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Aisling Urwin / Niamh O'Brien

During their residency at the Ionad Culturtha, Niamh and Aisling will draw upon the rich repertoire of Irish harp music and create new, innovative arrangements of harp pieces. They will also compose new work inspired by the landscapes of the South West of Ireland with ideas of water, source, forest and valley at the forefront. They will celebrate the idea of a community of harpers, exploring the unique and wonderful sounds of two harps playing together. They will also collaborate with visual artist Colm O’Neill in bringing these watery landscapes into the live performance space.

We are delighted to be offered this residency at the Ionad Cultúrtha. This will be a wonderful opportunity for us to delve into both the landscapes of the South West and the old harping music of Cork, Kerry and Limerick. We are very excited to present these new arrangements and compositions in a collaborative audio-visual concert with visual artist Colm O’ Neill at the end of the year.

Aisling Urwin

Aisling is a harper and songwriter from Co.Kerry. She grew up in a household of world music, folk music and Traditional Irish music and has been playing the Irish harp for twenty years. She has been working as a harp teacher, composer and performer since finishing her degree in Music with Arts at UCC in 2015.

Aisling enjoys the craft of songwriting and was awarded a scholarship to attend a Richard Thompson songwriting camp in upstate New York in 2014. She is passionate about the healing properties of sound and has worked with GP Bryan McElroy in providing Heartmath meditation events combined with live improvised harp music.

 Aisling enjoys working as a session musician, as well as composing for film and TV. One such recent project being harp & vocal composition for TG4 documentary, “Cois Móire.” She has been touring with world music artist Ajeet since 2018. Ajeet’s album “Indigo Sea” rose to no.1 on the iTunes World Chart and Billboard Top Ten New Age Chart.  Aisling has released five albums to date. Her latest musical project is a contemporary folk collaboration with Siobhán Moore called ‘Woven Kin.’ Their debut album, ‘Hibernate’ was released in 2021.

Niamh O’Brien

Niamh is a harp player, composer, and singer from Co. Limerick. She has performed in Ireland, Europe, and America as a solo artist, and with traditional groups such as The Chieftains, AnTara and Alyth McCormack. In 2023 her group, Hoodman Blind, will release their debut album on the Raelach Records label. Since 2017 she has been active in audio and radio, working as an editor and producer with the award-winning Grey Heron Media and The Irish in New York Oral History Project.

Her current compositional practice combines traditional, folk and electronic music, with radio and audio arts. In 2021 she was the winner of a Rising Award at the prestigious HearSay International Audio Arts Festival.

She is currently studying for a PhD in Arts Practice at UL. Her research is funded by the Irish Research Council.

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