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Tuesday, September 30th, 2014



MARKETA IRGLOVA will join the Tony and Grammy Award-winning musical ONCE on October 2. Marketa and Glen Hansard (The Swell Season) wrote music and lyrics originally for the film version, which they both starred in and took home the Oscar for best song “Falling Slowly.” Marketa will join the cast at curtain call, afterwhich she will perform one song solo and one with the cast.

Now Marketa is here to promote her latest solo album, MUNA.

Marketa is touring North America with stops in New York, Philadelphia, Toronto, Los Angeles and Chicago along the way. (See full tour dates below.) Meanwhile, the album is garnering rave reviews including KPCC’s Steve Hochman who noted:

Muna opens with a church procession — bells and chanting and all — and then goes with it into the cathedral. The song, “Point of My Creation,” was in fact recorded in a church in Reykjavik, Iceland, where Czech-born Irglová now lives. Or, perhaps more accurately, she builds a musical cathedral, a structure of grandeur and beauty.

Accordingly, her second solo album is at once a joyful and somber experience, the artist looking at life with both hope and awe, portrayed in songs marked by beauty and depth. This is no surprise to fans of her first album, 2011’s Anar.

But it might be a little bit, in a good way, to those who only know her as the winsome co-star of the movie Once. That’s certainly her calling card for most, having won an Oscar for writing “Falling Slowly” with co-star and the movie’s creator Glen Hansard, plus a Tony for co-writing the music in the Broadway version. It might even be a little surprise to those familiar with the two albums she and Hansard made as the Swell Season, spinning off from the movie. Nothing against those works, but this is something different, something more, something — dare we say — better.

Where the churchy “Point of Creation” is the start, the close comes with the more homey “This Right Here.” It’s a chronicle of a journey, with some telling titles between: “Time Immemorial,” “Without a Map,” “Remember Who You Are,” “Seasons Change.” Renewal, growth and discovery are among the major themes, living “Without a Map” and being rooted, grounded in a present, seeing both the journey and the destination as equally important.

Certainly it traces her unlikely life, but also it would seem to reflect her relatively recent role as a mother, looking at the voyage ahead for the new life she’s brought into the world. Religious themes reappear, and “Without a Map” concludes with a gorgeous setting of the Lord’s Prayer. It’s not a Christian album, in the conventional sense, but it is prayerful.

As personal as that may be, so is the music, an inventive lustrous blend, intimate and contemplative at some turns, invitingly expansive at others. Kate Bush comes to mind here and there, but without the precious artiness in which Bush has indulged at times. Irglová’s piano is most often the central instrument, dexterously played, but not showy and generally the backbone for the semi-orchestral elements surrounding it. And then there’s her voice, at once delicate and strong, certain yet dreamy, pure an unaffected.

All in all, Muna is rather — well, seductive may be the wrong word for something that seems so pious. But that’s what it is.

Tour itinerary:

Rosi Golan will support Marketa on the North American tour. Originally from Israel, Rosi traveled the world before setting up shop in Brooklyn, NY. Since then, Rosi has released two albums (The Drifter & the Gypsy & Lead Balloon), with her unique blend of songs steeped in Americana, pop and thoughtful folk.

Wed, 10/8 Ann Arbor, MI The Ark
Thur, 10/9 Toronto, ON, Canada Virgin Mobile Mod Club
Fri, 10/10 New York, NY Le Poisson Rouge
Sat, 11/11 Cambridge, MA The Sinclair
Sun, 10/12 Philadelphia, PA The World Café
Mon, 10/13 Washington, DC The Hamilton
Tue, 10/14 Charlotte, NC Visulite Theatre
Wed, 10/15 Nashville, TN City Winery
Thur, 10/16 Chicago, IL Old Town School of Folk Music
Fri, 10/17 Minneapolis, MN Cedar Cultural Center
Mon, 10/20 Vancouver, BC, Canada St. James Hall
Tue, 10/21 Seatle, WA Triple Door
Wed, 10/22 Portland, OR Alberta Rose Theatre
Thur, 10/23 San Francisco, CA Bimbo’s 365 Club
Fri, 10/24 Los Angeles, CA Hotel Café
Sat, 10/25 Los Angeles, CA Hotel Café

ONCE is based on the 2007 Academy Award-winning film and plays on Broadway at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre (242 West 45th Street). The production opened to rave reviews on Sunday, March 18, 2012.

Marketa Irglova's artist page

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