed by Martin Valente.

Pina is currently working on her next album.

Published 14th Apr 2003 »

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