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Arts / Twelfth Day relishing being back in front of live audiences

Genre-bending duo looking forward to Mareel gig

Catriona Price and Esther Swift of Twelfth Day. Photo: Jannica Honey

MAREEL will play host to the genre-bending sounds of Twelfth Day on Wednesday night as the arts scene gradually re-emerges following the disruption of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Combining the talents of musicians Catriona Price and Esther Swift, the duo – joined by a rhythm section for this tour – blend chamber music, folk music, jazz-funk and electronica.

Through their folk roots and classical training, Twelfth Day experiment with violin, harp and vocals to challenge both themselves and the listener. Their layered vocal harmonies and strings have drawn comparisons with the atmospheric and ambient music of the likes of Hannah Peel, Lisa Knapp and Bjork.

Catriona will be a familiar face to Shetland audiences from numerous past performances with Orcadian folk favourites Fara, but for Esther it will be a maiden visit to the islands.

“We are so happy to be playing live again and sharing our experience with our lovely audience. It makes such a difference seeing faces, and hearing feedback and movement from the crowd,” she said.

“This will be the first time that Esther has been to Shetland, having been keen to go for the last 15 years! The talk of the parties, the music scene and the warm reception is infamous and we plan to get stuck in!”

Their latest album Face to Face, released in 2019, was nominated in the “innovation in new traditional music” category at the 2020 Scottish Awards for New Music.

It picks up where their 2017 release Cracks in the Room left off, continuing to confront societal conventions by exploring a wealth of urgent current issues. Those include gender roles, power balance and the challenges of working in the arts as a young woman, the threat of climate change and society’s reluctance to act, and the struggles of mental health.

“We are also delighted to be bringing our drummer and bassist with us,” Esther added. “Our most recent album Face to Face was launched right before lockdown and was the first time we wrote for a four-piece band, so we haven’t had a real opportunity to flex this combination yet.

“Really excited to be bringing these phenomenal musicians with us who are also our very good pals.”

  • Tickets to see Twelfth Day tonight (Wednesday 29 September) at Mareel are available here.

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