Ahead of the Irish release of her third album this Autumn, Julie Feeney performs at Liss Ard Festival in an intimate scaled down performance. Composer, orchestrator, songwriter and producer Julie Feeney is winner of the Choice Music Prize for 'Irish Album of the Year' (Ireland's equivalent of the Mercury Music Prize) for her self-produced debut album on which she played most of the instruments herself. She combines her "mesmerizing stage presence and eccentric pop genius" (Hot Press) with her unquestionably original sound, and her innovative, avant-garde approach, while rooted in classical music, straddles both the pop and theatrical worlds.
The New York Times recently said of Julie, "...intricate, articulate...draws on sources across centuries...Ms. Feeney's songs don't shout. They tease, ponder, reminisce, philosophize and invent parables, and she sings them in a plush, changeable mezzo-soprano that usually
holds a kindly twinkle". The New York Times concluded, "...a brainy adventurous songwriter lives within the flamboyant theatricality...with songs that set character studies and philosophical musings in elaborate musical confections, often with long, internally rhymed lines... Theatrical on the shell, intricate at the core". Sharp witted, unpretentious and fiercely passionate, Julie Feeney is a genuine artist and a hugely enjoyable performer. Currently composing her first co-commissioned opera, the first developmental stage of this will be shown in 2012 at Dublin Theatre Festival. She will undertake an extensive Irish tour in November and December, taking an avant-garde approach to her performances by scoring music for ten different choirs to part-accompany her at each concert. She is a true artist with immense vision.
Hailed by The Washington Post as "The Emerald Isle's Original," Feeney's music is widely broadcast on TV and radio and her sold-out performance at the main auditorium in The National Concert Hall received a 10-minute standing ovation. She has performed many other sold out shows in America, Canada, Ireland, England, France, Italy, Germany and Holland solo; with her own ensemble or with numerous orchestras for which she orchestrated and composed for. The Observer gushed that Feeney's debut album, '13 songs,' was "the blossoming of a major talent," adding that "Feeney towers over her contemporaries." The NY Times has also called her music "charming, urbane and dreamy" and The Guardian (UK) simply said "the world will listen." The Village Voice in New York described her music as "blending the pop ambitions of Gaga with Elvis Costellian wordplay" and Flavorpill simply said her music is “highly original and wildly inventive”.
She constructed a subtly complex masterpiece in her second album 'pages', a genre-spanning symphony. After composing the record entirely on her own, Feeney then got to work recording the album by conducting an orchestra of clarinets, flutes, oboes, bassoons, trombones, French horns, trumpets, strings, sticks, harp and percussion from the Irish Chamber Orchestra, and then singing over what she just conducted – all in one six-hour session. A true perfectionist in the vein of Bobby McFerrin, Feeney's supreme talent in composition and
arrangement is matched only by her gorgeous, soaring voice. The 'pages' album artwork that she designed herself incorporated her unique hand-stitched 'pages' dress sculpted from the actual pages of the album's orchestral score; and a tree house which she had painted in specific colours reflecting the tone of the album. Her award winning video for 'Impossibly Beautiful' features 18 different head dresses designed by Piers Atkinson, and is one of 3 videos she made for 'pages'. Julie puts on a stunning show that combines her songs with elements of theatre and performance art, often wearing head-pieces.
Her third album due for release in the Autumn was crowd-funded after 209 fans pledged a total of 24,000 Euros to make it. "Feeney presents an entrancing and startling evening of poetic imagery, well crafted stories, delicate emotions, unexpected cadences, sudden silences, coy humor and tightly-wound tunes with hit-caliber hooks, sometimes delivered with cool detachment, at other times with a riveting directness". (Huffington Post)