- 05 Nov 21
Using traditional tunes as his starting point, Patrick Dexter develops a unique sound that combines original music and innovative arrangements of well known traditional tunes on the cello.
Acclaimed cellist Patrick Dexter is closing out a whirlwind year by releasing his debut single, ‘Féile’.
Hailing from the wilds of the west of Ireland, Dexter's stunning, intimate track is taken from Patrick’s forthcoming debut album, Solace. The LP is due for release in spring 2022.
The viral sensation has, in just over a year, amassed an impressive 130,000 dedicated followers on social media. After posting a video of himself playing the cello at his rural cottage in Ireland, Patrick’s music began to reach the far corners of the globe.
Garnering praise from Oscar-winning singer-songwriter Markéta Irglová (The Swell Season), Patrick has performed on CNN, BBC, ITV, Sky News, Global News Canada, RTÉ’s The Ryan Tubridy Show, Virgin Media, and TG4. In March 2021, Patrick was even invited by the Irish Embassy in the US to play for President Joe Biden.
Blending his classical training with his experience of living in the west of Ireland, Patrick's debut album harnesses a unique sound. The project was always intended to be as raw and intimate as humanly possible, and to achieve this, Dexter recorded his cello completely unprocessed.
“I felt a strong urge to keep it simple,” Dexter explains. “Something that is so powerful about folk and traditional music is that you have these simple melodies and they can really reach out and touch hearts. That's why I think they transcend centuries. The simplicity of their form is a big part of that, and I wanted to explore that area of music, but with my cello, because it's become like my voice."
"The most direct way that I would communicate music to someone — I think the most direct way anyone communicates music — is by singing. You look people in the eye and sing to them, and there's nothing else that compares to that. But more and more, my cello became that voice.
Exploring themes of home, the natural world, and the dichotomy of despair and joy found in both the landscape of the west of Ireland and the sonic depth of the cello, Solace taps into a vitality and humanity not easily explored. Beginning with ‘Féile’, a piece of Patrick’s own composition and named after his niece, for whom the track was written, he kicks off his debut with unbridled joy.
“Féile was born in the middle of winter at the end of 2020,” Patrick says of the opening track. “For most people, a very dark, difficult time. She was born just before the New Year, and it was such an explosion of joy. I thought: ‘there's still beauty in the world.’
“I wrote that song straight away when I heard the news. It ties into how the whole album proceeds. Though it has been this introspective time, it's also a celebration of family, life, nature, home and music.”
Weaving through the complex and fascinating history of traditional Irish music, as well as his own personal story, Patrick revisits classics like ‘Raglan Road’ and ‘Mná na hÉireann’. Solace is a vast, accomplished and life-affirming body of work from an artist who has so much more to offer.
Listen to the gorgeous 'Féile' below: