Symphony for the Moons

November 16th
Lisa O’Neill with the National Symphony Orchestra

December 11th
Lisa O’Neill with Britten Sinfonia


General on sale tickets available Friday June 21st

The first time I heard the sounds of a symphony was while watching the film ‘ET’. I was an infant. My eyes were young, my ears were young and my imagination was getting born. As far as I was concerned, there was no separation between the picture, the music and the feelings that this story evoked in me. It was all one. Like many children in the 1980’s, I had fallen in love with this extraterrestrial and this music was the language of the heart taking flight. It conjured in me feelings of adoration for one who is different, a taste of love, of letting go and of hope all rolled into one symphony, John Williams’ sublime ‘Flight theme’.

In my innocence, I had no knowledge of strings and horns, of keys and drums. I didn’t know composers or conductors existed. I didn’t know that John Williams or Steven Spielberg existed, but ET did exist. Thinking back on it now, how and why as children we were all so immensely moved and impacted by this Alien’s flight via the moon. I am convinced it was the music, it was the vibrations of the symphony that pulled at our heartstrings and gave us wings and left an imprint of awe in us. It was not digital. It was the real thing. Real things have lasting affects. Music is after all a universal language, with or without words it has the power to transport us on a cellular level to the celestial heavens and the underworlds.

I never dreamed then, that I would someday become a songwriter. Nor did I think that I would ever have the chance to bring my own ideas to a symphony orchestra, or that someone would someday write a score for songs that began as tiny seeds in my human heart.

At Shane MacGowans 60th birthday in the NCH in 2018, I met and worked with multi instrumentalist Terry Edwards. He was the musical director for that extraordinary one off concert in celebration of Shane and his songwriting. Later that year we worked together again, revisiting Tom Waits Swordfishtrombones album. Certain seeds fell onto fertile ground and the winds have taken us to an exciting moment, where in recent months, Terry Edwards has been writing an orchestral score for a collection of my original songs. I am sincerely over the moon to be working with him.

November 16th falls on a full moon and I will be performing at the NCH in Dublin with the National Symphony Orchestra. The Celts called this ‘The Reed Moon’, comparing it to the mournful music made by wind instruments and to the ghoulish sounds of the spirits being drawn into the underworld. In many ways, it marks the beginning of the end.

December 11th falls around the Cold Moon which is the final full moon of the calendar year. My only gig in London this year brings me back to the Barbican where on this night I will be performing with the Britten Sinfonia. The Cold Moon is symbolic of a death and rebirth cycle and is otherwise known as the Long Night Moon. On both nights we will visit songs from my studio albums, Same cloth or not, Pothole in the sky, Heard a long gone song, All of this is chance and we may even introduce some new beginnings as we reach the end of another year.

“Vertiginous, violet-they scroll across the sky, words with wings VVV, whether wrens or angels one cannot determine, perhaps an alternate universe fusion of both, up down, high, low-dizzy, still; at peace, at war: redemption dreams arise from the clay: soul’s peace, as the bird in the bough its little eye closes slowly: all is chance, they say, indeed-save this, indisputably, O’ Neill’s Art’s gentle triumph.” –  Pat McCabe

Available now in stores & all the usual places online here. Exclusive silver vinyl is available from the Rough Trade website & indie retail.

Click through to hear Lisa on All Songs Considered sharing her inspiration for the first single Old Note.

NPR’s Tiny Desk

While on tour in the US this past spring Lisa & her band visited the NPR Studios in Washington DC. Thank you Bob Boilen and all at Tiny Desk! Watch/read about it here.

US Tour Dates

We are so pleased to announce an American tour in April/May. Tickets are on sale now – visit the Tour page for links.

lisa in cap & with hands clasped and tour dates listed

Old Note on All Songs Considered

Thank you to Bob Boilen and All Songs Considered at NPR Music for featuring Lisa’s new single “Old Note”. Listen in to hear the track and to Lisa talk about what inspired the song.

Lisa O'Neill 2022