The Colorful History of The Sidh

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We were playing ARK: Survival Evolved. It’s a video game wherein you can tame and use dinosaurs and mythical creatures to help conquer the land. We were playing this game and suddenly my son says, “You know what we need? Bagpipe Dubstep.” 

I love Lindsey Stirling, her mix of violin and substep and hot rhythms just took me away. I have loved folk-metal and folk music mixed with more modern styles for years. So this intrigued me. We played the big battle in the game while listening to “Iridium”, by The Sidh. It was perfect.

The energy these guys have while they play and the flawless combination of the bagpipes and whistles with the hard rock vibes of the electric guitar and the dub-step pushes just had me going! The Sidh introduced me to a new way of experiencing Celtic music, which I already love. 

I know they’re not Irish or Scottish and I know there are other bands from those regions that are also good. I’ve looked them up while diving down the rabbit hole! But I wanted to highlight this band in particular since they were the ones to get me started with looking more and more up. And I really do like their music.  

PERSONAL/ PROFESSIONAL HISTORY

The Sidh was actually formed in Italy in 2010 by Iain Alexander Marr (Whistles / Bagpipe) and Federico Melato – (Keyboard / Piano / Synth / Percussions). Then in 2011, they added Salvatore Pagliaro (Guitars) and Michael Subet – (Electric Bass).

This might seem odd, considering they are playing instruments and using base notes traditional to the Irish Celtic music I’ve come to love. But what they do, they do it well. They are not actually claiming to be traditional at all, they are actually quite eclectic.  

In 2012, Lindsey Stirling welcomed the band on stage for a performance of “The Legend of Sidh.” This was a major welcome for them to a larger concert. They went on from there to work with several Irish dance companies in turn. 

They released Follow the Flow not long after. 

For years they’ve been performing at Celtic Festivals all over Europe and putting out videos and songs as they came. Here is one example from Montelago Celtic Festival in 2014 –

The SIDH & INNOVA IDC - Party Bounce - Live in Montelago Celtic Festival 2014

Their Album, Nitro was released in 2014 as well. 

After opening for Lindsey Stirling in 2015, the band released their hit “Iridium” and began touring again. 

In 2018 they released Another Way To Fly.  Another Way To Fly has more of a pop-acoustic feel to it than previous albums.

Making it through the pandemic, the band came out on the other side and has released the single “Utopia” which is off of their new album Nigredo. I don’t see any tour dates listed, and thanks to the global pandemic, not sure when they will. 

STYLE AND INFLUENCE

 Iain is half Scottish and half Italian and the founder of the band. He tends to manage and promotional efforts. Federico doesn’t just play his instruments and mix, he also helps with arrangement and composition. Salvatore is responsible for the “metal” of the band, songwriting, and merchandising. Michael is the natural showman and kind of choreographs the show. 

People out in the world tend to forget that Italy was invaded and inhabited by the Celts for hundreds of years. They did leave a lasting impact. Some Italians are discovering that they have a Celtic origin in their family. The music in Northern Italy is actually heavily influenced. 

According to Valkyries Webzine, in a 2018 interview, Iain grew up half Scottish and so was naturally drawn to such things. Federico and his family were enthusiasts who loved going to Celtic festivals learning percussions and reenactment. And Salvatore actually learned to pipe in another band before joining The Sidh.  

The band describes themselves as such:

With dozens of international Tours around the world, sharing the stage with the greatest exponents of the folk scene and many television appearances, The SIDH brings on stage an impressive burst of energy with their Electro / Celtic Music, made with Dubstep Rhythms and Bagpipes, EDM rhythms and Whistles. The Millions of views on Youtube and the Millions of listening on Spotify are making The SIDH one of the most clicked Celtic Bands.

The Sidh YouTube Official Channel

On YouTube the band only posted a few times in 2019 leading up to the pandemic, mostly live performances and also two full shows from 2019 – The Sidh Audio Boosted Montelago is one of those. 

Then, in the middle of the pandemic, they created “I Can’t Let Go” with Tim Chaisson, music created from two different countries. It’s a beautiful piece.  

Suddenly we have a teaser trailer for “Utopia” hitting in July.  It’s just one song from the band’s latest album, Nigredo. “Utopia” is a masterful work, even more exciting than “Iridium”, which had been my favorite. Check the video release out below…

The SIDH - Utopia

COLLABORATIONS & CONNECTIONS

They’ve collaborated on stage with Lindsey Stirling and even opened for her in 2015. 

In 2019, the band worked on a song that blended Khoomei (throat singing) with their own unique style –  Khan ft. Marcin Ruminski, a multi-instrumentalist, composer, arranger, and vocalist that specializes in folk music from all over the world. 

More recently, during the pandemic, they collaborated on a song with Tim Chaisson that I mention below.  But these aren’t the only collaborations they’ve popped into! 

The SIDH can boast of collaborations with artists such as Carlos Nuñez, Hevia, Paddy Moloney (Chieftains), Flook, Barrage, Athy, Dealan, the Dominic Graham School of Irish Dance, the Red Hot Chilli Pipers, and more…

ORIGINAL SONGS or DISCOGRAPHY 

  • Follow the Flow 2012
  • Nitro 2014
  • Another Way to Fly 2018
  • Nigredo 2021

FIND OUT MORE: 

WEBSITE: https://www.thesidh.it/index.php/en/

YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/user/TheSIDH2010

As always, if you want to share more, or feel I’ve missed something, let me know by emailing untappedsoundnc@gmail.com


SOURCES:

other than their own social media…

http://valkyrieswebzine.com/the-sidh-interview-en/

The featured image was provided by The SIDH, CC BY-SA 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Rachel Adams

I would have previously thought of myself as an audiophile. But by gaming and listening to my children and their friends, I've been introduced to an entire realm of artists that are not on the radio.

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