Newry.ie

Broadcasters across Ireland and the UK have been featuring tracks from the new solo recording by Marla Fibish, a favourite mandolin player on the trad scene – and a regular at Newry's Iúr Cinn Fleadh.

And with husband Bruce Victor – as acoustic duo Noctambule – Marla has been playing to hundreds of online trad fans during the global lockdown.

Those featuring Marla’s new album The Bright Hollow Fog include – RTÉ Radio presenters Kieran Hanrahan and Peadar Ó Riada, Galway’s Dave Larkin and UK world music specialist George Luke – along with dozens of other broadcasters in Marla’s homeland, the USA.

A well-known contributor to Newry's Iúr Cinn Fleadh and Culture Night with guitarist Bruce as Noctambule (French for ‘night owl’), on this project Marla’s instrument and her voice stand alone.

Marla Finish.

She brings the mandolin deeper into Ireland’s musical heritage – with 11 tracks of traditional tunes and newer compositions, including some of her own.

‘The album opens with a set of well-known traditional tunes,’ said Marla, ‘like a familiar room where the listener can settle into a favourite chair to enjoy the music.’

Once the listener is comfortable, they’re ready for ‘a few surprises’, added Marla. ‘Notable ones are a slow air on mandolin, reels with mandolin and gourd banjo, and an a cappella setting of a Thomas Hardy poem.’

Since the lock-down began in California, Bruce and Marla have delivered a daily ‘Serenade in Place’ mini-concert via Facebook Live. They've now reduced their online output to Wednesdays and Saturdays. Check them out on the Noctambule Facebook Page

‘We wanted to lift people’s spirits,’ said Marla, ‘and let people know we’re in this with them.’

Noctambule are ‘very touched’ by people tuning in from all sorts of places and letting them know their music matters. ‘If people wind up feeling more "connected" and cared about, then we will have accomplished our mission,’ said Bruce. For more detail about Marla and Bruce, visit www.noctambulemusic.com

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