Q&A with Spike: Cello Festival Curators – Mary Barnecutt and Lioba Petrie

Q&A with Spike: Cello Festival Curators – Mary Barnecutt and Lioba Petrie

“Spike, Dublin’s unique, charming and provocative alternative cello festival, is back for its fourth installation with three days of cello action this Friday 7th- Sunday 9th February 2020. Following the festival’s successful runs in 2017, 18 and 19, the 2020 programme will again delight and amaze audiences with world-class cellists from home and abroad finding increasingly weird and wonderful ways of playing with cellos. Spike 2020 will include events from concerts to yoga cello to activities for younger people, in venues from Lost Lane to the Ark.  Festival curators Mary Barnecutt and Lioba Petrie are bringing artists from as far afield as Iceland and South Africa to Dublin, giving festival audiences the chance to witness diverse worlds of cello music from many corners of the globe. Here Mary and Lioba talk about what audiences can expect from this unique festival this weekend.”

Spike: Cello Festival – 7th – 9th of Feb

Spike festival is now in its fourth year. Do you think it has become a regular feature for the Dublin gig-going public yet?

For us and for other cellists we can say safely say yes! We get very excited about it,  more and more of Dublin’s gig-going public seem to show up each year.

How small is the international Cello community? Do you all know each other?

There are 71K cellists on the cellists Facebook page so it’s fairly substantial – we have people travelling from Switzerland and the US this year.

One performer that particularly caught my interest is Gyða Valtýsdóttir. Can you tell me a little about her?

We love Gyda, she’s a great inspiration. We went to see her perform in Dublin and we were blown away by her performance mixing her own music with music spanning 2000 years. We are really looking forward to having her on our stage.

There is also a Mindfulness and Yoga strand to the festival. Is this something you’re interested in outside of your love of the cello?

Yes, we were discussing that the experience of listening to music can be an incredibly mindful experience in itself and the idea that you can focus on that process in a particular workshop is really enriching.

Another exciting performer coming to the festival is Abel Selaocoe, who was born in South Africa. What can we expect from him live?

Abel fuses his own virtuosic style with improvisation, singing and body percussion. He mixes traditional South African music with western traditions.

He makes an incredible sound.

What are you planning to do when the festival is over?

Mary: Buy a puppy and call it Spike. My kids have been demanding one for a year and I promised we’d go looking after the festival is over!

Lioba: Take a breath and stop my head spinning!! Maybe play some cello….

 For more information see: https://www.spikecellofest.com/

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