Aidan O’Rourke & Kit Downes
Multi-award winning fiddler, composer and producer Aidan O’Rourke (Lau) releases his new double album “365:Volume Two” on August 9 this year via Reveal Records.
The 25-track deluxe double CD and story booklet follows last year’s sold-out “365: Volume One” with another beautifully sparse and emotive collection recorded with Mercury Prize nominee Kit Downes (ECM).
Bold, tender, full of old truths and distilled modern wit, “365:Volume 2” is built on the beauty of the miniature. It’s a collaboration between artists steeped in tradition but constantly breaking new ground.
In 2013, James Robertson – one of Scotland’s leading authors – wrote a short story every day for a year. It became an enchanting, roaming collection of fairytales and memories and provocations; that was only the beginning.
A couple of years later, Aidan O’Rourke wrote a tune every day in response to the stories. The result is a major new body of 365 tunes – a significant addition to the Scottish traditional music canon. “365: Volume Two” presents highlights from the heart of the project. Aidan’s playing and writing are renowned for deep lyricism and off-kilter twists, here paired with kaleidoscopic harmonies of Kit Downes on harmonium and piano.
Aidan says: This music is about storytelling – how to tell stories without saying too much. James Robertson wrote a story every day for a year, and each one was exactly 365 words. It began as an exercise but soon it became an essential ritual. James found the discipline addictive and he emerged a year later with a beautiful collection of tales. They are big stories, real stories, mysterious stories, old and new and weird and tender stories. I decided to test out the same process on composition, and in response to James’s words, I wrote a tune every day for a year. Inevitably the melodies are rooted in my own background as a Scottish folk fiddler, but when Kit Downes gets involved he takes the harmonies to the most wondrous places.
Aidan O’Rourke and Kit Downes have recently played select shows with The Unthanks, before performing their own headline concerts in May 2019 and dates for New Music Biennial (featuring James Robertson) in collaboration with director Shilpa T-Hyland at London’s Southbank Centre and in Hull.
Date of event:13th October 2019