Travelling around the country making music... next stop is a Cork island

Cellist Kate Ellis, Director of Crash Ensemble, has been travelling around the country in a new mobile venue — next stop, Cape Clear, in County Cork. Read our Person to Person...
Travelling around the country making music... next stop is a Cork island

Kate Ellis, cellist and director of Crash Ensemble

TELL us about yourself;

I’m Kate, I’m a cellist and I play all sorts of music in all sorts of lovely places to all sorts of lovely people. I’m artistic director of Crash Ensemble and am just about to travel around the country with Bass player Caimin Gilmore in our new mobile venue.

Where were you born?

I was born in Colchester, Essex very close to the sea on the south east coast of England.

Where do you live?

I live in a lovely house in Dublin at the moment.


Yes I have a small tribe.

Best friend?

My best friend is my partner in all things life - Rory Tangney.

Earliest childhood memory?

Being out in the garden and looking down at my shiny red wellies.

Person you most admire?

My mum.

Person who most irritates you?

People in positions of power who make very wrong decisions that dramatically effect future generations.

Who would you like to see as Minister for Finance and why?

I’m not sure I have a good answer for this one. I think anyone who has a sense of the actual reality of living in this country currently would have a good chance at making the changes that we can all see are necessary in order for us all to continue to live here.

Where was your most memorable holiday?

On the island of Crete in a tiny fishing village on the south coast.

Favourite TV programme?

That's a tricky one! Maybe the wire.

Kate Ellis, Shane Sugrue and Caimin Gilmore. Picture: Adrian O'Connell
Kate Ellis, Shane Sugrue and Caimin Gilmore. Picture: Adrian O'Connell

Favourite radio show?

I haven’t listened to the radio in a while.

Your signature dish if cooking?

Definitely Dahl. Simple, hearty and nutritious.

Favourite restaurant?

Hands down it has to be Paradiso in Cork city.

Last book you read?

We are working our way through the complete collection of Little Miss and Mr Men books at the moment. Last night it was Little Miss Sunshine.

Best book you read?

Little Miss Sunshine.

Last album/CD/download you bought?

An album called Inside Out from the brilliant Dutch musician Diamanda Dramm.

Favourite song?

There are so many to choose from.

One person you would like to see in concert?

David Byrne. I really wanted to see American Utopia and then the most recent Old School Dance Party looked amazing. His daily weather reports are absolutely brilliant too. They make me laugh.


Double Bass player Caimin Gilmore and Cellist Kate Ellis are two of Ireland's most engaging instrumentalists. They are leading improvisers and composers, with expertise in the performance of new music.

This summer,  the duo are travelling to rural locations in each Irish province of Ireland, for a series of intimate live performances, inside a specially commissioned architecturally designed pop-up venue.

‘We Used to Play Here’ will journey from the Raheen-a-cluig ruins overlooking stunning scenery on the slopes of Bray Head, to the peaceful small villages of Monaghan, and from the wild splendour of Inishbofin, down to our enchanting southernmost island Cape Clear, bringing new compositions to local communities, and those who might usually have limited access to live performance.

Caimin and Kate will weave new music from Neil O’Connor, Amanda Feery and Sam Perkin interspersed with traditional melodies, creating one-off performances in each location.

The pop-up venue was created and designed by Shane Sugrue of Unqualified Design, and is specially built for safe and socially distanced concerts, for audiences of up to six people. With artwork wrapping the venue designed and painted by Cork artist Shane O’Driscoll. 

They will perform on Tuesday August 31 to Wednesday September 1 on Cape Clear, Tickets: Oileán AiR / Comharchumann Chléire, Email to book

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