Ryan Vail and Elma Orkestra: Borders

Ryan Vail and Elma Orkestra: Borders

Uniting two of Northern Ireland’s most forward-thinking musical propositions – Eoin O’Callaghan AKA Elma Orkestra and Ryan Vail – ‘Borders’ is a singular collaborative project. Spanning symphonic ambience to widescreen electronica, it’s a genre-warping meeting of the minds from two of the country’s most innovative artists.

Unable to ignore the political questions arising from across the UK and Ireland, O’Callaghan and Vail collaborate together on this stunning project to explore the concept of borders and the dissonance between the abstraction of politics and the realities of the landscape which form it. Accompanied with drone footage taken of the natural phenomena which lie across the Irish border, and the frontiers seen within nature itself, this A/V show uniquely explores a hard-hitting current issue with an unsettling tranquility and mesmerising curiosity.

Talking about the show to BBC Radio 4, Vail explains his use of the drone footage, “I wanted to get across the beauty, that beauty spills over the lines, if you use a wider lens, you don’t see the border, its invisible”. O’Callaghan adds, “I think for us it was about forgetting the politics about it, and just showing the border for what it actually is; it’s this beautiful piece of land that we live on.”

This stunning eight track project sees O’Callaghan and Vail masterfully blur the contours between contemporary electronic and classical realms. This breaking of new ground – of pushing boundaries and thwarting expectations via attention to detail and a joint penchant for analogue equipment – is what underpins ‘Borders’.


July 19, 2019