- 23 Sep 21
Wallis Bird discusses how collaboration is the key to development, ahead of her participation in Hibernacle's latest festival, 'Meet Me At The Castle'.
On September 25th and 26th, Claregalway Castle, Co. Galway will be filled with the likes of Lisa Hannigan, Tolü Makay, Nealo, Daithí, Jape, DJ Sally Cinnamon, Saint Sister, Wallis Bird and more for one of the year's most exciting festivals. 'Hibernacle: Meet Me At The Castle' is part of a series of one-day events, where the artists will be encouraged to engage in collaborative efforts.
Hibernacle — the brainchild of experienced and diverse event organisers: Úna Molloy, Pearse Doherty and Peter Kelly — began as a collaborative pilgrimage which took place in Doolin, Co. Clare during the week before Christmas. It brought a unique group of musicians together for a restorative retreat during the height of the pandemic.
For Wallis Bird, one of the participating artists, the exciting reality of playing to a live audience again has yet to fully sink in. "I don't know what to anticipate," she says. "I guess the word for it would be that I'm nervous."
For the first year of the pandemic, Wallis says took her time easing back into a creative mindset.
"I kept busy, but I did a whole lot of nothing," she laughs. "I really took a mental pause. I read a lot of books and took a lot of walks. I felt the same as a lot of people, where when the pause finally came we all just crashed. So I enjoyed the crash and the void, and then I started working with a new producer at the end of the year."
The Berlin-based Irish artist's last album, Woman, was released to critical acclaim in 2019, and she spent the second half of the pandemic contending with a huge burst of creative energy.
"I've just fucking leapt out of my skin," she says. "By the 1st of January, 2021, I had fifteen songs pretty much written. It became so productive."
Wallis is ready to have some time to experiment with fellow musicians, as well. "This festival means the world to me," she says. "That's something I'm really looking forward to. Collaboration is the key to artist development, and it's key to supporting each other. That is everything I love about being a musician. Coming together and jumping into each other's world, shaking it up a bit, bringing in new colours.
"I know it will go well, because the artists who have been picked to be there are chosen because of their ability to work with other people."
She's also excited for the dreamy line up, which includes Nealo, Lisa Hannigan, and Saint Sister — among many others. "I've been following them all for a really long time, and quite a few of them I won't have met yet. I'm so fucking excited. One of the hardest things about being a self-sustaining artist or a solo artist is that the ego takes over, and I feel one of the best things about being around Irish artists is that there's an innate soundness — you have to be able to get on with people and communicate."
You can buy tickets for Hibernacle: Meet Me At The Castle at their website.
Listen to Wallis Bird's 2019 album Woman below.