For you Irish-speakers out there, I did an interview for the radio show, ‘Cruinneog’ (meaning ‘globe’), during the week. It’ll be broadcast tomorrow morning (Saturday, the 3rd of November) at 11. Seems very interesting, it generally consists of interviews with Irish people living abroad, and as I’m only recently back from the Netherlands, I was asked to call in and have a chat. It’s always a balancing act between being open and communicative, and not coming off like a roaring eejit. Ha!
But Cearbhall (O Síocháin, the presenter) was sound out, really put me at ease, and it was nice to talk about music, and remind myself that I’m a musician, which (goldfish-style) I seem to forget after a few busy music-free weeks. For I went back to school a few months back, yes kids, back to school I went. Plants have always been a big deal to me. I can’t live without them, not even a little bit! I like oxygen and food, see. Soooo, starting a horticulture course seemed like a good idea. It’s all SO NEW at the moment, but I’m lovin’ it.
All about the choirs at the moment too. I’m working on some choral repertoire at the moment. The amazingly talented Amanda Feery recently moved over to Princeton, New Joisey, but she’ll be back next summer for a while, so we’re planning some sort of co-choral goings on. My dream is a mobile choir, flash mobs, musical public nuisances…. As well as midsummer midnight concerts and other lovely things.
The Hour Went Back last weekend, and we all know what that means. Ireland sinks into darkness for a few months (although the winter skies here are absolutely spectacular when there is some light). Leaving the house in darkness, arriving home in darkness. I kind of like it though. And night-time is very conducive to all sorts of visions and madness anyway.
Here’s a sample of Amanda’s work (She’s photographed here by Aoife Giles, singing Lying in Bed in the Joinery way back) –
The many-legged have been out in force the last week. An unseasonable warm patch in the middle of an unseasonable cold and windy spell saw the mozzies, flying ants, and loads of strange-looking pupa-esque creatures on the streets for three days, in the house, in my hair, you get the idea. Apparently the cold has damaged the asparagus crop in the Netherlands. NOO!
But really, mad times we do live in. The weather grows stranger and stranger.
UPDATE 16th of May, 2012:
Weeelll, the writing is finished now on this here EP I’m doing for Black Lantern Music. Gotta get my record on now. Followed by editing, mixing, the usual.
In other things, Harald Austbø’s tuition is great! I tend to go in waves with the cello anyway, few months on, few months off(or more than a few, eek). But, it’s awn right now. So very peaceful to play, you kind of zone out a bit. In this workaday world, that can’t be bad.
Weeeellll, it’s happened. Against all odds, despite all our expectations, much to our surprise, the spring is here. Hats off to The Ancient Ones, the dolmen and passage tomb builders, the astronomers and heavenly worshippers.
Labbycally (Leaba an Chailligh – The Witch’s Bed) dolmen tomb in Co. Cork is positioned in such a way that on the 22nd of March and (vague! I dunno me equinoxes!) its autumnal counterpart, the central spine is lit up by the sun’s setting rays.
Stuck up a rough version of a track off the new EP on Soundcloud. It’ll be streaming for a week or so. Preview shtylez!
The Eindhoven gig is approaching now – Monday the 28th of November is the date. I went up to Amsterdam last week to have a jam with Sean (Bergin, my collaborator for part of the show). My first ever electronic jam! He played sax, flute, whistles, concertina, and a banjo he made out of an oil-can, which I then sampled, processed, looped etc. It was mad interesting, I’ve never really done something like that before, and neither had he. We had a buzz though, and I think he got a kick out of it. It’s very transparent, after all, “Oh, I just played that and now I can hear it play back again.”
On the night, we’ll be joined by Alan “Gunga” Purves, an instrument-maker extraordinaire. ‘Sgonna be fun!
A few releases coming up soon too. I met Morphamish up at Rathlin, what a gent! He runs a great net label called Black Lantern Music, and asked me to make an EP for them. Which I am. Yay! Hope to have it finished by Christmas (I ALWAYS want to have things finished by Christmas. Ha!).
The wonderful Meljoann, she who mastered the album, runs a label called Boy Scout Audio. Making a track for a compilation of Irish-tinged but contemporary music. It started simple, then it got very complicated, but…. I hope to have it finished by Christmas. Hweh hweh.
The Machinedrum finally came back three weeks ago. Yes, three months being repaired. Three months to the day. Eeeek. I need an alternative in case that happens again, it’s just too disruptive. For the time being though, it’s all about catch up catch up.
Spring-cleaning and packing with the windows open and the sun streaming in. Listening to Morphamish and a gem from last December by Redmonk (which I can’t find a download link to now. Boo! But check out this and An Dord is Mó on Raidió na Life. Always a treat.)
I saw Laura Sheeranplay in Tower last Friday, just beeeeeaaautiful. Harp, accordion, ukele, double bass, guitar, live electronics, and herself. Two “proper” launch gigs will be on later in the month, in Galway on the 17th, and Dublin on the 18th. Worth a look and a listen! I’ll be outta the country by then, alas.