Gavin Glass performs two songs from his new album Sunday Songs, live with his band and Danko the dog, on the RTE Radio One arts show ‘Arena With Seán Rocks’.
Browsing Category: Directors Favorites
Twenty-one years since his first studio record, David Gray talks to Donal Dineen about his tenth album Mutineers, released in 2014. In this film the singer-songwriter tells of a new-found confidence that sees him chart unfamiliar territory while cultivating a pugnacious but respectful relationship with his own history. “I think if you’re going forward with an open heart, good things will happen,” says Gray. “You have to sort of tear up the past and let it go.”
Note from Director :
This footage was filmed before the album ‘Mutineers’ was released. Unfortunately there was a massive lack of communication which meant the documentary I intended to make was never commissioned and my footage was discarded. A year later I am exiled at home, three months housebound after a horrific accident that nearly killed me. I found myself looking through hard drives for something to edit, anything at all. That’s when I unearthed the David Gray interview and all the accompanying footage.
The interviewer Donal Dineen is an old friend of David. They know each other since David’s acclaimed album White Ladder, the cover of which is a design by Donal. I have always been a massive fan of Donals visual imagery and over the years we too have become good friends, sharing a passion for music and living in the same creative landscape.
On the day of the interview all three of us traveled out to Norfolk from London where David took us on a long walk of a coastal region. Excited and fueled by the love of creation, I have never spent as much energy in the space of a few hours as I did that day. My lens bag weighed a massive forty pounds. I would pause every few minutes to change lenses, take a shot, and then run to catch up with David and Donal. The awe inspiring landscape and my body’s adrenalin added to the excitement and joy of running, stopping, capturing, creating. The project pretty much stayed at that kind of pace for three days. The same can be said for legging it around London, filming the city at dawn, during the day, at dusk then night.
To not finish this document for which I am extremely proud, because of poor communication, would have been a creative injustice. Had I died in January this film would never have seen light. I am enormously proud of this effort and happy that it too, lives and breathes.
I’m happy to announce the unveiling of my latest adventure in film at the Fastnet Short Film Festival in May. http://www.fastnetshortfilmfestival.com
If you and your partner happened to be driving through the tiny village of Ballycotton in Co.Cork, population of 425, and if you noticed a sign outside the village pub read ‘Tonight, Glen Hansard’ you would be forgiven for thinking it was a Glen Hansard tribute artist who was due to perform inside. One such couple on holidays in Ireland, brought together by the music of Glen Hansard, were in for a surprise.
In this forty minute documentary due for release this summer, I follow Ireland’s most successful traveling bard as he tours intimate venues throughout Ireland, telling stories, making new ones and introducing Irish songwriter Lisa O’Neill to new audiences.
The inimitable Danny O’Reilly from The Coronas joins The Frames onstage at Whelan’s in Dublin to perform a mighty rendition of Heyday, written by the late Mic Christopher. All three chapters of ‘The Frames Live At Whelan’s’ are soon to be released as a 120 minute feature, including extra performances of Lay Me Down, Perfect Opening Line, Fake, Monument and Santa Maria, to be released in the coming weeks.
The second of three live videos filmed in the Pepper Canister Church Dublin, this is Sun Collective, an ensemble of freelance musicians based between Dublin and London. Their arrangements explore popular acoustic music and ‘traditional’ instrumentation. An interest in the dynamic and ethereal possibilities available to an ensemble comprising two keyboards, several voices and a string trio is at the heart of their writing.
Please take time to visit their site http://breakingtunes.com/suncollective
In December of 2014 the Irish traditional fiddle and guitar duo Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill, joined Sarod player Matthew Noone on a tour of India, to play several shows as well as meet and collaborate with a host of famous Indian traditional musicians. Myles O’Reilly joined the to tour to film and edit this short film encapsulating the spirit of the journey.
The experience of the people here, the openness and the friendliness, the non cynical human interaction and connection that happens so easily in this country, we found that most inspiring”
– Martin Hayes, speaking about his time in India
A note from Director Myles O’Reilly ::
I can not post this film without writing about the epic circumstances surrounding it’s creation. ‘The Sound of a Country’ was the hardest music documentary I ever had to make. Not only did it financially brake me, I can also say, it’s the film that nearly killed me, because it did quite literally, nearly kill me.
I married my darling wife Aideen on the 11th of September 2014. On the day of our wedding I was suffering from a very common sore throat, which I was treating with a course of antibiotics. Undeterred by my sickness we decided to leave Ireland just days after our wedding, to go on the honeymoon adventure of a lifetime traveling around Asia. We gave ourselves a very generous two months. We would fly to the other side of the globe to the tropical island of Bali in Indonesia, then take a boat to the island of Flores, fly to Burma, get a train to Laos and for our last few weeks, find tropical heaven in the south of Thailand. As were were traveling, my sore throat re-occurred twice, which I treated with more antibiotics, prescribed on both occasions by doctors with no English. “My throat” I would say, pointing in to my mouth, “ouch, sore” as I clasped my neck.
The news of the India tour happened somewhere in the middle of our trip. I received a mail from Matthew Noone inviting me to join himself, Martin and Dennis in India for two weeks, starting on the 10th of December. Aideen and I were due to return to Ireland on the third of December, so it was my decision to extend our honeymoon adventure so that both of us could join the India tour. How could I possibly leave my new wife in Ireland after such an amazing holiday together? So she was coming with me. It meant missing flights home and having to purchase completely new flights. From a hotel Lobby in Bangkok we clicked a few buttons online and watched as every last cent that we had saved for our holiday, disappeared. I then had to borrow a large sum of money from a friend. Nothing was going to stop us. It was the job of a lifetime and an opportunity to have one last honeymoon adventure. Unfortunately our last week in Thailand left me a with a gift of even more antibiotics, this time prescribed for my thumb, which I accidentally almost chopped off with a car door…
..As soon as we arrived on Indian soil, I ran around filming absolutely everything in sight but sadly, only one day in to the tour while we were in New Delhi, the stabilizer in my very expensive 200mm lens stopped working. This was disastrous. Having an image stabilizer on a zoom lens means I don’t need a tripod to get shots of people from a distance, they don’t see me and I don’t have to spend tedious time adjusting a tripod to get a steady shot. It’s impossible to get quick spontaneous compositions without a functioning optical stabilizer. A day later my laptop died. Stone dead. We spent mostly all our budget to have both the laptop and lens repaired in New Delhi days before leaving for Chennai, where the tour would truly begin. Then more mishap! During this time, my broken thumb started to smell, badly. It had become infected. I then had to find a doctor, again, and get that repaired too. Yet more antibiotics were prescribed. When we arrived in Chennai, the lens I just spent a small fortune repairing, broke again, only ten minutes out of the camera bag. Thankfully our very kind Indian hosts found me a similar lens on loan, and sourced a local Canon repair center. What more could go wrong?
Things went fairly smoothly for a time. We spent a glorious week in Chennai. The musicians gave workshops, played gigs, rehearsed, met with other musicians and also attended a few gigs and ceremonies. I was there for every step of the way and when I wasn’t filming the musicians interactions with India, I was walking the streets, exploring, filming people, hopping in and out of rickshaws and going wherever the mood would take me. Thankfully my wife Aideen had made a pal in Martins Hayes wife Lena and they made their own schedule, getting to explore all the cultural depths India had to offer. I was so busy, that we hardly saw each other.
Unfortunately calamity was only around the corner. There was trouble with my thumb. It wasn’t getting any better. I went to a clinic and another doctor informed me that my thumbnail needed to be removed. I was shown a bed and asked to lye down. “I am injecting you with an anesthetic in the region of your thumbnail, so you won’t feel anything”, said the doctor. The needle pricked. He started pinching the skin around my nail, my thumb obscured from sight with a white sheet. “Can you feel that?” he asked, “yes” I answered. He kept pinching, “can you feel that now”, “yes”. The sensation was still very much alive. “We just have to wait a few minutes until the anesthetic takes affect”. Looking at his watch, he sighed, “do you feel me pinching you now?” he asked again. Before I could even answer him, a pain shot up my arm as he yanked the nail away from my body in one foul tear. For two to three seconds the pain was horrendous. So much for waiting a few minutes! Shortly after, thankfully, the anesthetic did kick in to bring some temporary relief. Again, more antibiotics were prescribed. It seemed I had spent our entire holiday consuming numerous types of antibiotics, more than I can count on one hand. My toilet bag was a mix of washing products and medicines. Pink, yellow, and blue pills, most with no instruction. Forgetting which were which, I found myself browsing pills on Google Image one night just to get some idea of what I was carrying.
The India tour finished without any further disaster and we flew home from Mumbai only days before Christmas. Aideen is from Cork, born and raised, and no sooner did we arrive in Dublin than we were on a train to Cork to spend Christmas with her parents. On boxing day the real life-threatening nightmare began. The sore throat I had been fending off with antibiotics since our wedding, three months previous, returned with vengeance. The natural course of action was to go and see a doctor, which led to the next predictable course of action, surprise surprise, a prescription for more antibiotics. Two days later I was incapable of swallowing, the drugs weren’t working. I had never felt such pain in my throat. Aideen accompanied me to Accident and Emergency in Cork’s Mercy Hospital. There we waited six hours only to have a doctor tell me that I had a sore throat. I knew it was much more than just a sore throat. Another day and night passed. I remember waking up in Aideens family home to see my face and neck noticeably swollen. My breathing and airwaves had become restricted, my vision was blurry and my temperature was sky high. We rushed back to our GP in a panic. He took one look at me and I was referred to Cork’s Ear, Nose and Throat hospital, where I was immediately diagnosed with a deep throat infection called a ‘Quinsy’. I was admitted to hospital, and for the umpteenth time fed antibiotics, this time through an IV drip. Unfortunately over two days the swelling became much worse..
On New Years Night, doctors became extremely worried and I had to go to surgery to stop the swelling in my neck from suffocating me. The antibiotics were not working. No antibiotic they tried was working. The doctors were super careful to not let the swelling get any worse. I was put in to an induced coma and my breathing was controlled from a life support respirator, while a team of medics tried their best analyze the bacteria they had removed from my throat abscess, to find an antibiotic that would work. Unfortunately things became worse again. No sooner was I woken from my coma and able to drink a glass of water that two more abscess formed on my face and neck. The dangerous bacterial fluid was continuing to appear and grow at an alarming rate, now only a centimeter from my brain. We were informed of many foreseeable and fatal complications. As my trolly was wheeled to theater for the second time, with Aideen and her father by my side, I was saying goodbye.
I woke up the instant I was put asleep, the instance which I thought was my very last, was continued. The second operation had been successful. I could feel the wheels of my theatre bed moving under me and the first faces I saw were that of my darling wife and her dad, teary as I had left them but teary with joy. I couldn’t speak because I had been given a Tracheotomy, and the drugs I was given were simply bonkers. I spent two weeks in Intensive Care and another two weeks in a hospital ward recovering from the mighty beating my face and throat had been given in order to keep me in alive. They scanned me a million times and thankfully found nothing that would indicate any ongoing illness. I was going to get through it and there was an end in sight. The killer bug they later identified as a very common germ, the one that had initially infected my throat months previously, just before our wedding. By taking so many different antibiotics while away and haphazardly completing them, I had very severely damaged my immunity and instead of killing the bug it grew stronger and eventually had become resistant to everything doctors threw at it.
Now, a month after being discharged from hospital, I am still under self imposed house arrest, as my immunity is in my boots. Editing this film has been my first step towards normality. I started a week ago and finished this evening. The opening song with the Indian girls attending singing lessons in Brhaddhvani music school was as much as I edited before the nightmare began, from a laptop in my hospital bed. The beautiful scales they sing in the clip repeated in my head for the whole time that I spent in a coma. I could hear their voices singing to me from the dark and surreal space my mind occupied during that time.
For many hours I hallucinated that I was hundred’s of feet in the air, looking down at thousands upon thousands of Indian people, who were all looking up at me. They were huddled together, pressing up against each other. The glassy whites of their eyes in contrast with their dark skin, shone like stars, thousands of blinking pin pricks of light starring up at me, not one taking their eyes off me. Pockets of them would loose balance and together stumble, pushing each other to stay on their feet, like an audience in a mosh pit. I had many vague hallucinations while in a coma but that image was full HD.. Imax.. and reoccurred often. I guess it was a vision made manifest by all the eyes I had filmed during my stay in India, that I deeply connected with through my lens.
Sitting at my desk for the first time this year and playing the opening sequence to this film, I was holding back tears. It was so moving to hear the girls voices again, from the safety of my beautiful home. Needless to say, editing the rest of this piece has brought me such great joy. Editing footage to music is certainly one of my greatest pleasures. I hope that viewers get even a tenth of my joy in watching the finished result.
I saw more doctors in the four months I spent away from home than most people will ever see in their lifetime. The same goes for the amount of antibiotics I had to ingest. Never did I think that the most wonderful adventure imaginable would end in the one of the worst circumstances imaginable. In everything that happened there are many lessons to be learned. Always stitch the small hole in your jumper before it eventually unravels completely, kind of lessons! I’ll be thinking about what happened to me for a long time. Past the panic and fear of what seems like a horrendous experience, lies a significant silver lining. I know I’m stronger for it. I’m very happy to be well. I’m born again.
This is a new video of mine for a most unique and beautiful Irish songstress. Her new album is sublime. We should give talent like hers all the support we can. I’ll leave her introduction to these few minutes of video and the words of Brian Keane from The Irish Times. Her new album is available at lbum available http://www.delphilabel.com/the-artist/jennifer-evans
After honing her skills for four years on the Irish music scene, Jennifer Evans’ Works From the Dip and Foul is a stunning blend of jazz, blues and rock
Good things come to those who wait. And what’s the hurry anyway? Explaining her slow songwriting process to The Ticket recently, Jennifer Evans put it succinctly: “If it takes that long, it takes that long.” Fair enough.
Having honed her skills through a steady schedule of gigging and practice as well as an array of theatre and performance art projects, Evans is very much in control of her chosen art form, and it shows.
A stunning blend of jazz, blues and rock, her debut album boasts a singularity of vision that places Evans in the same category as St Vincent and Anna Calvi, her serene demeanour belying a restless spirit and questioning mind.
Opener Uncomfortable Word sets the tone, condensing several wide-ranging ideas into one mutated shape.
These are songs that duck and jab, never failing to hit their target and leave a mark, underpinned with a deliciously dark atmosphere (kudos to co-producer Stephen Shannon).
Lyrically, Evans keeps her cards close to her chest; her deliberate, intimately delivered words frequently laced with a cryptic edge. She embraces the painful side of love on Colour of Bruises with a breezy nonchalance while the languid multi-tracked vocals on My Own Assassin prove deceptively soothing.
Jennifer Evans: “I operate at an extremely slow pace because I’m trying to understand what I am writing about”Jennifer Evans: in search of the essence
The joys hinted at on After Berlin and Your Cause unravel to reveal layers of disquiet. The latter – written by fellow Dublin musician Rhob Cunningham – finds Evans’s electric guitar sparking and flickering out of control before subsiding to a gently strummed close.
Similarly, Empire glides from tranquillity to ferocity and back again with the minimum of fuss.
Captivating and never predictable, this is as strong and memorable a debut you’ll hear from an Irish artist this year.
Written by Brian Keane for The Irish Times
First published: Thu, Nov 20, 2014, 12:00
The second of three video installments..
I edited this one while in the remote mountains of Flores in Indonesia. This is a little post I wrote about what turned out to be quite a surreal experience!
This morning it was not all rosy in Flores, the land of flowers. I found myself editing The Frames Live In Whelans Chapter II, a brilliant way to pass the time waiting in a non-English speaking clinic, 18000 miles away from Whelans, to treat a pounding ear infection that I’ve had for the past three days. The locals sitting opposite me, also sick as dogs, glared at me as I took this panoramic photo, with a kind of “who the fu*k is this westerner showing off with his pricey technology” look on their faces.
A kid in his teens, dressed in rags and clearly suffering with a bad flu, sat down beside me. Like most people living in remote Indonesia, I presume he had only ever heard of artists such as Shania Twain, Bryan Adams, Phill Collins, Bob Marley and the extremely progressive, ahem, Coldplay. I had no headphones so the volume was very low on my laptop but he leaned in closer to me and became enthralled with the video. How could I stop and go back to tweak that camera shake, he was tapping his feet and hands. I had to let the video run through, rough as it was.
As the waiting room filled, more people sat around me, watching and listening intently. I raised the volume a touch. More feet and hands got tapping. Then I was asked to play the video again, as they handed me their phones to write down the name of the band.
It suddenly dawned on me. Like the Portuguese who made the whole Island of Flores catholic, hundreds of years ago, that if I went from town to town, showing these people new music, I could totally fu*k up the infrastructure that big western labels have laid down here, to sell poor second hand and out of date 80’s and 90’s music to South East Asia. It’s all you hear on the radio. ALL YOU HEAR. Streaming video on the internet, or downloading music here is not possible. Good internet is saved exclusively for the rich and tourists in big hotels.. even then, you can hardly get a Giff to play, the download speeds here are so dark ages.
That kid, and the people with him are now hard core Frames fans! I caught them before they eventually hear Rihanna or Gaga (some ten years from now). The feeling of satisfaction was tremendous, ten times that of posting a great unknown folk artist online for people at home. I’m beginning to think I should dawn the cloth of a music missionary and sacrifice everything to come here and spread the truth. That The Back Street Boys are dead, history. I’m alright with a bit of nostalgia, but these people’s hearts are so open, honest and sincere that it seems they connect immediately with anything different and guitar based that I play for them. They love it.
Press article about the show http://www.orderinthesound.com/frames-gigs/the-frames-whelans-30-june-2014
Brothers Diarmuid and Brían Mac Gloinn are Ye Vagabonds. They currently play Walshe’s in Stoneybatter, Dublin, every Monday night.
Brothers Diarmuid and Brían Mac Gloinn are Ye Vagabonds. They currently play Walshe’s in Stoneybatter, Dublin, every Monday night.