Donal released a new Art of Music film, and presentED a live version of the proccess as part of Phase One Festival in Leitrim.
The Art of Music at Phase One featured painting by Guillermo Carrion, photography, super 8 film and video from Donal Dineen, Hector Castells & Myles O Reilly mixed live by Lionel Palun to performances from WIFE, Sunken Foal and New Jackson. All the material used was filmed on-site and everything projected over the course of the weekend was exhibited at The Dock in Carrick-On-Shannon the week after the event.
“The Art of Music was born out of discussions about how deep the influence of music runs through all other art forms including painting. If truth be told it’s everywhere and in all things right? I think so. Trace most works of art backwords and there’s music in there somewhere and very often it’s at the root of the inspiration if not the icing on the cake perhaps or maybe even the golden thread that holds it all together. It certainly tends to be around a lot at the genesis of ideas where the fires first get started. Sometimes it’s the spark itself. Once lit it can fan the flames too in the most mysterious and magical of ways. What would we do without it? And where would we be? Imagine there’s no Imagine, sort of thing. Brrrrrrrr.
So I like to take pictures myself and more often than not the impetus to pick up the camera will come from hearing a piece of music or a song so inspirational you just have to go do something about it. It sort of leaves you with no choice in that regard by virtue of being too darn good. Of course that doesn’t happen every day and sometimes it doesn’t go anywhere in particular but it’s always a lead worth following when the opportunity knocks. Music has the power to move stuff around you know. There’s nothing quite like it to budge all sorts of immovable objects, man and mountain included. It sets thoughts and feelings in motion like no other stimulus that we as humans can conjure. It’s the enemy of stasis and still life. It sets things in motion and generates energy, heat and light. Sun Ra said it even has the power to wash clothes and have you seen his threads? Serious, dazzling. A kind of bluer black & white is the shade I believe.
My own approach to image gathering is fairly haphazard and ad hoc up until that point at which a sound grabs hold so tightly there’s no letting go or getting away from it.
Stuff starts to happen when those triggers go off. It’s a spur into action and a new road unfurls out of nowhere. The first step involves taking the camera & going somewhere, anywhere, with the sound as your guide. Down through the years this process has led me on all sorts of fantastic adventures with ultimate destinations both beautiful and blind. But never you mind the cul-de-sacs and dead ends because when it works, it’s like a dream you can record and revisit ad infinitum.
Just like Joanna said, ‘there are mornings when the sky looks like a road’ and that’s when you have to just put the boot down and drive. One minute you’re stuck somewhere and the next you’re liberated by the sound and back in gear and away again. I would consider it the ultimate freedom that feeling of conjuring some sort of picture show to go with the music playing over & over in your head that’s spinning you round & round and right out into the bargain. Like a record, baby. Surrendering to that pull is what the creative act is all about for me. Somehow it feels different moving through the world when you’re tracing that line and following whatever feeling it evokes. At that point when the road unfurls and there’s a flow to go with it’s best let go of the wheel. The journey becomes its own reward from then on so letting go is part of the fun. The music seems to free up time and space to create openings through which breakthroughs occur in various yet-to-be-made-up ways and listening to it and falling in love with it and wanting to take it somewhere is the opposite of going nowhere. So here goes…
“Perry Blake is a musical maverick who is keeping pop safe for thinking people” (Hot Press).
Masterclass with Perry Blake as part of the Phase one Phase One: Electronic Music and Arts Festival
Sunday 5th April 4 – 5pm at the Dock Arts Centre, Carrick on Shannon
When Sligo-born Perry Blake released his first, eponymously-titled, album with Polydor in 1998 there was a buzz of expectation in industry circles. Here was a rare package: an articulate songwriter with an exceptional melodic sense who understood, instinctively, the art of constructing a pop song. Citing influences as various as European cabaret, west coast funk, and 60’s & 70’s film scores (especially Bacharach and Barry), Blake compiled a collection of songs that uplifted with their melodic hooks as much as they saddened with their glimpses into the damaged or disappointed lives of his characters.
The reaction to his debut album was ecstatic. A number of music magazines tipped Perry Blake as the “next big thing”. Jo Wiley, on BBC Radio 1, made his first single, “The Hunchback Of San Francisco” her single of the week. Word was beginning to get around. Meanwhile, Universal swallowed polygram, and anything that wasn’t Britney was booted out. The musical antennae of the French however had been picking up something distinct and original from across the water. (The album went Top 40 in France), and already Blake was becoming a cult figure there. Not surprising, then, that he was soon signed by hip French label, naïve, for his second album.
“Still Life” was released in December 1999. It was a darker album than the debut; perhaps a purer expression of the melancholic soul of Blake’s songwriting. It was propelled by some glorious ensemble playing, and the growing assurance evident in Blake’s singing. There was an altogether more organic feel to the album, further bolstering his reputation among his fans, especially in France, but also extending this reputation to other European countries, such as Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Italy and Greece. However, he remained virtually known in Britain and Ireland.
After touring the songs in Europe, to increasingly enthusiastic audiences and to massive critical acclaim, Blake went back into the studio having been invited to write the soundtrack for a French film – “Presque Rien”. Three new songs were recorded and combined with “Wise Man’s Blues” and “This Time It’s Goodbye” from “Still Life”, were released as an EP soundtrack for “Presque Rien” in may 2000.
More live dates followed in Europe, to growing audiences. One of these, at the Cirque Royal in Brussels for Belgian cultural week, became a live album released in September 2001. “Broken Statues” saw the songs from the earlier albums deconstructed and re-invented with the Ensemble Musiques Nouvelles. It also saw the inclusion of Blake’s personal take on the Diana Ross “I’m Still Waiting”. The album’s austere arrangements and emotional directness again drew glowing reviews from the European music press with Holland & much of Scandinavia now joining in singing his praises.
In April 2002 Reekus released Perry’s studio album “California”. Recorded with a live band over a 12 day period in Belgium and co produced by Italian composer Marco Sabiu, the album draws comparisons with classic old Motown, using lush strings, brass and choral arrangements. It has always been difficult to find a box to put Blake’s music in, but with “California” he has made a record that is instantly recognisable as Perry Blake. A single from that album, Ordinary Day, was a hit on Irish radio. His last album on Reekus, Canyon Songs, was somewhat of a departure in style, with a distinctive country feel.
Keith Marshall is a Dj/producer from sligo, currently residing in the midlands where he regularly hosts parties featuring some of Irelands finest bands & Dj’s, previous guests have included The Disconauts, Keep Schtum, Get down Edits, Le Galaxie and Andy Yamwho?.He produces under the moniker Hi5 Orchestra and has had releases on Thats What We Do recordings & Midnight Riot Records. He has an e.p. due for release later this year. Expect to hear Disco & House party jams
Jape began in 2003 as a solo project of Dublin musician Richard Egan, blending meticulously crafted lyrics with upbeat electronic rhythms. Using an innovative mix of instruments, hardware samplers and sequencers, Jape creates a sound that encompasses many different styles and spans genres, a sort of gothic pop. They won the prestigious Choice Music Prize in 2008 and we look forward to hearing a DJ set from them at Phase One, celebrating their new record “The Chemical Sea” which has gone straight into the Number 8 spot in the Irish album charts and number 1 in the Irish Indie charts.
The stage will be a 2 day exhibition of live art, visual art and underground electronic music in a intimate and visually stimulating environment.
Live art will be produced by Kevin Mallon and visual art will be by Sannie Cuddihy.
Room theme and decoration will be designed by Polka Swan.
All of the amazing art pieces will be for sale if anything catches your eye!
Going into the spectrum of sound we have a top lineup of DJ / Producers to provide the soundtrack for the two days and take you through this unique journey.
Colman Buckley (Local Talk, MIL, Dog Days)
Mix & Fairbanks
Lúcás (AGF Productions)
Ian Hart (Basement Project)
Jelly Jessop (Basement Project)
Paul Daly (Burning Man Decompression)
The stage will be powered by Funktion 1 provided by One World Sounds.
Come enter a grand and rich room of beautiful sound and colours and dance with us over the Easter weekend!
Grounds For Invasion is a collaboration between Will O’Connor (music/production) and Tracy Friel (lyrics, vocals). They’ve had a strong start to 2015, being listed as a band to watch by both Hot Press magazine and The Irish Times. Their debut album Dying Stars was released on February 5th, 2015
A sonically expansive album, Dying Stars is a mesh of electro-pop, trip-hop, disco, industrial- and post-rock. Lyrically, it deals with themes of love, loss, and our relationship with the vast universe each of us is a small part of.
Praise for Dying Stars:
“Dying Stars is an excellent debut record, one that etches itself into your mind and keeps you hovering over the repeat button: 2015’s sure to be a big year for [Grounds For Invasion].” – Hot Press
“You’ve got to hear this” – The Irish Times
Haüer is a Dublin-based one man set-up cursed with a weakness for nostalgic 80’s music production and synth-based cinematic film scores. His debut EP ‘The Infinitesimal’ was released in 2013 by American label ‘Future City Records’ and desribed by Goldenplec as the “the perfect soundtrack to a sci-fi daydream”.
His single release ‘Helicop’ was also included in The Guardian’s monthly ‘Six must-listen new tracks from around the world’.
Since then Haüer has played some high profile gigs supporting the likes of Com Truise, Trust and Adeyhawke and played festivals such as Castlepalooza and Hard Working Class Heroes.
His second EP ‘Esperbyte’ was given an exclusive release on Nialler9 in 2014 and in the words of Barry Gruff, ‘not only unequivocally excels in inducing a severe case of nostalgia but it feels rather forward thinking and futuristic too. All in all, a masterfully pieced together release from start to finish’.
Ghosts are a two piece avant-garde pop outfit encompassing elements of various musical styles, most notably garage and house. Their unique blend of dark, melancholic songwriting with bass heavy, dancefloor productions identifies them as one of the leading lights in the new wave of Irish electronica.
Made up of Dublin based, Tipperary natives Kevin Gleeson and Padraig Ryan, Ghosts have been in operation since the beginning of 2012, but have already made themselves known both internationally and at home, To date they have independently released three EPs and have just released there first EP with Belfast based electronic label, Champion Sound Music. The 12″ goes under the name WLVS and has already caught the ears a numerous BBC Radio 1 DJ’s as well as many this side of the Irish Sea. Their unique live shows include the use of laptops, controllers, synthesizers, guitars, effects pedals and live vocals. They are definitely ones to watch.
”The floor-shaking electronica of Dublin-based Cashel lads Paudie Bob and Kevin Gleeson, aka Ghosts, caught our ears last summer with spooky EP Judge. This time we’re swooning over an ambient garage number called ‘WLVS’, which hooked us not only for its subtle resemblance to Shola Ama-era Artful Dodger (to confirm, this is a very good thing) – but an animated music video featuring a pack of real wolves” -Celina Murphy, Hotpress Magazine (April 2013)
It’s all about progression. Elaine Mai, from her early start as a solo artist, crafting haunting melodies layered over harmonies, beats and acoustic guitar, has changed. Evolved, you might say. Since the release of her debut EP, ‘Dots’, in 2012, there has been a steady, perceptible shift in the style of her live shows. While there is still the same beautiful songs, there is a new focus on the beats and the dancefloor, moving away from the acoustic to the electronic, yet maintaining that same beautiful attention to the melody that has made her stand out as a performer. Her new EP ‘Known/Unknown’ is available now for free download on her Soundcloud page.
Elaine has also been developing her skills as a remixer; her latest work, a skilled reworking of Somebody Else by Cat Dowling, is a beautiful take on the track, and sits comfortably beside her stunning reworking of Chameleon Life by Daithi, which came third in Nialler9’s Reader’s polls remixes of the year.
Exciting times ahead.