Page 12 - SPIRE Apr-Jun 2022 2nd Issue DIGITAL
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I had read you graduated magna cum laude from Iona
            College and have done some post-graduate work in
            mathematics. Music itself is indeed very mathematical,
            what mathematic principles do you find apply to your
            Eileen:  Exactly, math and music are very much
            intertwined …contrary to popular opinion! The logic of
            math is certainly found in music from ratios of
            harmonies of intervals (octave 2:1, a perfect fifth 3:2),
            to obvious rhythmic timings fitting together, to counter
            melodies, complex compound rhythms ….it goes on and
            on …I don’t want to bore your readers! For me,
            sometimes the part where the logic doesn’t want to be
            applied anymore is where the real musical magic may
            happen. Math and music may rub - an improvised note
            might want to be held on a bit longer, possibly creating
            an uncomfortable but excited feeling over a new chord
            where the note shouldn’t logically land. That’s often
            where the “feel” enters …and you have to go with that,
            defy that innate logic!

                                                                                                                                   You and your band do educational/outreach programs at       What inspired you to write a children’s book?
                                                                                                                                   schools, and other venues. Are there any past instructors   Eileen: When the lockdowns happened, I found myself being
          M   u s  i  c     a  n  d   c o  n  n e  c  t  i  o n
                                                                                                                                   that you look up to? What qualities did they have that you  busier than ever in creating videos to hopefully help
                                                                                                                                   admired?                                                    theaters and festivals keep going during this crazy time. I
                                                                                                                                   Eileen: My first and only fiddle teacher, Martin Mulvihill!  was also heavily involved with our son’s remote school
                                                                                                                                   Martin was so kind and radiated the music to his students.  learning and with eldercare for my mom. Then I realized …I
          h  a  p p  e  n    e  v  e r  y w h e  r  e !
                                                                                                                                   He taught mostly by ear, but one was able to really pick up  missed performing, so much. Missed not being able to get
                                                                                                                                   on the subtleties that is inherent in our tradition.        out there and move an audience through music. It hit me
                                                                                                                                                                                               one day that I could still hopefully make a difference and
            Describe your creative process when writing a new                                                                      How has teaching music impacted you as a musician?          move little ones …through a children’s book. Having read so
            song.                                              Original or cover, what is your favorite song to perform            Eileen: I think being a traditional musician holds certain  many to my son through the years, I always appreciated a
            Eileen: I first started writing tunes and songs because I  live?                                                       responsibilities in that it’s important to share that gift of  good book, with a positive message tucked within it. Then
            couldn’t find a suitable one from the tradition that hit  Eileen: Original music has a certain energy …I’m loving      music to new students of the tradition - and keep the music  came the idea of “Bluey”, the blue violin that doesn’t get
            where I wanted it to hit, whether it be lyrically or  performing a violin loop I wrote, “Wah Wah One Violin”,          thriving into the next generation as well. By teaching music,  played because he doesn’t look like the rest. The book’s
            instrumentally. Songs like “Shine” and “Walk On” speak  where I improvise over 7 layers of loops. It’s a fun           you must really break melodies and concepts down. This      theme is an anti-bullying one – reinforcing respect,
            to positive, reaffirming qualities in life. They become  interactive piece with audience.                              can sometimes fuel you to get a little deeper into the music  kindness, and standing up for yourself. The theme’s
            very powerful in concert, when the audience sings with                                                                 and your own style.                                         inspiration came from our son experiencing being bullied …
            the band uniting in such an affirming message.     What’s your favorite song that you’ve released and why?                                                                          "Will Someone Play Bluey?” was born.
            Sometimes a certain riff can inspire a tune to come to  Eileen: The original song, “Shine”, is a powerful one,
            its completion. The slow tune “Gratitude” came this  especially in a live environment. Its lyrics speak to life being
            way. I later added the faster tune, “Attitude” to  so short, and the want to make the most out of it …”to be                      E   I L   E    E   N       I V  E   R   S
            complete the medley. Where “Gratitude” was melody  good and do good.” It becomes very moving when the                              F  e a t u  r i n g   t  h e   H a l e y   I r i s h    D a n c i  n  g    s  c h  o o l
            driven, “Attitude” was written around a chord sequence  audience sings with us on the chorus …”we’re all gonna                     S  A  T        A  P  R     0  2        |     7  :  3  0  P  M
            I put together which I felt was so driving, and positive.  shine”…
            The band and I particularly love performing the
            “Gratitude Attitude” set and watching the audience join  Being an international touring artist, what has been your
            us in the emotional roller coaster. It seems to really hit  most memorable moment while on tour?
            home in this time we’re all living in …much gratitude for  Eileen: Tough to pick just one …but absolutely love sharing
            being able to gather again and join in sharing live music!   music with new audiences, and of course love experiencing
                                                               new cultures. An after the concert session broke out across
            Tell us about your favorite performance venues     the street in a tiny pub in Tokyo …I ended up playing with
            Eileen: Honestly, it’s such a privilege to perform – I’ve  the most incredible Japanese-born musicians who sounded
            always felt that. We’ve played small intimate venues to  like they were from the west of Ireland. Really opens one’s
            guesting with the National Symphony Orchestra at the  eyes to our small, wonderful world!                                                                                              WWW.EILEENIVERS.COM/
            Kennedy Center. We’ve headlined the Falcon Ridge
            Folk Festival a few years ago; it got rained out – so we  Who's your ideal musician to collaborate with and why?
            played acoustically for the volunteers in their tent.  Eileen: Anyone with open ears and a respectful heart.                                                                           WWW.INSTAGRAM.COM/EILEENFIDDLE
            Music and connection happen everywhere!                                                                                                                                                WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/OFFICIALEILEENIVERS
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