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In recent years, Portland’s Ryan Francesconi (previously best known for his work as the musical director on Joanna Newsom’s stunning triple album ‘Have One On Me’) has established himself as a leading figure in acoustic composition and performance. Now, he prepares to return to European stages to perform with his partner, violinist Mirabai Peart, in the wake of a new album, ‘Road To Palios’, released on Bella Union in December.

The album finds Ryan developing his collaborative work with Mirabai (whom Ryan met through their membership of the Joanna Newsom band). A set of spellbinding duets for guitar and violin, ‘Road To Palios’ evidences a world of musical inspiration flowing through its minimal instrumental palette, spanning Baroque, Americana and jazz improvisation but centring on the pair’s main obsession: Balkan folk music, mainly from Greece, Bulgaria and Turkey. On stage these ornate and detailed compositions possess a rare transportative power: an atlas of vividly evoked musical places performed with heart and soul by two extraordinary musicians.

‘Parables’, Ryan’s first record under his own name (having been producing solo electronic music as RF since 1999), served dazzling notice of his ability to conjure pieces that ring with personal truth while absorbing myriad influences and techniques. He toured Europe in 2011, spellbinding hushed rooms across the continent and picking up press acclaim along the way (see below).


‘Road To Palios’:


Watch the new video for ‘Parallel Flights’:

‘For Christos’ live in Sydney:

‘Parables’ live (Ryan Francesconi solo):


“The duo showcase exceptional musicianship and an effortless unity…Francesconi’s guitar work is mind-boggling at times and Peart’s fiddle produces a wonderfully eerie accompaniment”
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“These instrumentals confirm Francesconi’s virtuoso technique and fertile imagination, his waves of fingerpicked acoustic rippling with the calm logicality of Ralph Towner and the exotic grace of John Fahey … counterpointed by the drone textures of Peart’s violin”

“Assured chamber-folk that would have sat comfortably on ECM”

“One of the most awe-inspiring musicians I’ve known … it is nearly impossible to believe he’s picking those strings with just one hand. This is solo music that sounds like an ensemble; an ecstatic and measured reconciliation of West-African/ Balkan/ Baroque/ bluegrass influences, which ultimately resembles nothing I know” Joanna Newsom on Ryan Francesconi


€11 available online from WAV Tickets [Lo-Call 1890 200 078] (50c per ticket service charge applies on phone or creditcard bookings from WaV).

Strictly over 18′s, I.D. may be required.


Whelan’s Silent Disco from 10:30pm – 2 DJs, just pick the one you like best [Free before 11:30pm, €5 after] plus Late Bar.