Sounds from a Safe Harbour, 17 – 20 Sept , Cork

Bryce Dessner

Bryce Dessner

Sounds from a Safe Harbour is a brand new festival of music, art and conversation, curated by Bryce Dessner of The National. Two years since its inception by Bryce and Cork Opera House CEO, Mary Hickson, Sounds from a Safe Harbour will bring a huge international creative cast to Cork this September to celebrate the port city’s place on the world’s stage in a unique setting.

Alongside Cork’s spectacular harbour environs, themes of waves, water and movement have been the inspiration for the festival, and will be explored through many new commissions and collaborations specially programmed for Sounds from a Safe Harbour.

The festival will activate the City through many art forms including visual arts, conversation, dance, film and music. Collaboration and shared experiences are strong themes in the festival, and audiences are encouraged to immerse themselves and form part of the conversation.

‘Wave Movements’ – a new composition by Bryce Dessner and Richard Reed Parry (Arcade Fire) – will be the focal point of Sounds from a Safe Harbour. It will be performed at Cork Opera House by the RTE National Symphony Orchestra and accompanied with film by the celebrated Japanese photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto.

Lisa Hannigan

Lisa Hannigan

Joining these concerts on a programme that truly traverses the oceans will be Shara Worden’s My Brightest Diamond; celebrated English organist James McVinnie; New York So Percussion and Nadia Sirota; Icelandic producer and composer Valgeir Sigurðsson with Icelandic compatriots Amiina, Ragnar Kjartansson, Kjartan Sveinsson and Skúli Sverrisson; Swedish / Irish fusion outfit This Is How We Fly; Parisian new-wave multi-instrumentalist Mina Tindle; US vocal looper Julianna Barwick; influential record label Bedroom Community; acclaimed artist and poet, Jessica Dessner.

There’s a steller Irish contingent performing as part of Sounds from a Safe Harbour, with some of this country’s most creative contemporary artists appearing over the course of the four-day festival. Curator, film maker, photographer and world music aficionado Donal Dineen will perform; along with instrumental collective Crash Ensemble, specially commissioned work from Ailbhe ni Bhriain with Linda and Irene Buckley, and Cork-based Eat my Noise.

A film programme co-ordinated by the Cork Film Festival will include Sigur Ros’ ‘Heima’ and The National’s ‘Mistaken for Strangers’, while pop-up conversation pieces, excursions and water-borne expeditions and other adventures are also in the pipeline.

The Crash Ensemble

The Crash Ensemble

“Sounds from a Safe Harbour has grown exponentially from my initial conversation with Mary Hickson into a huge, imaginative celebration and contextualisation of the initial idea alongside the port aspects of Cork,” says curator Bryce Dessner. “Rolling with the water, wave and sea themes, we decided to look to the river, the harbour and the port in making Sounds from a Safe Harbour.

I’m especially looking forward to bringing ‘Wave Movements’ to Cork and performing it along with another composition of mine entitled ‘St. Carolyn by the Sea’, which myself and my twin brother Aaron will perform live the RTE National Symphony Orchestra.

“Collaboration is a huge part of my own practice and I enjoy very much exploring cross genre engagement.  We have injected this energy into our festival and will be presenting music, art, film, conversation, dance and food across the weekend. The unifying factor being the music, this is the special glue that brings Sounds from a Safe Harbour home.”
In a unique and unified gesture, many of Cork city’s artistic spaces will participate in hosting the festival including Cork Opera House, The Everyman Palace Theatre, UCC, Port of Cork, Triskel Christchurch, Firkin Crane, Crawford Art Gallery, Wandesford Quay Gallery, Sternview Gallery and many more. There will also be an extensive music trail programmed throughout the city.

As a prelude to the festival, some of the artists will take up very special residency at Lismore Castle, Co. Waterford, where many planned and spontaneous festival collaborations will originate.

“There is some really beautiful music out there that celebrates and connects us to water. Through Sounds from a Safe Harbour, we hope to share this with a city that has provided a safe harbour for musicians and artists alike across time,” concludes Bryce.

 

More information: http://www.soundsfromasafeharbour.com