Brìghde Chaimbeul
Assembly 2024

Brìghde Chaimbeul with Maëva Berthelot & Temitope Ajose / Vivienne Griffin with Úna Monaghan

Wed 20 Mar 2024
Performance 1: 19.00 - 20.30 Doors 18.30
Performance 2: 21.00 - 22.30 Doors 20.30
Lancaster Rooms
New Wing

Brìghde Chaimbeul with Maëva Berthelot and Temitope Ajose
Where the Veil Is Thin

In this brand new commission, musician and composer Brìghde Chaimbeul joins forces with performance artists Maëva Berthelot and Temitope Ajose in an ode to the enigmatic Cailleach Bheur, as her final dance unfolds.

The Cailleach Bheur is a significant character in Gaelic mythology, a one-eyed giantess who lived for centuries on the island of Erraid. Closely associated with the creation of the landscape and bad weather, she brought in the winter and fought against the spring, and her death marked the fulfilment of a bleak prophecy. It's said that as she died, she sang.

As the Cailleach meets the echoes of her past, navigates the complexity of her duty and reckons with the consequences of a world forever altered, Where the Veil is Thin explores what it is to be a creator and a destroyer, to be feared and revered. Together, Chaimbeul, Berthelot and Ajose weave a narrative that evokes the delicate balance between life, death and the eternal dance of nature’s forces.

Featuring new music from Chaimbeul, Where the Veil Is Thin premieres at Assembly before travelling to Rewire, The Hague in April 2024. 

By drawing the stories of the Highlands back into a contemporary light, Chaimbeul is melding legend into reality with her music, and hopefully giving a new meaning to the word “drone”.

tmrw magazine


Brighde Chaimbeul

Brìghde Chaimbeul (Bree-chuh Chaym-bul)  is a leading purveyor of experimental Celtic music and of the Scottish smallpipes, a bellows-powered set of bagpipes with a double-note drone. She has devised a completely unique way of arranging for pipe music that emphasises the rich textural drones of the instrument; the constancy of sound that creates a trance-like atmosphere, played with enticing virtuosic liquidity.

Brìghde’s mesmerising musicianship has earned her global recognition, including a BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award,  BBC Radio 2 Horizon Award, and in 2021 she performed to world leaders at the opening ceremony of COP 26 in Glasgow.

Her style is rooted in her native Gaelic language but continues to push the boundaries of her instrument and sound. Her most recent album Carry them With Us (currently shortlisted for Scottish Album of the Year Award) features renowned artist Colin Stetson and has been widely acclaimed in The Guardian, The Irish Times, Stereogum and Dazed & Confused. She has also been featured on Caroline Polacheck’s ground-breaking album Desire, I Want To Turn Into You.

Brìghde has also collaborated with highly respected musicians from across Scotland, Ireland and beyond including Aidan O’Rourke, Radie Peat (Lankum), Gruff Rhys, Carlos Nunez, Ross Ainslie and Cormac Begley.

Maëva Berthelot

Maëva Berthelot is a choreographer, performer and teacher whose mode of working unfolds along the threshold between experimental, performative and collaborative approaches.

Born in Paris, of Guadeloupean and Greek origin, she obtained her MA in contemporary dance from the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Paris in 2003. However, it is abroad that she pursued her artistic career for 20 years.

As a performer, she has collaborated with artists and companies such as Ohad Naharin, Roberta Jean, Emanuel Gat, Sharon Eyal, Damien Jalet and spent six years as a  senior member with Hofesh Shechter Company, contributing creatively as an original cast member in numerous pieces and as a teacher.


Temitope Ajose

Temitope Ajose has staged works at venues including The Royal Opera House, The Place, DanceXchange, RichMix, Dancebase and the Soho Joyce in New York). As a dancer, Temitope has worked with Punchdrunk, Director Carrie Cracknell at The Gate Theatre and The National, Theo Clinkard, Protein Dance Company, Lea Anderson, Joe Florence Peake, Adelaide Cioni, Sam Williams and Megan Rooney. Temitope also engages in movement direction (The Old Vic and National Theatre) and for Artist Megan Rooney on her solo shows, at Kunsthalle Germany, Salzburg Kunstverein and The Lyon Biennale.

Vivienne Griffin
with Úna Monaghan

Somerset House Studios artist Vivienne Griffin presents a new live performance work with invited guest Northern Irish harpist Úna Monaghan

A symbol of resistance to the British occupation of Ireland, and at one time banned, the harp is an instrument that speaks to emancipation. In this one-off performance for Assembly, The tools of surveillance and the tools of serenity sees Griffin look to the aural traditions of early Irish harpists and builds on the artist’s practice in experimental score composition and musical collaboration.The duo will bring together harp, electronic distortion, motors, and programming software Max MSP to produce a work of sonic polarisation; melody competing with noise, meditative repetition with collapse of order.


Vivienne Griffin

Vivienne Griffin (they/them) was born in Dublin and studied fine art at Hunter City University in New York, supported by a Fulbright Scholarship. Moving between experimental music and art, through the digital and the human voice, Griffin is an anti-disciplinary artist who uses video, sound and sculpture as a form of anticapitalism. Griffin aims to reclaim the emancipatory prompts that technology can offer us through vocal processing, live performance, video and installations.

Úna Monaghan

Úna Monaghan is a harper, composer, researcher and sound artist. She collaborates, improvises and performs with poets, visual artists, computers, writers, musicians, and others.She has held artist residencies at the Centre Culturel Irlandais Paris, the Institute for the Public Life of Arts and Ideas Montréal, and Atlantic Music Festival, Maine, USA.
Úna performs solo with harp & electronics, as well as with new sextet Stone Drawn Circles. She has released two albums of her compositions, most recently Aonaracht, for solo traditional musicians and electronics.

Úna received the inaugural Liam O’Flynn Award from the Arts Council of Ireland and the National Concert Hall Dublin, and held the Rosamund Harding Research Fellowship in Music at Newnham College, University of Cambridge from 2016-2019. She is a lecturer in Sound and Music at Queen’s University Belfast, where her research examines the intersections between Irish traditional music, experimental music practices, improvisation and interactive technologies.

Approximate Stage Timings

19.00  Vivienne Griffin with Úna Monaghan
19.45  Brìghde Chaimbeul with Maëva Berthelot and Temitope Ajose
21.00  Vivienne Griffin with Úna Monaghan
21.45  Brìghde Chaimbeul with Maëva Berthelot and Temitope Ajose


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Where the Veil Is Thin is commissioned by Somerset House Studios and supported by PRS Foundation’s The Open Fund for Organisations. 

PRS Foundation Open Fund logo