Ships: ‘Ode to the Ward’

Ships: ‘Ode to the Ward’
Thu 15 Apr 2021





Ships 'Ode To The Ward' is a long-form music commission by The Source Arts Centre. Tonight we will hear the track and chat to Ships.

Ships are composed of Simon Cullen and Sorca McGrath. They formed Ships in 2011, the name being a reference to relationships, friendships, scholarships etc. Their debut album 'Precession', self-released via Irish crowdsourcing site Fundit, won the Choice Music Prize in 2017.

They say about the commission:  "During Summer 2020, we were so fortunate to be living in Swords, North County Dublin, thanks to family who were enduring their lockdown in London, and we were on a road adjacent to the Ward River Valley Park. We would walk the park daily and we hugely benefited from having access to a public space with such a vibrant ecosystem. This song began as a field recording from the Ward River, those birdsongs were some of the sweetest company. The river became a source of vibrancy to us as the country shut down. The river didn’t care one bit about the pandemic, it went on churning and turning and shaping the forms around it. We ended up writing the song like it was a kind of an ode to the river, a plea or wish to be taken back into its arms, the lyrics were born out of a call to the river to take us back to simpler times, back to the mud where we came from. Sometimes waking life felt harder than the dream of surrendering to the river.

It was, and remains to be, a genuinely concerning time for us. We have to become inventive and flexible in our thinking in how we might sustain our practice as live musicians, when a lot of what we did was in the context of large gatherings of people. In the meantime, we write and we have the river and we have enjoyed putting these two things together for this piece of music."

Patrons have to register in advance for this webinar from here:


Image: Ciarna Hackett


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