maeve & quinn is the duo of Maris Maeve O'Tierney (voice, guitar, piano) and Bryce Quinn O'Tierney (violin, voice, piano), musician-composers and writers from Anchorage, Alaska. As twin sisters and collaborators, Maris and Bryce have been making music together for most of their lives, sharing a classical music background as well as an improvisational language that informs their songwriting. Their project as maeve & quinn has evolved with their relationship, an intimate conversation that translates to their live performances. Weaving influences of indie pop and folk, as well the melodic emotion of Irish traditional, the music of their cultural heritage, maeve & quinn builds a sonic atmosphere evocative of their dynamic, expansive home-state, Alaska. What the listener hears in their music are the highly attuned ears and eyes of storytellers observing the world around them, and the push-pull of the human heart.
A few years ago, while an ocean apart – Maris in Alaska curating at a museum, and Bryce in Dublin completing graduate work in poetry – both artists delved into their independent geographies, both personal and cultural. The space between, whether musical, geographic, or emotional, heightens the moment of sharing: what we have learned, where we have been, and what is known or unknown. The sisters reconnected in Ireland, sharing experiences from their time apart, to develop a present musical language. Through the course of busking on Grafton street and at Howth Harbor, to playing shows at historic Whelan’s, maeve & quinn emerged as a distinct performance project.
something overheard, something overhead, maeve & quinn’s debut album, navigates the space between individuals, whether physical, emotional or spiritual. While Maris and Bryce have solo artistic projects, something overheard, something overhead marks their debut as maeve & quinn, communicating not two halves of a whole, but rather, two individuals, who in the exchange of insights, create something wholly bigger than themselves, that hears and speaks both at once. These songs capture our distinct experiences in intimate relationships, as well as what we observe outside of our own. The album navigates the stories – experienced, observed, imagined and exchanged – of young women reckoning with who they are, and who they’d like to become. We look back and we look forward to navigate the unpredictable terrain that is intimate connection with others. With love comes loss of some degree, though also the liberation of understanding oneself more clearly through change.
Sometimes in harmony, and sometimes in counterpoint, Maris and Bryce’s singing voices and instrumentation weave into and out of each other. While the compositional foundation is solid, there remains the possibility for change and expansion: the improvisational moment. Sometimes the voices and instruments (violin, guitar, piano) follow, echo, or bolster each other, while in moments of lyric tension or questioning, they pull distinct melodic paths. Never without evocation of the Alaskan landscape, a place where mountains are more prominent than population, the shapes, textures, and emotional contours of something overheard, something overhead create an elastic, organic space for both artists and listener to inhabit.
maeve & quinn is currently based in Chicago, with break-aways to Alaska. In addition to their performance and recording projects, the duo had a recent commission with the Anchorage Symphony Orchestra, and has upcoming commissions in development with Chicago ensembles.