Repeater

Spiro

Released 21 October 2016

  1. The Sky is a Blue Bowl
  2. The Vapourer
  3. The Darkling Plains
  4. We Will Be Absorbed
  5. Shaft
  6. Yellow Noise
  7. Welcome Joy And Welcome Sorrow
  8. The White Hart
  9. I Fear You Just as I Fear Ghosts
  10. Burning Bridge

Liner notes

Repeater is an anthology of Spiro’s music pressed onto vinyl for the first time and was released on 21 October 2016.

With tracks selected from all four of their Real World albums Pole Star (1997), Lightbox (2009) Kaleidophonica (2012) and Welcome Joy and Welcome Sorrow (2015), Repeater showcases the exquisite sound of these four brilliant musicians whose aim is to combine the multi-layered complexity of classical music with the melodic strength of traditional folk tunes and the simplicity and groove of modern loop-based music.

This music of many-layered depth is produced with just four instruments at any given moment. Jane Harbour (violin/viola), Jon Hunt (acoustic guitar/cello), Alex Vann (mandolin) and Jason Sparkes (piano accordion/piano) break through the boundaries of their instruments and play them in unconventional ways.

Harbour says: “Someone said to me when I was very young, think of your violin as a drum kit, and I’ve been trying to do that ever since.”

As Vann puts it: “We re-imagine our instruments. For me, my greatest challenge musically is trying to get emotion out of the mandolin. I have to make it punch above its weight. Whereas Jane refuses to fall into the emotive clichés of the violin, she packs it with emotion, but it’s not expressed in an expected way.”

Unfettered in their thinking about what’s possible, they rise to the demands of the music.

And the music is demanding. It’s exhilarating, whether watching the band perform or listening in the comfort of your own home. The whole thing is so totally dependent on complex parts interlocking at the right moment that you sense one slip and it would all come crashing down, like a small, mistimed movement in Formula 1 might prove suddenly fatal. And like that expert drive, the precision is so fine that it’s freeing; freedom and space flow from the intricacy of the arrangements.

Listen

Further Listening

  • Kaleidophonica

    Spiro

    Released 20 February 2012

    The follow up to much-praised debut album ‘Lightbox’ sees Spiro pushing their ideas and the systems music further than ever before. Intricate and multi-layered as the music it is, the playing showcases their energy as much as their virtuoso craftsmanship. An album where the riffs are just as important as tunes. 
  • Welcome Joy and Welcome Sorrow

    Spiro

    Released 10 April 2015

    With Welcome Joy and Welcome Sorrow, the title of a Keats poem, Spiro take us through the "extremes of human experience. It's an album about being alive. Keats' line 'Dancing music, music sad, both together, sane and mad' is pretty much a musical mission statement for us."

Further reading

Sad to say goodbye to Ray Cooper

Virgin Records executive Ray Cooper died on 28th July. He was a great champion of alternative music.

Behind the scenes with Bokanté in new video for ‘Fanm’

Featuring scenes from the recording sessions with the Metropole Orkest and Jules Buckley

Real World Sessions: Totó la Momposina, 18 August 1991

A look back on The Wood Room session with producer Phil Ramone and mix engineer Richard Blair.

The Gloaming at the National Concert Hall: ‘An experiment in controlled happenstance’

A closer look at the phenomenon that is The Gloaming's annual sold-out residency at the NCH, Dublin.