The airy strings being plucked in the opening bars of Running are something everyone might not recognize at first. BRÍDÍN is a contemporary harpist hailing from Co. Sligo, Ireland, and has recently released her self-titled debut album BRÍDÍN. With this debut, she upholds a tradition of Irish music into the fourth generation of her family, singing and playing the harp, flute, and piano.
Despite its creator’s traditional influences, Running is anything but. Featuring Limerick MC/producer MuRli delivering rap verses with an Irish lilt, its intricate soundscape creates an otherworldly feel, hypnotically carrying the listener away on a cathartic, dreamlike journey. BRÍDÍN’s haunting vocals drift loftily over the production singing “I’m running away / I’m leaving my pain / It’s too much to take“.
BRÍDÍN’s fascination with music led her to pursue a musical career, having studied music at University College Cork achieving a degree in Music and Irish and a Masters in Music and Performance, and received numerous musical accolades. Recent performances include The Late Late Show, The Tommy Tiernan Show, Ireland AM, Today with Maura and Daithí, Claire Byrne Live, The Mainstage, Extra.ie and national radio.
In the years running up to this release, BRÍDÍN has developed a unique style inspired by the nature of her home surroundings as well as her traditional Irish music roots. Using loop and effect pedals to craft her musical pieces, she layers and blends melodies on harp and voice beautifully with contrapuntal fiddle, keyboard, electric guitar and bass, woven together with pulsating drums.
Speaking on the conception of the album, she shared:
“My self-titled debut album ‘BRÍDÍN’ has become for me, my favourite work to date. I am so proud of every song and piece on this album and what they mean to me. Along with my amazing band, we have captured my mindset in this moment. From start to finish, I believe my album takes you on a journey of grief, pain and anxiety to a place of great peace and acceptance. Through writing and recording these songs and pieces, I have learned and grown so much, fine tuning my style and writing the music I want to hear.”
An interesting facet of this artist is that she grew up in a funeral home and is also a full-time funeral director and embalmer at the family business. This offbeat perspective has lent itself to a special relationship with death and a profound appreciation of life, from an early age, as she says: ‘I’m fascinated by the constant flow of nature and the beginning and ending of life.’ Such a line of work has fostered a deep sense of gratitude for the people she has in her life and all the work unknowingly our bodies do to keep us alive, which surely informs her creative practice.
Since becoming a full-time funeral director and embalmer, BRÍDÍN has also found that writing and playing music is a great healing process for the pain of people’s grief that she deals with on a daily basis.
‘In an unexpected way, I need one to have the other. Music is my love and emotional outlet and acts as my healer, while on the other hand, the funeral industry reminds me every day how lucky I am to be alive and to still have my loved ones with me. I think in general we need to appreciate the “little” things we have and come back to nature’.
Connect with BRÍDÍN below:
Photo by Steve Rogers