With his highly inventive Speech Project, Manchester-Irish fiddle player Gerry Diver has delivered and album that challenges the prevailing assumptions about genre, in breath-taking style. On track after track he weaves in spoken contributions from Christy Moore, Martin Hayes, Damien Dempsey, Joe Cooley and Margaret Barry, juxtaposed with a soundscape of his own creation which merges trad and classical forms.
Examples: on ‘When In New York’ and ‘Old Time’Musicians’ he overdubs, manipulates and repeats phrases from an archive recording of Joe Cooley, exposing superbly the rhythms and musicality inherent in the latter’s natural speech. This approach is repeated throughout the album. In the case of Christy Moore, on the tracks ‘Million Times’ and ‘Fulham Broadway’, the spoken word samples are from interviews by Diver himself. The same is true of Shane MacGowan’s contribution on ‘Music For Tape Loop’. Damien Dempsey’s views on the spirituality of singing are worth hearing in any context. It is to Diver’s credit that his musical adventurousness never sounds gimmicky. Speech Project could be likened to Irish traditional music put through a Steve Reich blender. On paper it probably shouldn’t have worked. But it does, and makes for a hugely exhilarating musical experience.
For more info go to - http://speechproject.net