The West Ocean String Quartet

The West Ocean String Quartet

Thursday, 17 November 2022, 8.00pm

In November 1999, The West Ocean String Quartet - Seamus McGuire and Niamh Crowley/violins, Kenneth Rice/viola, Neil Martin/cello - set out on what has become a fascinating journey of experimentation and collaboration, of seeking out other ways. Along the way they have shared stages and studios with some of the finest – Christy Moore, Liam O’Flynn, Stephen Rea, Maighread Ní Dhomhnaill, Matt Molloy, Iarla Ó Lionáird, Brian Kennedy, Cathal Ó Searcaigh and Eimear Quinn. Core to the journey has been the weaving of the quartet’s own tapestry, striving for ways to communicate through composing and arranging and producing what we believe in. A quadruple marriage over more than two decades is no dull jaunt. For Atlantic Edge, quartet’s fifth album, rather than the emphasis being predominantly on newly-composed music, we were drawn to traditional music from or about the west of Ireland, and so began a most pleasurable trawl through that rich vein of material. The seemingly endless store of inexplicably beautiful airs and robust dance music from along the Atlantic edge underlines how landscape shapes humans, and vice versa. The two become inextricable, interdependent, and when artists seek to express themselves it’s inevitable that something of that sense of place appears. Airs and tunes of love and exile and home and longing and heartbreak.

“A musical odyssey to soothe and stimulate the imagination”. Irish Times

“…intrepidly plumbing the unfathomable depths…” Siobhan Long, Irish Times

“Exquisitely elegant… As precise as it is relaxed…. The eloquent intimacy of a long-established quartet” Songlines

“Four excellent and experienced musicians…a fine example of sympathetic arrangements of traditional Irish music” Living Tradition

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West Ocean String Quartet at IMBOLC International Arts Festival 2020

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