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Damien Dempsey

Union

Damien Dempsey is an enigma. 

Born in Donaghmede, a suburb of Dublin, Dempsey is that rare gem of an artist, an ex-boxer – no less! – with the soul of a poet, whose heroes and influences are as diverse as Christy Moore, Shane McGowan, Elvis Presley, Luke Kelly and Bob Marley. 

Dempsey has released eight albums to date and is now something of a hero himself in his native Ireland, but it is his connection to the human condition that sets him apart from most of us.

Union is a new album of collaborations featuring 14 songs from Damien’s extensive back catalogue. Every song is a duet with a special guest. Guests include Sinead O’Connor, The Dubliners, Kate Tempest, and so many more! 

Damien says: “I love collaborating with people who move me with their music and lyrics and soul and voice. And when we collaborate with music we always learn something from each other and take a little bit of each other’s spirit and magic away with us. Union is a myriad of styles and a bit of a melting pot but I adore melting pots and I reckon there’s something for everyone here.”

One song on the new features Australia’s own – Dan Sultan

I met the young Dan Sultan at a soundcheck in Mullingar in Westmeath one summers day in July,it was his first day in Ireland and he was in the town that his father’s people left for Australia a couple of generations before from. He was opening for me that night and he had relatives he'd never met from Mullingar coming to the show to see him so it was a special night. I fell in love with his incredible singing and soul and songs and vice versa and we became great friends. When I was next in Australia I came down to see him and he taught me a lot about his Mother’s culture, the Gurindji people among others, and it is the oldest and in my opinion most indigenous culture on earth. For instance, the Songlines that run the length and breadth of Australia,where the aboriginal people have the country mapped in song and can find their way across the continent without maps, just songs, should certainly be one of the wonders of the world. How a tribe would have their own territory mapped in a song, so they could find their way to the boundary with passed down songs, them meet the tribe of the next territory, trade with them and make friends , and they'd be taught the songs that would get them across the next territory. When the songs melody went high it meant their was high ground coming and vice versa for valleys or ravines. Deserts and waterholes and thick forests were warned of through the melody and rhythm and story of the song and the song gave you shortcuts and the best route through, the songs told of the best places to hunt and fish, and their beautiful dreamtime religion was wrapped up in all this as well. Incredible.”

Track Listing:

  • 1. Singing Bird (with Finbar Furey)
  • 2. Soulsun (with John Grant)
  • 3. Apple Of My Eye (with Wildwood Kin)
  • 4. It’s Important (with Dan Sultan)
  • 5. A Child Is An Open Book (with Kate Tempest)
  • 6. Gaelic Ireland (with Pauline Scanlon)
  • 7. You’re Like The Water (with Maverick Sabre)
  • 8. The Keepers Of The Flame (with Lisa O’Neill)
  • 9. Celtic Tiger (with Sinead O’Connor)
  • 10. Kevin Barry (with Seamus Begley)
  • 11. Big Big Love (with Imelda May)
  • 12. Human (with Paul Alwright)
  • 13. Massai (with Moya Brennan)
  • 14. Rainy Night In Soho (with The Dubliners)
Release
The Huntington Estate Music Festival is one of the brightest stars in Australia’s musical firmament. For three decades, it has been bringing together top-flight musicians from around the country and around the world to present a breathtaking array of chamber music masterpieces, both iconic favourites and delicious new discoveries. Presented by the Huntington Estate Winery in association with Musica Viva Australia, and held in the winery’s Barrel Room, one of the most remarkable and surprising music venues in the world, the Festival is a delight to audiences and musicians alike.After 30 stellar years of exceptional music-making, however, the 2019 Festival will be the last, with Huntington Estate owners Tim and Nicky Stevens reluctantly deciding that their grapes – and their young family – must come first. To mark this significant occasion, ABC Classic is proud to delve into its broadcast archives to present this selection of some of the Festival’s most memorable performances across a typically diverse and intriguing range of repertoire: from Schubert and Dvořák to Bach’s astonishing eldest son Wilhelm Friedemann and Australian composers Ross Edwards and Ian Munro.It was Richard Tognetti and the Australian Chamber Orchestra who began the Festival and established it as a serious contender on the world stage – and the hottest concert tickets in the country! This album includes superb three recordings from those early years: music of Mendelssohn, Brahms and Percy Grainger.In 2006, the ACO passed the baton to Musica Viva and Artistic Director Carl Vine, opening up the Festival’s artist roster to an extraordinary range of musicians, both local and international. From among the literally hundreds of thrilling performances, this album features New York-based Australian pianist Andrea Lam, Russian-Armenian clarinettist Narek Arutyunian, the rich bass-baritone of Teddy Tahu Rhodes and Vienna’s acclaimed Eggner Trio, along with regular Festival guests the Goldner String Quartet and the rising stars of the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM) Chamber Orchestra.…/2The CD of this compilation is available exclusively at the Festival itself, but for all those who can’t make the trip to Mudgee, ABC Classic is releasing the full album as a digital album, for download and streaming, so that audiences all around the world can share in the celebration. TRACKLISTING  1     MENDELSSOHN Symphony No. 3 ‘Scottish’: II. Vivace non troppo2     BRAHMS arr. ANGERER Chorale Prelude ‘O Gott, du frommer Gott’3     GRAINGER Blithe Bells       Australian Chamber Orchestra, Richard Tognetti director (2002 / 2004)        SCHUBERT4     An die Musik (To Music)5     Erlkönig (The Erl-King)6     Die Forelle (The Trout)7     Die Taubenpost (Pigeon Post) from Schwanengesang       Teddy Tahu Rhodes bass-baritone, Kristian Chong piano (2007)        WF BACH Sinfonia in F major ‘Dissonant’8     I. Vivace9     II. Andante10   III. Vivace11   IV. Menuetto I & II       ANAM Chamber Orchestra, Paul Wright violin / conductor (2010)      12   ROSS EDWARDS String Quartet No. 2 ‘Shekina Fantasy’:       I. Allegro moderato       Goldner String Quartet (2010)        MENDELSSOHN13   Song without Words Op. 67 No. 2 – Allegro leggiero14   Song without Words Op. 85 No. 4 – Andante sostenuto       Andrea Lam piano (2012) 15   WEBER Clarinet Quintet in B-flat major: II. Fantasia       Narek Arutyunian clarinet, Australian String Quartet (2012)        MUNRO Piano Trio No. 2 ‘Book of Lullabies’ – Excerpts16   II. Lullaby in Edo17   III. Kun Mun Kultani Tulisi18   IV. Skye Boat Song       Dimity Hall violin, Julian Smiles cello, Ian Munro piano (2013) 19   DVOŘÁK Piano Trio No. 1: II. Adagio molto e mesto       Eggner Trio (2015)