- 15 Apr 21
Sun Collective’s densely orchestrated chamber-folk is led by songwriter and double bassist Caimin Gilmore - a member of Lisa Hannigan's band and Crash Ensemble.
Produced by Ross Turner (Lisa Hannigan, Villagers), and recorded by Ber Quinn (John Grant, Divine Comedy), ‘Ogham Scars’ features artwork from visual artist and Aosdána member John Noel Smith.
Sun Collective also released a live video performance of the song from the outfit's performance at Other Voices festival in December. The gig will televised tonight, April 15th, on RTÉ 2.
The award-winning and internationally acclaimed Irish music series will also be available to stream on RTÉ Player worldwide and the Other Voices YouTube channel.
Sun Collective's band members include Patrick O’Laoghaire (I Have a Tribe), Kevin Corcoran (Villagers), Dominic Mullan (Mary Coughlan) and Oisín Walsh Peelo (O Deer).
Speaking about the genesis of 'Ogham Scars', the group's frontman Caimin Gilmore says:
“I robbed the title (& possibly the entire meaning) of ‘Ogham Scars’ from the work of painter, John Noel Smith. A number of his series use Ogham iconography, which simultaneously recalls and disassembles the early medieval Irish alphabet, re-purposing the linguistic symbols into motifs that are both aesthetically traditional and contemporary."
"His re-imagining and dismantling of this imagery, for me, asks questions of how people use old and contemporary iconography to communicate ideas, language and identity,"Gilmore adds. "It was only recently I realised that I wrote ‘Ogham Scars’ mirroring the ideas I formulated about the meaning of his work."
Caimin credits the input of Gemma Doherty for the otherworldly sonic capabilities of the track.
"It features the beautiful playing of Gemma Doherty from Saint Sister. There’s a sense of mysticism that the harp in unison with the guitars lends & obviously suits the song title. I recorded on a few tracks off Saint Sisters upcoming second album & I’m writing a piece for Gemma and cellist Kate Ellis (Crash Ensemble) at the moment, so it just made sense to ask her to lend a hand to the work."
‘Ogham Scars’ is the final of three singles shared in the run-up to, and in conjunction with, the groups’ appearance on Other Voices tonight.
Gilmore has previously performed with Damon Albarn, Aaron Dessner, Greg Saunier, Zach Condon (Beirut), & recorded on numerous releases, including the opening track of Leonard Cohen’s posthumous Grammy-nominated album, Thanks for the Dance.
The band released their ‘MOVE \ RREMOVE' EP in August 2020 after sharing their debut self-titled LP back in 2017. The projects featured contributions from contemporary classical composers Nick Roth, Sam Perkin, and David Six along with with specifically commissioned visuals/videos from Myles O’Reilly for ‘Swallow’ and lead track ‘Roots’.
Watch Sun Collective's performance of 'Ogham Scars' at Dingle's Other Voices below:
Photo credit: Kyle Cheldon Barnett.