In the wordless communication that passes between violinist Catriona Price and harpist Esther Swift as they perform, the strength of their decade – long musical partnership, friendship and shared humour is evident. It ’ s this depth of connection, and tangible desire to have fun, that gives Twelfth Day its extra edge.
Though Twelfth Day wear their rich and varied experience with pride – their folk roots, their classical training – this duo are more than a simple product, an exponent, of their practice. It is their inherent curiosity, their need to understand through experimentation, that compels them to create their unique, genre – bending music.
Their songs confront societal conventions by exploring a wealth of urgent current issues, such as gender roles, power balance and the challenges of working in the arts as a young woman; the threat of climate change and society ’ s reluctance to act; and the struggles of mental health.
In their new album Face to Face (released November 2019, and the first featuring their full band [with whom they play tonight]) their multi – layered influences come together to create something entirely individual. There ’ s the radio – friendly catchiness and self – proclaimed respect for Beyoncé ; there ’ s the swagger and surprise of jazz and funk; there ’ s the precision and technique of classical.
The only label to truly hit the high note is ‘ contemporary ’ : Face to Face could only be made now, and only by Twelfth Day. Face to Face was nominated in the ‘ Innovation in New Traditional Music ’ category in the 2020 Scottish Awards for New Music.