“The place Kíla have been using to make music for the past few years has been in Celbridge in Marina Guinness’s house. It is a wonderful space; we can make as much noise as possible, we can allow our imaginations run wild and it has been very kind to us in terms of music written and recorded. It has five big windows and so the room is bright. It is quiet and has high ceilings that allows the sound to wander from us, not making it too lively. In this room, we usually have a lot of instruments with us, including a section of percussion instruments, a row of guitars and our collection of weird instruments in another corner. When we’re recording we can move around the room hitting and playing things until we get the right sound.
What we need most here is quietness. It’s in quietness that all the really good stuff comes out of. But we also need clarity of sound, because with this clarity, you get the ability to hear each other and good stuff also comes from that. How much we’re actually here can really depend. Our stints playing can go from three hours to eight hours at a time. And if we’re recording, sometimes it’ll stretch out to 12 hours – these are called divorce hours!
In the last few years everyone has had babies, so the time to get together for music and the schedules have altered. Now it’s about grabbing time that is planned well in advance. In creative terms, when I walk or cycle, I sing or hum a tune – a lot of music comes to me this way. Also in my semi-awake semi-asleep phase I also get a lot of inspiration coming to me. My advice is to always have a Walkman beside you to capture these moments.
What do I like most about this room? The big windows opening to the sky…”
Kíla are one of Ireland’s most respected acts, fusing trad and world music, incorporating bodhrán, djembe, congas, bongos, guitars, tin whistle, low whistle, clarinet, bazouki, mandolin, bones, flute, saxophone, percussion, drums, double bass, fiddle, viola, hammer dulcimer, accordion and uileann pipes. Their current album Gambler’s Ballet is nominated for this year’s Choice Music Prize. They play the Choice Music Prize gig in Vicar Street on February 27th, the Glór Music Centre in Ennis, Co. Clare on February 29th, An Grianán Theatre, Letterkenny, Co Donegal on March 1st, the Pavillion Theatre, Dún Laoghaire on March 7th, Áras Chrónáin, Clondalkin on March 8th, the El Feile Festival, Sala Apolo, Barcelona on March 15th, the Clarion Hotel, Sligo on March 16th and the Olympia Theatre, Dublin on St. Patrick’s Day. For more information on the band, including upcoming gigs, visit www.myspace.com/kilaofficial.