Music can, of course, soothe the most troubled of souls, and lift the most downtrodden of spirits.
Especially when that music is coming from people who actually know how to play their instrument.
People like best friends Maria Ryan and Lucia Mac Partlin, the Limerick lass meeting the Tipperary girl long before they began studying at the Cork School of Music back in 2011.
Before that, these two fiddle players had started out as rivals, in Fleadh Ceoil competitions up and down the country – “but, that never came between our friendship,” smiles Maria. Which may explain why, when the duo had finished their Bachelors and their Masters in Cork, they headed off on Eramus together to Sweden.
“We instantly fell in love with Sweden,” nods Maria, “and ended up staying an extra year. Our music is heavily influenced by our classical training as well as our folk influences. We had the privilege of taking classes with Johnny McCarthy in Cork, and then moving to Sweden opened up a whole new world of Scandinavian folk music too…”
The resulting mash-up of influences can be heard on Lucia And Maria: Live At The Chapel, the duo’s 2018 album – available here. Which should give you a good taste of what to expect at The Whale on Friday, September 25th.
“Myself and Lucia intend on making more music together for years to come,” finishes Maria, “and expanding our techniques and influences. We like to think we’re very versatile musicians in that we don’t just stick to one genre of music. We can spend the day in the studio, play with the National Symphony Orchestra, make up music live with a band on the spot. Whatever you need that involves two violins and vocals, we can do it!”
Before the violin-toting dynamos unleash all that passion and playfulness upon an unsuspecting Greystones, we got Maria to reveal her Tracks Of My Years – those damn songs that can make her, hey, break down and cry…
1. Dreamers’ Circus: Prelude To The Sun In this track they combine Bach’s Partita in E and make it their own with a folk twist.
2. Bill Laurence: December In New York The chords and melody in this track are just magic.
3. Hazelius And Hedin: Da Lounge Bar This track has had such an influence that we created our own version of Da Lounge Bar, which features on our album.
4. Jeremy Kittel: The Chase This track has influenced my reel playing and arrangement techniques.
5. The Fretless: Bird’s Nest This track is one of my all-time favorite tracks.This band have massively influenced me in every way. Playing wise and in arranging style.
6. Vulpeck: The Birdwatcher This track hasn’t necessarily influenced my music but I love it for a boogie. They’re an incredibly talented band.
7. Atlas: One Day Like This Maybe it’s cheating if I feature on the track, but these Limerick lads are seriously talented.
8. The Gloaming: The Sailor’s Bonnet I absolutely love Martin Hayes’ fiddle playing.
9. Cormac McCarthy: Bill’s Words Again, I feature on this track but, as a whole, I absolutely love the album.
10. Lankum: Hunting The Wren I only recently discovered this track and it is quick becoming one of my favorite tracks to listen to.
You can find out more about Maria And Lucia here, and go check out their Friday, September 25th appearance at The Whale here.
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