New York meets Dingle in a beautiful exchange of Irish American song. Bernie and Jefferson’s close-harmony duet singing and deft instrumental accompaniment honour the timeless traditions of Appalachian Old Time and and Country Americana. There’s an easy resonance to this duo, with voices settling into inviting harmonies that never obscure the lyric or emotive power of narrative folk music.
Browsing Category: Directors Favorites
Video for the song Lowly Deserter from Glen Hansard, featured on his 2015 solo album Didn’t He Ramble.
ARTICLE TAKEN FROM WALL STREET JOURNAL (10:30 am ET
Aug 25, 2015)
Glen Hansard didn’t allow much lead time to make the video for “Lowly Deserter,” so the clip for the song from the Irish singer’s upcoming solo album came together in a hurry. The video premieres today on Speakeasy.
The action follows a group of Irish children as they leave aside their playthings outside and troop into a house that doubles as a “hedge school,” where they receive instruction in the history, culture and language of Ireland, while Hansard and his band perform in the living room. The whole thing came together in just a few days, director Myles O’Reilly says: first he got an email asking if he was interested in the project, and then Hansard called him the next day to ask if he could be ready by the following day.
More In On the Record
“It was a relief I could give him the answer he wanted, and that I had the bones of an idea,” O’Reilly says.
The song comes from “Didn’t He Ramble,” the upcoming second solo album from Hansard. (He also fronts the Frames and was half of the Swell Season, releasing two albums and co-starring in the 2007 film “Once” with bandmate Markéta Irglová.) O’Reilly says the singer’s new collection “strikes me as a record of much reminiscence and reflection” that reminds him of a younger Hansard. The director wanted to capture that essence in the video, which he shot in a house that resembled the one in which Hansard was raised.
“It was Glen who then suggested we film children, interacting with the house and the neighborhood, from which the sub-narrative of a hedge school evolved,” O’Reilly says. Hedge schools were a means of educating children in rural Ireland through oral tradition, especially in the 18th and 19th centuries.
“I wanted to show that within a home there’s a universe of thought,” Hansard says by email. “I grew up in a family and around families that put a lot of meaning into the Irish story, the working Irish, the stories of land struggles, of uprisings, of oppression and rebellion, the language of Ireland. And in homes all over the country the hedge school continues. Schools weren’t teaching us a true history. It was an ‘approved’ version, watered down.”
Despite the context of self-determination, the subject of “Lowly Deserter” isn’t exactly a hero. “The song refers to the one who claims he was there fighting alongside his brothers and sisters,” Hansard says. “Whereas he spent the whole time drunk or in hiding, with a head full of ghosts to haunt him through the years.”
Actor Cillian Murphy interviews Bryce Dessner from The National about a festival coming to Cork city in September.
There’s a new festival heading to Cork in September. Curated by The National’s Bryce Dessner, the website for Sounds From A Safe Harbour bills itself as “a festival of music, art and conversation” and it will take place from September 17 to 20 in Cork’s Opera House and other venues around the city.
Acts listed on the event’s website at present include The Gloaming, This Is How We Fly, Lisa Hannigan, Amiina, Julianna Barwick, Aaron Dessner, Valgeir Sigurðsson, Richard Reed Parry, My Brightest Diamond, So Percussion, Liam Byrne, RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, Donal Dineen and others.
The website lists a performance of Wave Movements, a piece written by Bryce Dessner and Richard Reed Parry and a co-commission by Cork Opera House, The Barbican, Sydney and Edinburgh festivals, as the centre-piece of the festival. There will also be a performance of Music for Heart and Breath and this will be the subject of a lecture at UCC during the festival.
Sounds from A Safe Harbour was one of a number of Cork events which received funding from Fáilte Ireland last month.
– Jim Carroll
In October 2013, 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 the sign outside the only pub read ‘Tonight, Glen Hansard’ you would be forgiven for thinking it was a Glen Hansard tribute band which was due to perform inside. One very such couple on holidays in Ireland, brought together three months previous by the music of Glen, made the jaw dropping discovery that it was not the case. In this film Myles O’Reilly follows Ireland’s foremost traveling bard as he tours intimate venues throughout the country and introduces Irish songwriter Lisa O’Neill to new audiences.
Note from Myles
My dear mother died two weeks before this tour began. She only received the news during the summer of 2013 that her cancer had returned. A few months later she was laid to rest. It did me a lot of good to traverse this beautiful country with such good people and such great music. Staying at home would have only magnified what felt like an emotional prison sentence. Driving to meet each horizon somewhat served to set my mind free. It has been a long road since October 2013 but I have been able to grieve fully and ease the fear and pain of her passing.
I share a story of loss through this film with Sam McNicholl. Towards the end we hear the voice of Sam’s father, the late Paddy McNicholl who owned the legendary Connolly’s of Leap, defeated also by cancer. Sam plays Paddy’s voice back to Glen, through the very speakers in Connolly’s by which he was recorded. Paddy taped every artist that played the venue. He was a great lover of live music. Sam is currently fighting to keep his fathers legacy alive. The venue he built and the massive catalog of artists he recorded, needs our help to stay preserved. Please take time to visit Sam’s dedicated FB site and show your support.
…and so the day I finished this edit I heard of the death of radio DJ Tony Fenton, another victim of cancer. Tony’s family are only just learning to live with their grief. I hope they soon remember him without sadness and that in time they learn to feel the beauty within them that he left behind.
I see it fit that this film be credited in honour of Tony. Music’s most recent loss. Maybe like Sam and I, music will play a role in the metamorphosis his family must make, from a life without him to a life where his love can still be felt everywhere.
This film is as much for Paddy and my mother as it is for Tony but most of all it symbolizes the joy of life through the most divine distraction of music. The meditative and healing draw we have to enjoy listening to the moment. Through song the moment lives eternal.
Myles O’Reilly reworks old footage featuring legendary silhouette animator Lotte Reiniger at home working, and a selection of her most famous animations, set to The Hedge Schools musical composition ‘Sleeping Song’ from the sophomore album ‘At The End Of The Winding Day’.
In early 2008 The Hedge Schools became the musical vehicle for the songs of former Ten Speed Racer bass player Patrick M Barrett. The debut record, NEVER LEAVE ANYWHERE was recorded and produced by his former Bandmate Joe Chester. At The End Of A Winding Day is the follow to the 2008 debut and is due for release 23rd of January 2015. Comprising 9 songs, it was recorded and produced again by Joe Chester, in instalments, in his Blessington Street Studios. It features contributions on trumpet from Donagh Molloy from Lisa Hannigan’s band and the cello work of Kevin Murphy from Seti the First and Adrian Crowley’s band.
Colm Mac Con Iomaire performs The Finnish Line from his new album ‘And Now The Weather’ on RTÉ Radio 1 during the Sunday morning radio show ‘In Session’, an hour long show hosted by Colm and aired on the 26th of April 2015.
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’.
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.
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.