First Northern Ireland Music Film to be Released Since COVID-19

Premiering this weekend on World Music Day, Sunday 21st June at 7pm

Come join us. Together. Under a Distant Sky.

This weekend, the award-winning company Snow Water were due to host their annual Distant Sky Summer Solstice Festival on Rathlin Island. The Distant Sky Festival series was set up to “to share the things we love, the things we enthuse about, the things that keep us going” and they bring the best of music, spoken word and great company to some of the most special places in Northern Ireland. Each celebrates the stories of local talent, craftsmen and entrepreneurs from the local area plus the finest NI musicians. Snow Water has built a reputation for nailing the right music to the right venues, creating the perfect night out, making memories and the I-Was-There moments.

As the festival can’t happen this year, Snow Water, in association with Smarts Communicate and Tourism Ireland, have produced NI’s first music film following Covid-19 Health and Safety Guidelines in order to bring Rathlin to audiences across the world. And on what better time than the Summer Solstice weekend and World Music Day. Viewers can sit back and enjoy ‘Distant Sky Rathlin’ for free from the comfort of their own homes, and the 30min film presented by broadcaster Joe Lindsay will feature:

One of Ireland’s foremost composers and musicians, Neil Martin, with a new interpretation of the “Silent, Oh Moyle”, written about the stretch of water between Rathlin Island and Fair Head. Lyrics for the ancient Irish song were written by the poet Thomas Moore in the early 1800s.

The premiere of a new work, “La Lune”, by folk singer and songsmith Ciara O’Neill. Notching up praise from BBC6 Music to RTE Radio One, Ciara most notably played in front of a TV audience of 60 million in the States alongside Grammy nominees Iain Archer and Jim Lauderdale as part of the ‘Music City Roots’ programme.

The new single released just this week “You Said, Tell Me” from Derry based Indie-folk artist Reevah. Tipped as ‘Hot for 2020’ by Hotpress Magazine – her voice, pure, understated and fearless, stays in the heart and the mind long after the music is over.

A reading by novelist Glenn Patterson from his latest non-fiction work, “Backstop Land”. Glenn is the author of 11 novels, Director of the Seamus Heaney Centre at Queen’s University and co-wrote the award-winning screenplay and theatre production of Good Vibrations.

“Remember June?” by Tour Alaska, which was premiered on Rathlin last year. Gerry Norman is frontman for one of Northern Ireland’s most celebrated alternative rock bands, A Plastic Rose, who have had arena tours supporting Snow Patrol, Biffy Clyro and Twenty One Pilots.

The programme will also have an exclusive interview between Joe Lindsay and Noel McCurdy, who maintains the lighthouse on Rathlin, on how what island life has been like during lockdown. The film concludes with The Rathlin Island Choir singing The Rathlin Song with new footage from the island.

Joe Lindsay, Artistic Associate of Snow Water and presenter of Distant Sky Rathlin, said:

“Of all the projects we at Snow Water do, our Distant Sky: Rathlin gigs have always been incredibly special. The gathering of musicians and writers, going to that wonderful island where we always get such a beautiful, warm welcome and we always make great memories there. Like many people who have had to cancel events and gigs this year, we are gutted we won’t be able to bring Distant Sky to the island this year. So we thought we would gather up the artists who were set to collaborate with us and put a film together to share at least a flavour of what we do. We still feel under the same sky as the islanders and people we miss and cannot wait to return to.”

Director of Snow Water, Carolyn Mathers, commented:

“Tourism NI and Tourism Ireland have continued to showcase our artists to audiences both at home and overseas through social media at this time. Distant Sky is a celebration of our landscape, its beauty, wildness and how it inspires music and prose from our greatest musicians and writers. The combination allows the imagination to take people to another place. We are delighted to be working with Tourism Ireland’s #FillyourheartwithIreland initiative in order to bring our finest artists and the sights and sounds of Rathlin to all corners of the world.”

Following last year’s festival, the Rathlin Co-operative commented:

“Sometimes in life you get a chance to build on a dream…it is such a special festival to bring everyone together through music, song, drink, food, poetry & craic. It was all about Rathlin, our home & showed how unique it is.”

The programme will be premiered on Youtube on Sunday 21st June at 7pm at Distant Sky Rathlin.

Follow Snow Water’s Distant Sky on Facebook and Instagram @distantskysw


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