New European bands at IMBOLC will be well represented by the duo Symbio. Named in 2016 as Best New Artist of the Year at the Swedish Folk & World Music Awards, they are regarded as one of the most interesting new bands from the burgeoning Swedish folk and World Music scene. Symbio’s strong stage presence plus the combination of hurdy-gurdy and accordion surprises audiences, taking them on a moving, dreamy musical journey driven by original compositions that come out of where folk, minimalistic art music and electronic dance music intersect. The two musicians Johannes Geworkian-Hellman and Larsmil Öjeberget are graduates of the Royal College of Music in Stockholm and the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki. They created Symbio in 2012 and three years later the duo received the Scholarship for Ensembles from The Royal Swedish Academy of Music. October 2016 saw the release of their debut album Phoresy. Their second album, Rising, was brought out in summer 2018. “We are passionate about the music we make together,” Larsmil says. “We hope and believe that our music will touch our audiences.”
Strung is a contemporary Irish music ensemble, whose members are: Maria Ryan (violin/vocals), Lucia Mac Partlin (violin), Séan Warren (cello) and Aonghus McCarthy (piano).
While undergoing classical training at Cork School of Music, they maintained an interest in Irish traditional music. Their dynamics of their ensemble and unique backgrounds allow them to integrate complex harmonies and innovative motifs, while staying true to the deep-rooted authenticity of traditional Irish melodies. Strung’s sound radiates with originality, yet has an understated instantly recognisable energy that instantly captivates.
In March 2016, Strung were winners of the Michigan Irish Music Initiative, a national competition for up and coming traditional Irish groups. In September 2016, they performed at the Michigan Irish Music Festival.
Strung performed their album of the same name with the Cork Opera House Concert Orchestra as part of the Right Here Right Now festival in spring, 2017. This project involved orchestral arrangements by Cormac McCarthy. In June the following years, Strung performed for His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales (Prince Charles) and the Duchess of Cornwall at Cork City Hall, during their official welcome to Cork.
A new approach to the tradition using the rarely heard instrumentation of piano, two fiddles and cello. It is a must listen for lovers of the tradition as well as forward thinking innovators within music. Pádraig Rynne
...symphonic grace and contemporary brilliance alongside a sound that can only come from a deep knowledge of the Irish tradition. Martin Tourish