We are rolling through our 10x10 Arts Series this season. We're already halfway through the series lineup, and it's only November! Up next we have Irish fiddle player Eileen Ivers, and the band Immigrant Soul on Thursday, November 15. Ivers has been called "the Jimi Hendrix of the violin" by The New York Times, and “the future of Celtic fiddle” by The Washington Post.
We caught up with Eileen and the band a couple weeks ago to ask them a few questions before their arrival in Northwest Arkansas. We like to dig a little deeper into our artists, and find out the important stuff. You know, like their favorite beer, and the last movie they watched.
1. We love the fusion of cultures with your music; explain the creative process when collaborating with different cultures.
I like to stay true to the essence and spirit of Irish Music while bringing elements from other cultures which enhance the musical experience without diluting the original emotions and rhythmic sensibility. Irish music and her people have travelled around the globe ...the music has often integrated with other roots music naturally and that is another dimension I like to explore.
2. What makes Irish music so popular around the world?
I believe part of it is the accessibility of the various rhythms and the honest emotions that people of all cultures can relate to.
3. Come on, tell us a story...
Once upon a time there was a little girl who thought the fiddle wasn't cool ...
4. What’s the bands favorite beers?
Eileen: Negro Modelo
Greg: Newcastle Brown Ale
Buddy: Top three: Guinness when in Ireland, ice cold Heineken anywhere else, O'Douls when a beer is untimely.
Lindsey: A Guiness is tough to beat
Tommy: Root ...beer
5. What’s the difference between a fiddle and a violin?
A violin has strings and a fiddle has straaannnngs ... Other than that, it's the style with which it is played. Although, I have heard Itzhak Perlman called his 'Strad' a fiddle!
6. Who are your musical inspirations?
My teacher from County Limerick in Ireland, Martin Mulvihill, but listening to great folks like Miles Davis, Stephane Grappelli, Jeff Beck and many, many others would have been influences as well I'm sure.
7. Most favorite place travelled around the world?
I have been blessed to play around the world, but, I have a special place in my heart for Ireland ...and the beauty of every corner of the U.S. of A. never gets old.
8. Last movie you watched?
Been awhile ...but, I enjoyed Robert Downey Jr. as Sherlock Holmes.
9. What kinds of art have been an inspiration to you?
Being intrigued with mathematics I love Escher's works and the insightful book "Godel, Escher, Bach".
10. Is there something you enjoy collecting?
Always a fan of collecting handmade gifts from globel travels ...our home is a real ethnic wonderland.
11. What has been a memorable place to perform and why?
One of the more unforgettable moments has been guesting with The National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center with the late and great Marvin Hamlisch conducting. My recently deceased father-in-law from County Monahan, Ireland recited his "American Wake" poem in the house of the decendant of Irish heritage ...poignant beauty in a magical performing arts center.
12. Is there a dish you love to cook when you are home?
Off the road there is nothing like home cooking ...a few hours of nurturing home made spaghetti sauce is a comforting night at home.
13. Was there some great advice you received as you began your artistic journey?
Don't be afraid to improvise ...know the structure and theory then just jump ...
14. What profession other than yours would you most like to attempt?
While in grad-school studying mathematics I was on track for a career with NASA ...a dream job ...a different dream took hold.
Don't miss Eileen Ivers & Immigrant Soul next Thursday, November 15 at 7pm. They're bringing a piece of Ireland right to your door, and you can snag a seat for as little as $10. See you there!