Dublin native Aoife Ní Bhriain is one of her generation’s most versatile and gifted violinists, a dazzling musician who commands both the classical world and her Irish traditional heritage. From across the Irish Sea and the west coast of Wales, harpist Catrin Finch has also built an impressive classical career and ventured into unchartered musical territory, most notably through her international award-winning collaborations. Double You, their debut album as a duo, features an exquisite collection of new compositions that draw inspiration from various genres, taking listeners on a captivating journey on the wings of the bees across the Irish Sea and inspired by the cultures of their home countries.
The duo met in the depths of lockdown on the digital edition of Other Voices Aberteifi, the Welsh manifestation of the iconic Irish TV series and Other Voices Festival, which began in Dingle some twenty years ago. Catrin Finch, surely the most accomplished British harpist of her generation, was an obvious musical match for the polychromatic virtuosity of Ireland’s violinist Aoife Ní Bhriain, and the resulting album, Double You is the superb product of their “…. innate synergy…(and is) an ingenious blend of myriad influences,” – Miranda Heggie, The Arts Desk.
Both are incredible virtuosos of their respective instruments, who started young and trained hard with great dedication to achieve the highest world-class standards of their art. Both went through rigorous classical training and grounded their careers in the classical world. Given her family heritage, it was inevitable that Aoife would also become a master of the Irish tradition; and given her fearless and inquisitive nature, it was equally inevitable that Catrin would seek artistic satisfaction beyond the confines of the classical world. “Audiences just want to come away from a performance having been moved,” says Catrin. That becomes the key creative force, transcending the boundaries of genre.
Running through their stories – as individual creatives, remarkable women, and now as an inspirational duo – are universal themes of identity, self-belief and the courage to be who you really are, to find yourself, particularly when others expect you to conform. Theirs is a story of being brave enough to follow your own path. From fighting against cancer and embracing sexuality, to being courageous enough to express their full creative potential, both Catrin and Aoife have been forging their own paths of challenge and discovery.
Each track on the album begins with the letter ‘W’; spoken as ‘Double You’ the tracks allude to the many striking parallels that bind Catrin and Aoife together, making one the double of the other and affording a deep musical affinity between the two. The ‘W’ also traces the pattern of the famous waggle dance that bees use to tell their fellow workers where nectar sources can be found, their lower bodies indicating the direction of the nectar relative to the sun. It’s a suitable metaphor for a search for new creative possibilities.
Wonder is based on a prelude by Bach, blending variations with some original motifs. Catrin: “It’s our own improvisation on that original prelude.” The chords at the end are from a Mendelssohn violin concerto dear to Aoife, who studied for a while at the Hochschule that Mendelssohn founded in Leipzig, the city where Bach lived.
Double You is the incredible debut album from Welsh Harpist Catrin Finch and Ireland’s fiddle virtuoso Aoife Ní Bhriain, released on 27th October on the bendigedig label.
‘A special connection between two ace musicians’ Mark Radcliffe, BBC RADIO 2 FOLK SHOW
‘…a sumptuous instrumental melange of virtuosic stringed magic’ – Nigel Williamson, UNCUT MAGAZINE
Book a table for pre-concert dining
Acapela Studio provides pre-concert dining between 6.00pm and 7.30pm from our wood burning pizza oven. To view the current menu visit here.
Please purchase your concert tickets first before booking a table. We will not accept any table bookings that do not have a corresponding ticket purchase.
Then return to the event page to book your table, by selecting the date of your event, number of diners and time you require table. The times shown are the only vacancies left. Please complete your email and phone number as this is required to ensure your table is allocated. You will receive confirmation of your booking by email and text.
If on the date you have chosen no tables are available - no times will be shown and the booking system will revert you back to todays date - PLEASE ENSURE YOU BOOK THE CORRECT DATE!
PLEASE NOTE THE VENUE RELIES ON THE INCOME FROM DINING TO ENSURE WE CAN BOOK ALL THE GREAT ACTS PERFORMING.
Income from the provision of pizzas is very important to the venue and if you have booked a table it is a requirement that all people sat at tables order food - a salad alternative is available to pizzas. Please do ensure that all individuals will be ordering on your table - if this is not the case please cancel your table so others who are looking to dine can do so. Our apologies to raise this but recently we have had many tables (some very large) where less than 50% of those sat at tables have ordered food. Financially this is a real problem to the sustainability of the venue.
- All seating at tables must purchase a pizza - so please do not book a table if everyone is not eating.
- Please ensure that you arrive 10 minutes before the time slot allocated to order your pizzas prior to your booking time.
- Tables not seated within 15 minutes of the allocated time may be lost and allocated to other audience members wishing to order pizzas.
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Please note that all of our pizzas are made fresh to order and cooked in an authentic wood-fired oven. It may take up to 45 minutes to be served during busy periods.
IF YOU ARE UNABLE TO BOOK A TABLE YOU CAN STILL ORDER PIZZAS ON THE NIGHT (USUALLY ON BUSY NIGHTS NO LATER THAN 7.15PM) AND WE WILL SERVE THEM TO YOU WHEREVER YOU ARE SAT IN THE VENUE - IN A PIZZA BOX.