Katie Richardson Is In:Spired by Belfast Music Week

Leader of Katie and the Carnival on her orchestral collaboration at Belfast Music Week 2012

So what exactly is In-Spired?

In-spired is a unique and unmissable event featuring over 100 incredible musicians joining together for one night only to celebrate Belfast Music Week 2012. Up and coming musicians such as Silhouette, Master and Dog, Rainy Boy Sleep, Farriers, Katie and the Carnival, Gareth Dunlop, Arc Royale, Sons of Caliber and classical singer Laura Lamph perform new arrangements of their songs with amazing local choirs and singing groups to make an unforgettable experience that can't be missed.

For me it highlights my favourite element of being a musician in Belfast – collaboration. I have had so many wonderful experiences over the years working with many different musicians in Belfast and I am so excited to be working with some of them again, and some for the first time.

Whhat made you chose Spires as a venue?

We wanted to use somewhere a little different that audiences may not expect to see all these acts in, and as soon as I set eyes on The Assembly Room in Spires I knew we had found the perfect place. It's a stunning room with a wooden balcony wrapping all the way around it. They have hosted many classical concerts in the venue, but I think this will be a new kind of event for them. The acoustic is incredible and the venue will really add to the magical experience of the gig.

What made you chose the acts on the bill?

I am in the extremely happy position of being a genuine fan of each and every one of the acts on the bill. They have all inspired me at different stages of my career through their innovative talent, determination and relentless hard work, and I have been lucky enough to have worked with many of them in the past. I also knew that each one of these performers would be open to trying something new and would be a joy to work with.

I recently sang with the Farriers for their latest album launch as part of a small choir, so they had already done an amazing job of arranging their songs for extra voices and that definitely helped me to see the real potential of a project such as this.

People seem to respond well to choirs. Why is that? Are choirs the new rock and roll?

There is something very moving and powerful about a lot of voices singing together at the same time. I grew up in some amazing choirs and had the time of my life singing in places such as Westminster Abbey and The Royal Albert Hall. I remember standing in Westminster Abbey on my 18th birthday singing a beautiful piece by William Harris and feeling incredibly emotional at the harmonies and the massive sound that I was part of. It was an amazing feeling that I'll never forget.

The choirs that we have engaged for the gig are The Open Arts Choir, The Inishowen Gospel Choir and some members of the stunning St Peter's boy's choir and members of the wonderful Voices Together, who are a cross community choir based in Belfast. I also have made a choir specially for the night consisting of members from BMC choir and some amazing people who responded to an ad I put up on Facebook.

I've been overwhelmed with people's enthusiasm to take part in this and dedication and effort to come to rehearsals. Whether I'd describe choirs as the new rock and roll or not? I think choirs are long established as a wonderful devise to push the power of a band's performance.

How important is it to get artists to collaborate during In-Spired? How do you make it a unique experience?

What excites me most about the collaboration in this event is that I've been able to mix more established professional artists with people just starting out. We have performers from 15 to 60-years of age, and the choirs and bands have never worked together before.

It's about creating opportunities for musicians from different genres and forms of music to work together, learn from each other and have fun together. My dad is performing as well, which is really exciting for me, as he was the one who started me on my musical journey when I was a toddler. You never know where things like this might lead for the performers.

This is a Belfast Music Week event. What does that mean to you?

I'm very proud to be involved with Belfast Music Week. There are a lot of people here making exciting things happen and creating new music. For me this week should be a celebration of the diverse musical talent we already have in this city, and an opportunity for aspiring musicians to see the creative world they can become part of. There are so many exciting events happening as part of Belfast Music Week. It feels like a modern Renaissance is taking place in Belfast and Northern Ireland and I'm excited to be a part of it.

What are you most looking forward to on the night?

Seeing it all come together. I am genuinely looking forward to every single performance, and to being part of something that I think everyone in the room will never forget.

Belfast Music Week runs in venues across the city from November 4 - 11. In:Spired takes place on Tuesday, November 11.

Topics