The Ulster Orchestra is delighted to announce the release of a new recording, Our Songs, Our Place,
which features nine songs by local songwriters developed through the Orchestra’s Your Song Now
project. The project’s lockdown theme has caught the attention of the BBC’s The One Show
and the making of the album will feature on the show on Friday 22 January
With the live music industry thrown into disarray with the Covid-19 restrictions closing venues across the country, musicians have been forced to find new ways to express their creativity. Composer and arranger Paul Campbell approached the Ulster Orchestra in April 2020 with the idea for a project that sought to curate a musical response to the first COVID-19 lockdown.
This became the Your Song Now project, which invited songwriters at any stage of their career to submit a song that spoke to their life and experience of the lockdown. From 69 entries, nine songwriters were selected to work on their songs with mentors Duke Special (2007 Choice Music Prize nominee), Kitt Philippa (NI Music Award Best Album winner in 2020) and Paul Campbell, culminating in this recording, an album that crosses genres and generations, while exploring the common experience of lockdown and how it has changed all our lives.
In the midst of all that’s conspired to keep us apart for many months now, the music we make is a gift - inspiring us, providing us with deeper connections and closer community. Producing Our Songs Our Place, with such a wealth of local talent surrounded by the sublime sounds of the Ulster Orchestra, has been a truly overwhelming experience for me personally. These songs are saturated with real life - our lives - and I hope that the album might remind us of all that’s precious about these challenging times, long after they’ve become a distant memory. Paul Campbell
Our Songs, Our Place
Although we couldn’t play together for several months in 2020, it was a very creative time for the Ulster Orchestra. Your Song Now was a product of that time, and of an open call for anyone here to come and make something special with us. We’re very proud of the recordings we made last September with the nine chosen songwriters, and see this as a great example of what an orchestra can do when it opens up and welcomes in the creativity which exists around it. Patrick McCarthy, Head of Concerts &
is available for purchase digitally from all major online retailers and in CD format below: