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.