I just cannot compare to you…so beautiful
I Just can’t do the things you do…so wonderful
And I will shake, ‘cause the sky’s gonna fall
When I come to my senses and realise that everything I’m doing is a waste
of the breath in my lungs, of the songs I have sung
of the voice I have been given just to speak my own truth
I need a change of policy…so personal
I need a set of new beliefs…I’ve been too comfortable
And I will break down the words in my head
I’m allowed to be sad; but I’m not allowed to be so cruel to the only one
who was here from the start, who will always remain
I have pushed her away now I have got to win her back
The roof of this great house is surely falling down…
Can you feel the earth quake with the knowledge to come?
I can feel in my bones, it will tear me apart and reconfigure me and then
if I look in your eyes, and I don’t see the truth, or a person like me
Then I have got to start again
Can you feel it, feel the earth…
can you feel the earth, feel the earth?
Can you feel the earth, feel the earth shake?
Lyrics and music by Emma O’Reilly
Missed me last Friday?
Ahh here, I missed you too. But it’s all good because I have some fab photos from the night to share with you!
But first, let me introduce you to the cast…
CHAPTER 1: Preparation
Rehearsing at Loop studios with some approaching-vintage-keyboard vibes
On Grafton Street, getting ready to surprise the audience with these beauties!
Chapter 2: The gig!
Photo by Laura Sheeran.
Photo by Laura Sheeran.
Photo by Laura Sheeran.
Stolen from Sara O’Loughlin’s Instagram!
Photo by Laura Sheeran.
Photo by Laura Sheeran.
Photo by Laura Sheeran.
CHAPTER 3: But what do I do now!
There may be some live footage from it too…I’ll keep you all posted. :D
In the meantime, if you haven’t seen my music video for SHAKE yet, do give it a go! You’ll like it!
Also, if you like what you’re hearing from me and you’d like a FREE EXCLUSIVE song, you can join my mailing list here. :D
Now If you’re already a member of the mailing list and you want in on this FREE SONG ACTION I’m also running a little Survey, just to help me get some ideas for getting my music out there. If you’d like to help me out with that, you can do it here!
In August, around the time I was busily organising the shoot for my music video for SHAKE, I got a message from my songwriter friend and former boss, Peter Baxter. He’d played this great songwriting festival in Lithuania last year, and the Irish Ambassador there was looking for recommendations for someone to do the festival this year - would I be interested? The answer was, of course, HELL YES.
So that was how I found myself on a Ryanair flight to Vilnius last month, stressing about my very limited Lithuanian, but very much looking forward to meeting the Irish Ambassador and a few days of pure music making. It was late by the time I arrived, but within minutes of arriving I was yapping away with the Ambassador and his wife like we were old friends. That famous Irish welcome - it’s hard to beat. :D
By 9am the next morning, I was on a bus to Gargždai with five other musicians: three Lithuanians, a frenchman and a Belgian. Within about 10 minutes we had started writing a song. Jozef Sercu from Belgium was playing funk on a ukulele, Frédéric Bobin from France was finger picking on his guitar, Justas was working on a grant application in the back of the bus, whispering softly to himself in Lithuanian and occasionally making suggestions for lyrics, Ilona was politely pretending we weren’t crazy and contributing harmonica solos, Agne made sure we were on schedule and also jumped in on some backing vocals. The song’s subject matter? A crocodile car (based on a poor sketch I did of a limousine that went by). The craic? NINETY.
After we’d each done our sets, we played our newly written work in the Cultural Centre there that night as an ensemble, with some rap in Lithuanian explaining where in the name of god our crazy song had come from. Gargzdai cultural centre just so happens to have three pianos available, so naturally we were happy enough to settle for a Petrof for the night’s performance…no big deal (read: a huge deal).
I’m a great believer in the idea that when you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be, doing exactly what you’re supposed to be doing, magical things start to happen, and I had a great experience of this around 1am on the way home from the gig. We’d stopped in a petrol station. A huge bus of people next to us were also stopping for a cigarette break, and they started gesturing at us because we were playing music. So I hopped out of the bus and sang “You belong to me” for them with my ukulele. Turns out this huge bus of people were A CHOIR just coming home from a concert themselves and THEY SANG FOR ME in return. A private concert outside a petrol station by an amazing choir at 1am. WHAT IS MY LIFE?!
The next morning, it was another relatively early start, because Jozef, Frédéric and I decided we wanted to see some more of Vilnius. In practice what actually happened is Frédéric slept in, and Lina let me and Jozef into St. Catherine’s Church - our venue that night. We spend a solid few hours in there fussing over yet another Petrof piano, singing some Jazz, swapping folk songs and having a look around the church. It’s one of the most beautiful venues I’ve had the good fortune of playing in. Check it out.
Here it is from the outside:
From the inside:
And again, once the genius lighting technician had gotten it all going:
Photo by David Noonan.
The Litunanian audiences were so sweet -they applauded every time I tried to use the little Lithuanian I had. It was almost comical - but Lithuanian isn’t spoken very widely outside of the country so they tend to be really appreciative when you make the effort. It was a fantastic gig - so many amazing acts that I might not have heard otherwise, and special shout outs have to go to Kujeliai and Mindaugus Breidis :D
Photo by Mindaugus Briedis
Naturally we had to round it off by singing to the people of Vilnius about the Crocodile Car.
Photo from Tai-as Facebook page
As you can imagine, the after party was just as fun as the gig :D
I rounded off my trip by delivering some workshops; a vocal masterclass with and a songwriting workshop with a group of kids from the local schools, and I brought them into the venue when we’d gotten something together so they could perform their music in a fantastic space. There are some great writers up and coming in Vilnius, that’s for sure.
Photo by Cliodhna Noonan
Having lost our beloved Jozef to his homeland that morning, me and Frédéric went for a spin to Trakai with our friend Vygantas, and we chatted in french about music, gigging and Lithuania. Then - naturally - when we got back to Vilnius, there was a another party. An amazing young songwriter I met there, Liucija Vaicenavičiūtė (pictured below on the Kazoo), taught me how to line dance. There may have been video evidence of this.
Liucija, Frédéric and me enjoying the session!
Note: Lithuanians definitely know how to have a session. Seek one out if you go there!
On my last day, I spent some more time looking around Vilnius with the Ambassador, and then I was hanging out at his house with the family - an amazing bunch of very talented people who really work to help others create and express. I can say hand on heart, we are lucky to be so well represented abroad.
I think I may have one or two videos of live performances from my Lithuanian adventure on the way, and I’ll post them here when I get them. In the meantime, thanks for reading - I hope to see you all at my next gig on NOVEMBER 18TH in Volt Studios in Dublin - my last full band gig of the year. Earlybird tickets are going now but there aren’t many so GO FOR IT!
In mid May I was catching up with Les (Arad Studios), and I mentioned to him that I was traveling to Canada with the Irish Youth Chamber Choir for a gig on Bloomsday. I told him I’d been toying with the idea of making it an extended visit and checking in with various friends and family I have scattered across Canada and the US. Money worries were holding me back, I was thinking of looking into a credit card, but maybe not, then thinking of calling the Credit Union to top up my EP loan, blah blah blah etc.; Les listened to me whinge and verbally pace for a few minutes before gently suggesting that I should just go for it. The worse the Credit Union could say was no, and that if the trip was a combination of music making and hanging out with people I like, it was going to be worth it. He was right (He’s usually right).
First stop: Toronto
I flew out with the IYCC (dir. Greg Beardsell) to Toronto for a special celebration of Bloomsday with the Toronto Children’s Chorus (dir.Elise Bradley) and the Toronto Youth Choir (dir. Matthew Otto). We performed in the gorgeous Trinity St. Paul’s Church on Bloor street west. The concert was fab and we were all made to feel incredibly welcome by everyone there. Special shout out the Children’s chorus, who genuinely intimidated us with their brilliance.
Obligatory pre-concert selfie - and check out the Irish/Canadian flag badge that the Children’s Chorus gave to us! They are the best of people.
After the concert, we went out to celebrate with some members of the Toronto Youth Choir. We took over some live music that was going on in a nearby club by singing “The Fields of Athenry” and Amhrán na bhFiann, each at least five times, gathering all the other Irish people in the venue to us, taking over the piano, getting physically dragged away from the piano, befriending the security staff but still eventually getting kicked out (it was closing time, in fairness). I had an exchange with the piano player that went something like this:
Sean: (hands over his face, looking out between his eyes) What…What is going on? What are they singing?“
Me: Oh, we’re a choir. That’s the Irish National Anthem.
Sean: So wait, are they singing IN GAELIC?!
Sean: Can you get them to do it again?
Me: Yeah sure. HEY LADS! SIIIIIINNE FIANNA FÁIL!!!!
Choir (and assorted Irish): ATÁÁÁÁÁ FÉ GHEALL AG EIREANN!!!
#Squadgoals. <3 <3 <3. You just can’t beat the Irish abroad.
(BTW: Sean is a great musician and you should check out his band East of Avenue here.)
Of course we did a ton of sightseeing in the short time we were there - we went to the Island, to the CN Tower, wandered around Kensington market and Chinatown, took streetcars, ate gelato, took selfies, and in general had a blast. Pro tip: If you’re a choral singer and you’re the right age, you need to do the Irish Youth Choir course. If not for the amazing musical experiences you’ll have, then for the amazing friends you’ll make. My trip meant I missed it this year and I was sad to see the choir go home.
I stayed with an old friend of mine (the fab Sharon Courtney) after the choir headed home, and we had a blast catching up, crashing house parties, talking about boys, feminism, writing, creativity and making some music.
- Rehearsing in Toronto while the street festival outside rages on outside
Many thanks to the gracious hosts, to Sharon and all the lovely people I met that evening ( Katherine katey Morley, Alissa Vox Raw, Brendan Albert (who did a few tunes that evening too!, Bluebelle (Gorgeous voices!), and Swan U (excellent French rap) . There was also a really lovely songwriter from down under who I took a video of, but now cannot find online. Identify yourself if you end up reading this!
Second Stop: Vancouver
There are mountains everywhere, there’s a faint smell of the sea and the weather changes every few minutes. It’s often overcast and it’s full of creative people and cool things to see. So really like Galway then. A Galway with skyscrapers and churches with pride flags inside.
In my search for some musical activities I stumbled across a great night in Corduroy in Kitsilano. Apart from doing incredible wings there, they have a fun night of music there every week on Tuesday. The week I was there is was being run by Chris Sol, and it was awesome. Very special thanks to brilliant songwriter Steve Buzinski, who donated a song out of his set to me so I could play another one!
- "Who wants another serving of chicken wings?” “MEEEEEEE”
I stayed with my friends Rachel and Tom (Tom’s Ukulele pictured above), who were packing up to move out of their place head on a cycle through South American to raise money for Oxfam Canada. If you’re so inclined, (get inclined!) donate here, follow their adventure here!
Third Stop: Fernie
Fernie is in the middle of the Canadian rockies, where there is skiing in the winter, hiking in the summer, and bears all the time. My cousin David lives among the bears so I went to see him. Not much musical to report here, but I did end up having the surreal experience of watching Brexit unfold while celebrating Sweedish Midsommer. This involves dancing around a symbolic fallus with flowers in your hair.
- See, I wasn’t lying. Video evidence on my instagram.
Another highlight came from David’s S/o (also my host and newly made pal) Nicky while playing Quiplash (basically cards against humanity, but you decide what to fill the blanks in with).
Prompt: What’s the main advantage of living inside a volcano?
Nicky: You get to hold the precious.
Fourth Stop: Seattle
Initially I was including Seattle as a stop to meet up with a friend. It turned out he wasn’t going to be around but I decided to go anyway, and I’m so glad I did. Apart from a bit sightseeing in the city I headed to The Tuesday night Music Club in Columbia City Theatre. I cannot recommend it enough!
- The universe wants you to play a real piano.
The vibes at this night are amazing. It’s run by Michelle Searle (Zen goddess from The Blood Moon Orchestra) and everyone is so supportive, so engaged and really deeply into music. I’m so grateful for all the great acts I met that night and I hope to see them all again - Danny Denial, Adam (Señata Piñata), Chris and Mary of Released from Quiet, Brandon who played a song about him teaching young kids how to make up songs (someone link me a link to his stuff please), Chris and Karl with some hip-hop, St. John and the Revelations, Evan Captain, Mama D, Sasha Begley,Aaron and Jula from Lindstrom and the Limit, Bryce MacEvoy, Valerie Hummingbird, Cam Paign and the lovely Michelle (I will treasure the sharpie!). I hope to see some of them in Ireland soon. :D
Obviously, this was not enough music for one night. Evan, like any Jazz musician worth his salt recommended I stop into the Owl ‘N Thistle to hear some local Jazz musicians. Mama D gave me a lift to the venue and it was fantastic - THERE WAS A SCAT COMPETITION. A LIVE SCAT COMPETITION. If a city could do a mic drop…!
Last stop: Chicago
Chicago is such a great city, and I have a lot of family there so it was cool to go and catch up with them - some of whom I haven’t seen in 17 years! Also amazing to stay with my cousin Jim and his wife Monta, and see the musicality and creativity that they are encouraging in my younger second cousins. Yes, my family are amazing.
Of course, I needed some form of musical project while I was staying, so I gave my friend John Szymanski (The Whiskey Radio Hour, My My My) a shout and we decided we’d write something. We wrote and recorded a song called Before We Fade, and then after that, because we hadn’t done enough that day, and because Seattle had put ideas about Jazz into my head, we decided to have a go at a standard. But because it was 2am, setting up the camera correctly proved just a little too challenging.
- there may also be some footage of me trying to play an otomatone up on facebook…!
I will be posting the new song as soon as it’s ready. :D
And then Home.
But you know me, I’m not just going to come home and do nothing. Two main things you should know about:
As you’ve probably seen already, I designed and hand painted some new merch (well yes I spray painted it, okay, fine). I’m trying my best to resist wearing them around because I know that’s kinda vain but I really love them. The struggle! Have a look!
- New tote bags up on bandcamp - you can also get them in purple/blue, just purple, just blue, just pink or BLACK.
Sigh. I love making things. But I also love traveling. So I figured I should get out of Ireland for at least one more gig this summer, which leads me to my next point…
MUGSTOCK FESTIVAL IN SCOTLAND, THIS WEEKEND!
I will be playing at MUGSTOCK FESTIVAL in Glasgow, Scotland this weekend on Sunday 31st of July. It’s been numbered amongh the top 10 boutique festivals to head to in the UK by the Sunday Times. Come celebrate the end of the month with me in Charlie’s Theatre. There will be a baby grand piano :D
Even better, I can offer you a discount! Head to the site to get your tickets here and put in the code “REILLY”. There. Don’t say I don’t take care of ya.
I’m flying out tomorrow in fact, so I’d better get packing.
See you all in Scotland!
I’ve been doing some experimenting and I want to share something with you - my first piece of non-CD merchandise!
I’ve always loved making things (painting and drawing, etc) and many of my friends have at some stage gotten a card or a drawing or a cover song as a birthday present. Combined with that, I know that when I go to gigs and I’m moved or inspired by the artist, I often want to buy their CD or if not a CD, a…SOMETHING!…so that I can support their work.
Lots of people out there really don’t want more CDs but are still well up for supporting artists they love, so I thought it was time I made something new.
Here’s what I came up with!
I’m really happy with these. They’re 100% organic, unbleached cotton, and they’re fairtrade, and each one is hand printed (well..spray painted) by me, with a stencil I made based on the artwork for my forthcoming EP. Fun times! They’re up online on my bandcamp page and every single one will really help me to keep making music, and to keep doing my best to get it out there.
Give ‘em a quick look, maybe pin them on your Pinterest for later. :D
Meanwhile, if you’re looking for a non-money related way to check in with me this week, I put Count up on youtube a while back and I’d love if you could give it a spin there and subscribe to my channel. Planning to release a new video for the next song off the EP there over the summer so this way you won’t miss it :D
Thanks so much everyone for your support. There’ll be a post up here about my travels in Canada and the US very soon!
What’s that you say?
Too much extra money burning a hole in your pocket? Got a strong desire to fund the arts in Ireland?
I hear ya. And I have just the thing for you on this lovely Friday afternoon. The Irish Youth Chamber Choir have been invited to sing in Trinity St. Paul’s in Toronto for Bloomsday, but we’re struggling to cover our expenses and we’ve set up a Fund it Campaign.
Ireland right now boasts a really excellent, youthful choral scene and there is a lot of talent here that really deserves wider recognition. This group would really like to get over to Toronto and represent, but most of us are musicians and students and we have no where near the funds to cover our costs for accommodation or food. Can you help us out? We have three days left to reach our target amount of €6800, and every donation counts.
You can watch our fundit video below and if you’re feeling generous, donate here.
In January, I made a New Years Resolution. I was going to make decisions about my music based on what would be FUN, rather than what was pragmatic, wise, or (strictly speaking) affordable. One of the things I came up with was to tour outside of Ireland, because the last time I’d done it was 2007 as a member of Exit Evangeline. It had definitely been way too long.
I started e-mailing friends and looking gigs, and over the course of this I got in touch with an old friend, Decky McKay, aka TVJoy, and we decided to team up to make the tour happen. After a lot of e-mails, phone calls and general hustling, we had 10 dates lined up for a period of just over two weeks, starting April 1st (ha ha ha…no, really).
It was two weeks of madness and music.
We stayed with friends, family, family of friends, and several variations in between, we played lots of smaller sessions in between dates, met tons of new people, shared our music with lots of new folks, generally had a blast, and neither of us ended up killing each other with a fork.
During the tour, as a lot of you know, I put up the first song from my new EP, FRACTURES. I’m so happy with it and I think (if you haven’t given it a listen already) that you’re really going to love it - You should check it out here:
You really should also check out TVJoy’s song, The Candles all Burn out on Youtube while you’re at it. Go on. We’ll wait.
And now, pictures, videos and gifs from the tour (Let’s face it, that’s why we’re here)!
Tullamore: It Begins.
Galway: Wearing sunglasses inside. Late at night. Bona fide Rockstar. Sadly sunglasses not mine. ;( Photo: Decky McKay.
Dublin: Prepping for the EP listening party in O’Donoghue’s! If you want to hear the EP ahead of anyone else, I’m still taking donations over at my site. Anything over a fiver gets you a private link to the New EP. :D Photo: Decky McKay
Dundalk: Got to play a real piano in The Spirit Store!
Newry: Bloody tribute acts trying to steal our gig in Rosie O’Grady’s. Time to call the Lawyers.
Belfast: This was a very busy, very strange day. I sang at funeral in the morning for my frirend’s family, and came back to another friend’s house to get a bit of work done before warming up, getting dressed and going for soundcheck. Met lots of people I haven’t seen in years. It’s funny how some days really make you appreciate everything.
Belfast: TVJoy soundchecking ahead of the Firebobbies EP launch.
Warrenpoint: Home to beautiful mountains, views of the sea, good company, good sessions, and a few hair-brained schemes to make money.
Newcastle: While our hosts, Chet and Kathy, who I’d known for about an hour, were calling around to try source a keyboard for me, I got a little distracted (read: carried away on a nostalgia tsunami). This is a Yamaha PSR-180, the first keyboard I learned to play on when I was about 9. Pro tip: The second purple button in from the left makes an elephant sound. Use this information wisely/liberally.
Edinburgh: Getting into it at the Voodoo Rooms! Photo: Janet Coen
Glasgow: Ahead of our gig, We visit the stunning Glasgow University. Couldn’t pass up the opportunity to sing something. Video: Decky McKay
Secret Location: Messing around in an undisclosed cathedral late at night, recording things. But more of that anon.
Now that I’m home, I’m back to slightly more regular sleeping patterns…
I know I’ve already posted this on Facebook, but I’d like to say thank you again to:
All the folks at Scene Of The Rhyme, John Roe, Mike O'Reilly, Anita O'Reilly, Hannah O'Reilly, Fionn Reilly, Leslie Keye (Arad Studios), Gráinne McCarthy and Kevin Healy, Aisling McCormick, Andrew McCormick, Sarah McDonald, Eamonn & Eirian McKay, Steve Fearnley (Narrow Water Recording Studio), Ali Stoddart, Nicole Mulholland, Conor O'Hare, Mark Stephen Hughes, Tommy McCaul, Chet Yellowley & Kathy Wesolowski, Brian Watson, Joe Carr Hollands, Scrumpy willow and the singing kettle, Janet Coen, Siân Hexagon, Heir of The Cursed, Finn LeMarinel, Sara O'Loughlin, Nikki Sloan, Jonny Redmond, James Dyer, and of course huge props to Decky for sourcing 80% of my keyboards! XD
Next up for me?
In the meantime, I’m going to be sharing Count with as many people as I can, and as always, any likes, shares or plays you can give me would be awesome!
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I’m a going on tour in April with Glasgow based artist TVJOY.
Haven’t gigged in Scotland since 2007…it’s time to go back methinks!
Keep your eyes on the blog here and on the usual social media spots, there may be one or two further announcements on the way! :D
Looking forward to seeing you guys on the road in April!
Edit: Change of date for TVJoy’s Slot at the Ruby Sessions! :D
My mission was to hit the ground running this year with music. What better way to do that then to get into the studio and make some music?
We headed to Arad Studios late last month and got stuck into some lovely new music. I’m pretty excited - I think you’re all going to love it!
Me and Reuben Teskey recording Count
Bassist Kevin Healy…recording everything!
Dennis Cassidy, the groovemaster!
Me and the Lady (aka the piano that completely stole my heart)
Putting down some backing vocals.
At this point, there’s not much left to be done recording wise - a few more backing vocals and then we’re onto mixing, mastering and things like Artwork (yay). I really want to share what we’ve been making with you but I’m going to need some help to get it past the next stage.
I’m hosting a fundraiser on Tuesday 16th of February in MVP. There’ll be baked treats, games, a preview of what we’ve been doing in the studio and a live performance. Anyone who can call in and drop a little something into the hat, that would be amazing. Every little bit will help me! You can join the facebook event here.
If you can’t make it on Tuesday but you want to contribute, you can donate via paypal!
All donations over €5 will mean you receive an early download of the EP. :D
If you’re up for coming to see my play live, I’ll be in Brewery Corner in Kilkenny on Valentine’s night, and MVP for the Monday Echo on Monday 15th.
“Songwriting masterclass would seem to be O’Reilly’s specialty…O’Reilly’s songwriting skills are nothing short of genius.” - Julie Bell, Pure M Magazine
“Occupied by a haunting, stark undercurrent that finds its way into each corner of the E.P., Purge is an impressive record that bestrides alternative-pop and indie-folk in equal parts.” - Stephen White, The Last Mixed Tape
“You’d be left wishing that there was more to enjoy” - Gary White on Totally Irish, 98fm
Photo: Nuair a tagann ocras ort agus tú i mbun craoladh ag Raidió na Lífe. Photo by Aisling McCormick.
“Clearly a seriously talented songwriter and musician” - Ian Martin, Golden Plec
Longlist nomination for Best EP, Best Female Act in Pure M Music Awards
Photo: Applying for grants.
Photo: One last one of Culture Night, borrowed from Near FM’s twitter Account!
Thanks so much to everyone who’s come to a gig, listened to my music, and supported me in any way. It means the world to me.
Hope you’ve all had a wonderful, peaceful Christmas, and that you have fun reflecting on 2015 and ringing in the New Year.
The tendons are still not awesome, but they are healing.
And while I’ve been waiting for them to heal, I have employed several tactics to stop myself from going INSANE.
1) I’ve been planning a new EP!
2) I’ve been singing in lots of different things, because LOOK, NO HANDS OR FOREARM TENDONS NECESSARY.
3) I have been trying to merge my consciousness with several different Netflix shows. No tangible results as yet but I’ll keep you all posted.
Want to see what I’ve been up to? More behind the cut.
Cross by Loah
What, you haven’t listened to ArtSoul-Goddess Loah’s video for her song cross? Never fear. Here is the video (in which I stood in for another Emma, aka. Feather). Watch it immediately.
Her music makes my heart happy.
Well, we’re a choir of ladies, and great lady composers exist, both currently and in the past. Facts. Here are some of the pieces we premiered in our concert in the Freemason’s Hall on November 9th.
Firstly, I’ve been revisiting the music I wrote for the Anubis Gates in the studio. That has been LOTS. OF. FUN. I’m hoping to have it online over the next few weeks - there are some new tracks there as well as some original ones revisited and re-recorded. Excitingly, I reunited with Ruth over in Current Theatrics to do some music for their pre-halloween show in Vegas, Larry and the Divil by Jonathan East. Most of the reuniting was done over skype but you get the idea. Here’s some music for one of the scenes I wrote for.
I also did some settings of W.B. Yeats’ poems for Myth Understood Productions; they celebrated 150 years of Yeats’ work in a show called Fairies and Folklore, a night of storytelling and general loveliness. There may be another run soon…watch this space!
What I’m up to now
- Gearing up to record a new EP in January. Which right now mostly means worrying about money (be cool), organising rehearsals (no seriously, it’s cool), and thinking about a proper PR campaign (Oh my god why can’t you just be cool!) but also means a lot of fun, working with people I adore, and a chance to make something new.
- Working on a new collaboration with the awesome Donal Sweeney (The guy I wrote MAD with). This one so far involves such glorious thematic guidelines as making tea and a monkey.
- My friends in La Gracia are releasing their new single (on which I did some backing vocals!), Don’t You Ever Leave, in aid of a much loved family member of the guitarist who’s recently been diagnosed with cancer. More on her story here, Come support her and hear some wicked music in Bello Bar on the 28th - you can get your tickets here in advance. I’ll be doing keys and some backing vocals, so make sure you don’t miss it :D
Don’t You Ever Leave is now available on Bandcamp! Go go go!
Ah lads did you read all the way to the end? I barely made it here myself.
I love you.
Good times with mates at the Youbloom gig in Sweeney’s last month. Could only play the keys with my left hand which was a bit of a bummer, but it was a fun set all the same. Here you can see Gráinne (of La Gracia) BVing it up, and Reuben on guitar, but I am cunningly blocking Steve on the kit. Just trust that he is fabulous.
Photos courtesy of E17 Photographer, blogged with permission. :D
Currently firming up one or two gigs for September, will hopefully have more to say about that soon!
I’ve had such a lovely time gigging lately.
Here’s a snap from Shaksfest in Charleville Castle.
Shakefest, June 2015, Photo: Stefan Waldeck
I also had a great time in Sweeney’s with the band for the Youbloom festival - even though I was down a bass player and I couldn’t play with my right hand. It was fun! And just for future reference, the conference that they organise is also really worth your time and your cash. It’s oddly encouraging to get stuck into the business stuff with like minded people! There were some lovely photos from the night taken by E17, check them out!
A few days ago I also just finished up a week of singing with The Irish Youth Choir directed by Greg Beardsell. Much to my excitement I was a soloist for Jaakko Mäntyjärvi’s sublime Canticum Calamitatus Martime and Frank Corcoran’s setting of Gabriel Rosenstock’s poem, Caoine (And speaking of Mr. Rosenstock, he has quite a collection of translation of a huge scope of different songs accross classical, popular, jazz and what have you translated into Irish on his blog. Really inspiring stuff!). Consider it implied that you need to listen to both of those pieces right now.
Such an amazing week. It’s always fantastic to work with such a great team - Helen Hassett as the Soprano tutor, Alan leech in tenors, Annie Barry with the Altos and the Bass section led by Eunan McDonald (read more about them here!). Not to mention the tiny but miraculous admin team, Dermot, Katie and Lily. It’s such an education to watch them work. In particular it was great to watch so many young singers blossom this year. One of my highlights of the week was when a bunch of younger members ran up to me just before our gig in Christchurch Cathedral and announced that they’d all gone and bought tuning forks and wasn’t I so proud of them? Yes guys, yes I was! Welcome to the republic of choral nerds, a land where manuka honey and lemons are more precious than gold, and sleep is frowned upon :D
It was also a little different for me this year in that I brought a friend - a stellar musician, dancer and the director of Discovery Gospel Choir, Aisling. She spends so much time enabling other people’s performances and sharing their skills- that’s her passion! - but it was so great to see her just get to perform during the week, and to see her unique, natural style of leadership in action within her section. She spent time making sure she knew everyone’s name, checking in with me and other people, and praising everyone’s work and generally being a light and a friend to everyone. What a hero. She also taught the soprano section a few moves of Queen Bey’s Single Ladies dance.
Special shoutouts have to be reserved for my fellow sop 2 ladies (Audrey, Ciara and Emma…thank you in particular for being so supportive when I was vocally groggy!) and my lovely housemates (Tom, David, Anna Livia, Louise and Rachel!) and OF COURSE to yoga buddy extra-ordinare, Molly (Ciara and Aisling in this category also). FYI: Doing yoga in UL in Limerick at 8am everyday is a good idea. You can hear the birds and the river and properly greet the sun. :)
So incredible that one week could be such a great platform for such a range of different people - can’t forget the fantastic Niall Kinsella who did a gorgeous job conducting the Corcoran and Chilcott’s Steal Away. Just goes to show the old addage is true: The right people are always in the room. All in all it was such a ridiculously affirming few days for me - Greg and the tutoring team gave me so much encouragement and support, as did all my new and old friends! It went far too quickly.
…I saw microphones on the night at Christchurch for the performance so I’ll be keeping an ear out for recordings! I will share if and when they materialise!
In other news, I have a gig this Saturday in Sweeney’s again, where the fantastic Tiger Cooke and the aforementioned Aisling are going to help me out. We’re going to fight Parkinson’s disease by raising some funds! Check out more details here.
Tendon updates: Not yet healed because finding rest is damn near impossible! Holding up music all week was not helpful. I spent today looking up dictation apps to help me combat some of the work I have coming up over the next few weeks. Anyone up for giving free physiotherapy massages, please form an orderly queue! XD
So I know there’s a post about this already floating around but in case anyone hasn’t seen it, there are some seriously graphic and painful rape scenes in OITNB Season 3 Ep.10. I just watched it, and if you’re likely to be triggered by rape scenes or sexual violence in general I suggest you stop watching at 56 minutes in (4 minutes 20 seconds left) or just skip that episode altogether and read a synopsis.
Please look after yourselves!!