Guest blog: Tir Eolas

It looks set to be a pretty exciting summer for us here in Tir Eolas!  We’ll be visiting Buxton Festival, Cambridge Folk Festival, Folk East and the Edinburgh Fringe – which means A LOT of Monopoly Deal will be played and a lot of pillows will be thrown by Georgie at oblivious snoring band members.

Tir Eolas was formed a few years ago when percussionist Ruairi Glasheen sent out a note on the Royal College of Music’s weekly mailout, asking if anybody wanted to play folk music and ‘maybe do some busking….see where it takes us.’  It just so happened that guitarist Laura Snowden was having a ‘say yes to everything’ week and responded to the ad: next thing they knew they had narrowly avoided being arrested for busking in the central part of Covent Garden.  How were they to know they needed a licence….

The pair soon joined forces with singer/flautist Pip Mercer, who coincidentally was the first person Ruairi met when he came to London.  The band was completed by violinist Georgie Harris and bass guitarist Hedi Pinkerfeld.  (FYI : Pip now goes by the name of Pip Bryan – YEP she totally got married last summer and we totally went to the obscurest part of Lancashire on public transport to play at her wedding. And to sing some impromptu Simon and Garfunkel on the train platform).

Upon declaring ourselves a band and giving ourselves a name nobody can pronounce, we went on to play together in venues as wide-ranging as the Royal Albert Hall, Bestival, BBC Radio 3 and the gorgeous Sam Wanamaker Playhouse in Shakespeare’s Globe at the invitation of guitarist John Williams.  We were very lucky to be supported by the City Music Foundation, which allowed us to release our debut album Stories Sung, Truths Told, recorded with Jim Moray at Urchin Studios.  The album was really a culmination of all our work up till then, and consisted largely of original material as well as traditional song She Moves Through the Fair.

Laura writes :

‘For me our music is very much about storytelling.  I love writing songs which contain tiny, specific details about a particular character or place –  but through those details, what I am really trying to do is to describe fundamental human experiences with which everyone can resonate.  Inspiration can come from the unlikeliest of sources : I once caught the last twenty minutes of a film (whose name escapes me), and invented what might  have happened in the first half (of course I had no idea) and wrote a song about that.  Our song Aida is inspired by a children’s book called No Roof in Bosnia, whilst Morven Larry was inspired by a painting on my grandmother’s wall.’

Laura Snowden Guitar/Tir Eolas band member

To hear songs from their new album, click on the links below:

She Moves Through The Air / Aida

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