This collection of music is, in a literal sense, caught between two places. As musicians we grew up on the opposite side of the world to the music that we had come to love and play together. The Australian folk scene shaped the tunes we played and wrote for many years, and this is a part of our music that we will always take pride in. Yet it seemed right that, for our second album, we should seek out the Irish tradition and music that has been part of our lives for so long, to find a new place from which to write and grow as a band.
For four months, we made our home in our very own flat. Belfast made us welcome; we settled into sessions at Maddens, lounge room tunes with Susan, jogs along the Lagan River, coffee at Common Grounds. Being at home in the city allowed us to think differently about our music and about composition. The music in this album has so many experiences woven through it, and in this sense it is a true reflection of our time away.
We found true friendship in Brian Finnegan, who from the first email to the final mix has been a river of inspiration, encouragement and knowledge. It has been a privilege to have him as such an integral part of every aspect of this album.
For Tolka, our story in 2014 was to write an album as a response to living away. We came face to face with traditions we had grown up with, but apart from. The green door at 10 Westminster St, Belfast opened one house to bring two places together.
Now, it’s time to come home. For the moment, anyway.
Produced by Brian Finnegan
Recorded by Dónal O’Connor at RedBox Recording Studios, Belfast, NI
Mixed by Leon Hunt at The Brown Ratio, Bath, UK
Mastered by Josh Clark at Get Real Audio, Bath, UK
Additional Whistle by Brian Finnegan
Drums/Bodhran by Josh Clark
Bass by Ben Somers
Steel Drums by Melvin Ifill
Uillean Pipes by Darragh Murphy
Hammond Organ by Donal O’Connor
Giant Vocals by Eamon Maguire
Tiny Vocals by Evie Hunt
Artwork by Cameron Hibbs
Album Design by Robert Hillman
This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.
Emerging out of the lively traditional music scene of Melbourne, Tolka encapsulates a sense of what it means to be playing
traditional music in a contemporary context. While acknowledging the roots of Irish music, original compositions and innovative arrangements are central to Tolka’s repertoire.
Tolka are in the process of releasing their debut album 'Tunes from the External Hard Drive' (2013)...more