We started off 2017 with an exciting recording session. All the way from Belfast, braving the winter gales came Úna Monaghan
Úna is an Irish harper, composer, researcher and sound engineer. Though based in Irish traditional music she also works with experimental music, improvised music, and with live electronics. She's been to Shetland a number of times for the folk festival and after seeing the studio decided she should record her first album here.
Úna has a unique way of creating music - as well as being extremely accomplished on the harp, she is well versed in music technology and has built patches in Max MSP software which interact with the harp to create new sounds. She also wears a sensor on her hand which controls aspects of the software.
She arrived safely in Shetland but it was touch and go whether her massive harp case would get on the plane and she was warned that she might have to leave it in Aberdeen. After a few hours of nailbiting we were finally sent a photo of it crammed upside down just inside the doorway of the plane's hold. Respect is due to the baggage handlers of Aberdeen airport for their Tetris skills.
What followed was a very interesting and rewarding week recording. The album will be mixed in March and hopefully Úna will be making a return visit when it is released.
Here is a video of her performing one of the pieces we recorded: