Take a musical project that’s got 89 years of history behind it, add Derry musician Ryan Vail and you get the coveted slot of ‘Album of the Week’ on BBC Radio 1.
On Tuesday, as Radio 1 presenter Huw Stephens announced that Ryan’s debut solo project ‘For Every Silence’ would be the chosen album on his show for that week, Ryan was at home in Derry looking ahead to the album launch this weekend and a string of gigs in Ireland, the UK and Europe this summer.
The critically acclaimed Derry artist has had radio play or performed live sessions with Zane Lowe, Annie Mac, Tom Ravenscroft, Tom Robinson, Phil Taggart and Other Voices,
Now, having firmly established himself as a credible act after a highly successful collaborative record, Ryan says he feels the time has come to embark on his first solo album. It’s a piece of work which will have real resonance with Derry audiences. The story is that of a piano which was made in England in 1927, shipped to Derry, cherished by Ryan’s wife’s Katie’s family and restored for use on Ryan’s debut album, where the warm, well-loved character of the instrument takes centre stage.
Katie plays flute on the track Faces and sings on Mirrors and there’s a recording of a rousing speech by her uncle, the late Joe Cosgrove, a prominent doctor and peace campaigner in Derry, and the original owner of the piano.
“I’m really pleased with it and particularly pleased that the album, so far, is being very well received,” says Ryan, who lives in Culmore.
“We’re really looking forward to doing lots of gigs and festivals in the summer and the fact that it’s gotten such great exposure already on national radio is brilliant.”
Ryan’s album will be launched tonight in the Mac Theatre in Belfast.
The Derry musician is currently running a pledge campaign where the album, alongside limited goodies such as original artwork, signed copies and limited 7” singles can be ordered www.pledgemusic.com/projects/foreverysilence