The Nature Loves Courage Residency is a ten day retreat designed for musicians working in electronic or neo-/contemporary classical music to tap in to the unparalleled richness of Cretan culture through total immersion in the rhythms and routines of the island. Taking place in Sougia bay, a tiny village close to the most Southern Point of Europe and surrounded by steep gorges and ancient ruins, the residency, which takes place during the Nature Loves Courage Festival initiates a cultural exchange that hopes to create long lasting and fruitful bonds by tying the local to the global. The artist is free to experiment, explore, exchange ideas organically with other local and visiting artists to inevitably create new work or re-engineer existing projects inimitably tied to the unexplainable idiosyncrasies of the island.

The residency, co-organised with the Peripheral Unit of Chania, commences on the 1st of October 2021 and invites artist Beatrix Ó Corráin (Battle-ax) for its first edition.  

Born in Sydney, Battle-ax (Beatrix Ó Corráin) moved to Vienna to further her studies as a classical violist but it was when she began playing in clubs that her sound truly developed. Taking cues from the elegantly robust symphonies of Viennese composer Gustav Mahler, her performances are as much disruptive as they are refined. Distortion clips and merges with relentless chains of reverb broken by intimate passages of acoustic sound, testing the characteristics of her instrument as a means of both escapism and immediacy.

With a nod to her heritage, Battle-ax recently introduced arrangements of traditional Irish folk melodies to her sets. It provides a gentle contrast via the roughened fiddle technique applied together with the music that expresses what can already be heard in her instrumental style. 

Performing in the context of festivals such as HYPERREALITY Festival for Club Culture and the Neue Musik festival MaerzMusik at Berliner Festspiele, Battle-ax offers a broad approach to how neoclassicism and the classical instrument can be interpreted today.