Brídín: “I’ve learned very quickly not to take the little things for granted”

by James Hendicott
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Sligo native Brídín is the product of generations of music. Born into a trad-loving family, the harpist engaged with more modern sides of music once she got to studying at UCC.

Now finds herself in the relatively unusual role of a modern harpist, producing a sound that would be unrecognisable to many trad fans, utilising modern studio and stage techniques to play with her sound.

“When I was studying music at UCC, I learned a lot about all different genres of music,” she says.

“That’s where my mind was musically opened. I went on to do a masters in performance at UCC after and that’s when I started writing my contemporary pieces, with my loop pedal and effect pedals.

“I’m not trying to be ‘contemporary harp’, I just write what I like to hear, and it turns out to be contemporary. I’m so glad people are liking it so far.”

“I’m a fourth generation Irish traditional musician, so the mainstream of music I was surrounded by was Irish traditional music, choral and pop,” she explains.

“I was surrounded by music growing up luckily, because of my amazingly musical mother, Aileen. Mam would take us around playing music in different places and we’d teach ourselves tunes at home. I still love and play lots of traditional Irish music.”

On the ‘Ocean Of Stars’ EP, Brídín does dip lightly into trad elements, but quickly reveals far more substantive modern leanings. A track entitled ‘The Salmon’s Tale’ is closest to her childhood roots.

“I think my music has its own life, with little flavours of different genres.”

“It’s funny, The Salmon’s Tale wouldn’t be considered traditional in the Irish music scene, but it is the ‘trad’ track on the EP. I suppose it is more a contemporary tune with traditional features and characteristics.

“It’s got a cool groove to it and I’m really happy with my relaxing outro, I think it tells a story! You can catch my music video Fionn Rogers made for it of my cousin Cain Kilkullen surfing at Easkey – very satisfying!”

There is an elemental feel to much of what Brídín does, something that might nod back to her tendency not to take even the simplest aspects of life for granted.

“I’ve grown up above our funeral home, so I’m no stranger to death,” she explains, “but I have found working full time with families when they’re going through the worst time of their lives has a massive impact on me.

“I’ve learned very quickly not to take the little things for granted, such as breathing without having to think about it, walking, sight, hearing, etc, and having family and friends.”

“I feel a massive pull to nature and my surroundings in Sligo. I never felt right writing music anywhere else. I’m inspired by the constant movement and flow of nature, in everyday life.”

That positivity towards life and her career even extends to looking into music’s rather unpredictable future, in which Brídín finds plenty to be positive about.

“I’m looking forward to this EP ‘Ocean of Stars’ coming out, and I’ve some really cool gigs lined up that I can’t talk about just yet, but if you follow me on social media, I’ll be keeping everyone updated on projects I’m doing.

“I’ve been writing a lot of new music as well, so looking forward to getting into the studio again!” Watch this space.

Brídín’s EP ‘Ocean of Stars’ is out next week. Single ‘Floating’ is out now.

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