Quivvy Church is a
150-year-old church in Belturbet, Ireland, where Brendan Perry resides, along with his
Wolfhound, Neph. The village of Belturbet is about 70 miles north of Dublin in the county
of Cavan, 400 feet from the Northern Ireland border. The surroundings are rural land and
pasture with flocks of sheep here and there. Brendan said, "the Irish government is
in the process of selling off all the old Protestant churches that were imposed on the
Catholics by the British." He moved in a year and half ago because it was one of the
few places big enough for all of his equipment and, more likely, because "mum and dad
live only a few towns away."
The church is cluttered
with instruments, from the drums stored in the bell tower to the studio equipment set up
on the balcony. A video of Led Zeppelin's movie Song Remains the Same shares shelf
space with various obscure and mainstream films while an old copy of John Mayal's Turning
Point and various albums of artists from India to Spain line a lower case. But even
with Perry's personal belongings and homey furnishings--a rumpled bed and a floor
sprinkled with stray socks--the church could prove a vast and lonely place when there's no
company. "No, it's just like anywhere else really," he says nonchalantly. He
snaps his fingers and the sound resonates up to the rafters. "Well, sometimes you
hear the echo of your own voice and it amplifies that you're all alone. I'm making music
all the time so I'm filling up the space with sound and energy."
The church sits on an
estate that was once owned by a Protestant Anglo named Lord Lanesborough, who built the
church in yet another futile attempt to convert the area's Irish Catholics. Lanesborough's
castle on the estate now lies in ruins, burned and vandalized during the Irish civil war
in 1931. But the church, which had long since fallen into disuse, survived the uprising
intact and later went on to serve various community purposes--as a general meeting place,
a storage area and at one point, a hatchery for butterflies that still reproduce there.
When the church's industrial boiler fires up all fourteen heaters, the cocoons hatch
(excerpts from Cross Over, interview by Lorraine Ali, Alternative Press).
This is the place Dead Can
Dance record their albums.