Ryan Vail

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Chrysalism: The amniotic tranquility of being indoors during a thunderstorm.
Written and recorded remotely during the COVID-19 lockdown in their homes, both Ryan Vail and Ruth McGinley found solace and inspiration in their work while a pandemic stormed outside the walls of their studios.

Ryan Vail is the award-winning artist and producer whose most recent record ‘Borders’ – a collaborative project with Elma Orkestra – won the Northern Irish Music Prize in 2019, was the subject of a BBC documentary and saw the pair appearing together again for a special edition of the BBC Proms in September. Ruth McGinley is a renowned concert pianist who plays regularly with BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, RTE Concert Orchestra.

Through this one-off collaboration, Vail and McGinley look to make sense of the world and document their frustrations via their effortless blend of alternative electronic and classical composition with the track moving smoothly between minimalist expression and Ryan Vail’s trademark sweeping, vibrant electronica.

Of the track, Vail says “We wrote this piece together at the peak of lockdown; we had to work remotely from our own studios, blending the worlds of classical and electronica to document our mood and frustrations with what was happening around us”.

With seismic tonal shifts between minimalist expression and sweeping, vibrant electronica, ‘Chrysalism’ was inspired by the silences and space that self-isolation has wrought.

McGinley says of the track, “I found deep inner peace in lockdown as the world slowed down and I could stay indoors and connect back to my true nature at a slower pace. But you only had to put on the TV / radio / media to realise that there was a full-blown storm outside in the world. A fusion of sounds and musical worlds, Chrysalism sums up the feels of lockdown for me fully.”