Lumiere is Éilís Kennedy and Pauline Scanlon; two exceptional vocalists from Dingle, County Kerry, Ireland.
Éilís Kennedy’s sound has ready access to the soul without need for fanfare or spotlight. Éilís performs regularly in County Kerry and is much sought after for her natural and genuine interpretations of songs, both old and new, sung in her native Gaelic and in English.
Pauline Scanlon is an award-winning singer from the same Kerry town of Dingle. She is part of a tradition of Irish female voices; all personal interpreters of their physical and spiritual landscape. Scanlon has two critically acclaimed albums to her credit as well as extensive touring experience.
Together as Lumiere, they offer a distinctly feminine sound and feel, where voice is the primary instrument and Ireland as motherland is re-imagined. With Lumiere, the song and its delivery are the primary focus, technical concerns give way to feeling as song and singer effortlessly merge.
Pauline and Éilís have been familiar with each other’s singing for many years. Until now, Pauline’s touring commitments meant a musical collaboration wasn’t possible. Lumiere has put that right. Spending many a winter’s night looking over old songbooks and comparing music handed down by their respective families, the pair realised they have much in common musically.
As Pauline notes,
“We realised that we preferred singing together to singing alone which was a revelation to both of us and a beautiful thing. It worked so quickly we knew we were on to a good thing’.
Of their musical pairing, Éilís says:
"We are extremely passionate about the place we come from. Part of the attraction is that we see that in each other. We hear it in each other’s singing and it takes us to a place that’s beautiful, safe, secure and home, no matter where we are.”
“We're singing songs that our families have passed on to us - that we ourselves have picked up along the way. The only other pre-requisite is that the songs speak to us emotionally.”
In the current global economy, songs of excess and materialism ring hollow. Lumiere offers something more holistic and true. This is real music by real singers communicating real emotions. Lumiere takes something that is sacred and age old and re-imagines it simply and beautifully, reclaiming truth and trust for the modern age.
Lumiere though is not about big statements. It is about the intimate act of singing, the emotional core of that act and how that relates to the familiar echoes in our lives. The songs concern themselves with themes of love and loss, of places and people. They are mainly drawn from the Irish tradition but also touch on the great American songbook. ‘The Poor Wayfaring Stranger’ sits easily alongside ‘The West’s Awake’ while the Gaelic song ‘Óró mo Bháidín’ compliments ‘Spencer the Rover’.
Lumiere is produced by legendary record producer John Reynolds who has produced music with some of the best musicians working in Ireland today including, Sinead O'Connor, Andrea Corr, Bono, The Edge, Damien Dempsey and John Spillane.
Reynolds also manages Damien Dempsey alongside David Jaymes of London management company Spirit Music and Media. Spirit has worked closely with Mike Scott, Republica, The Wonder Stuff, Beth Orton and Sinead O'Connor. The successful team signed Lumiere to their management roster in early 2009.
John met Lumiere through Sharon Shannon, and says:
“Pauline and Éilís have a rare and unique singing style I had never heard before. From the moment I heard their voices I knew we had to make an album. Discovering these songs through their voices lifted them into a place of real soulful tradition, ethereal but at same time modern. A pure joy.”
Lumiere isn’t part of a particular folk tradition – rather it relates to musical folk everywhere.
It is distinctly local yet universal, belonging to a greater worldwide tradition of songs and singers, darkness and light, hope and renewal.
County Kerry, Ireland
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