Ficino Ensemble - Folk Songs Album Launch

Ficino Ensemble - Folk Songs Album Launch

Sunday, 10 July 2022, 8.00pm

The Ficino Ensemble join us for the launch of their latest album Folk Songs. The album, which features Irish vocalist Michelle O’Rourke, presents Luciano Berio’s now classic collection of folk song arrangements from 1964, alongside four brand new works, each engaging with the ethos of folk song, specially commissioned from composers Judd Greenstein (USA), Kevin O’Connell (IRL), Kate Moore (AUS-NL), and Garrett Sholdice (IRL).

Curated by Nathan Sherman, violist and artistic director of Ficino Ensemble, this album presents a richly varied kaleidoscope of human emotions and musical colours; it is a celebration of musical pluralism. The music here is by turns optimistic, imploring, droll, and desolate; the soundworlds range from full and driving, to spare and poignant, to intimate and timeless. Vocalist Michelle O’Rourke and the musicians of Ficino Ensemble offer deeply committed performances, conjuring a unique atmosphere for each song.

“What exactly is a folk song?” asks Sherman. “Is it the tune, or is it the words? Is it a style or a feeling?” Ultimately, for him, folk music feels like “a way of glimpsing into the past and finding our connection with it”. “This is how we make sense of ourselves and our society,” he continues. “This record is a testament to the most human instincts: to see, to reflect and to be moved.” Sherman quotes the American folklorist George Herzog (1901-1983): “The creative process […] is spread over many individuals and generations, and it never comes to an end as long as the tradition is alive.”

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Published on 23 June 2022

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