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Áine O'Dwyer - Gallarais MIE 045

After releasing the now long sold out and incredible Music for Church Cleaners 2LP a few years ago we're extremely extremely excited to be able to bring to you Áine O'Dwyer's new record 'Gallarais'.

Released on 12" vinyl and digitally, pre-order now for a release 15th September
Artwork by Áine O'Dwyer.
Released 15th September 2017.
Gallarais was recorded between 2013-2015 in the shaft of the Brunel tunnel. The shaft itself is 50ft
in diameter and 50ft deep with an acoustic decay of three to four seconds. The square window
located in the ceiling of the shaft invited a filter of sound from the outside world; trains from 14ft
below, overhead planes, and a pump mechanism, all synthesized with my own sonic contributions,
becoming part of the shaft’s unified breath. This transformed the tunnels structure into a ‘mystic
cave’ and host for transmigrational sound.

I’d launched my previous release ’Anything bright or startling?’ at the Brunel tunnel shaft in June
2013 to celebrate the tunnel’s 150 year anniversary, and to commemorate the passing of six men
who died during the tunnel’s construction. Shortly after the launch, I began to consider the larger
sonic potential of the space, and thanks to the generosity of director Robert Hulse was granted
regular access to conduct my investigations.

I began to explore the notion of a personalized abstract heritage relating to the bean chointe, or Irish
keener, who were professional mourners revered for their improvisational vocal skills. It is said that
they were outcasts, imbued with a type of madness, and they traveled across the countryside,
barefoot and dishevelled on unmarked paths.

Due to the fact I was unable to track down any known living keener in 2014, and the lack of
available audio documentation, this triggered my creation of an imagined reinactment, with sitespecific
sounds and additional instrumentation taking on the roles of ceremonional dirge.

Although I have never been privy to an actual keening ceremony, the memory of a relatives funeral
evoked what I imagined to have held comparable emotional weight. I had performed the exit music
for the congregation, and after they had left, heard from my overhead position on the balcony the
traumatized screams of bereavement from my family below. These horrific atonations stuck with
me for both their emotional purity and phonetic power.

Gallarais, or the Gallarus Oratory, translates into ‘church of the place of the foriegner’ or ‘rocky
headland’. It is a funerary chapel which takes the shape of an upturned boat, and is situated on the
Dingle peninsula, Co Kerry, Ireland, representing in this instance a touchstone for abstract heritage,
and the expression of the female voice.

Pressing Information

LP with Digital D/L


  1. Underlight
  2. Corpophone
  3. Grottovox
  4. Mouthtoum
  5. The Dirge
  6. Song of the Yahee People
  7. Hippos Kampos
  8. Beansidhe
  9. Mrs O'Learys Keen
  10. Hounds of Hades