So I actually left this house for a change after all these months of depression, helplessness, and no creativity whatsoever so as to travel to Cologne and see Lisa Hannigan perform live at Studio 672. While it was good to leave the house for a while, the place could not have been smaller and more awkwardly crowded. Standing shoulder to shoulder with dozens of strangers sweating like hound dogs in tiny spaces with nowhere to move is usually the kind of situation I try to avoid, but there I stood, and I thought to myself, ’What the hell, let’s get this over with.’ My feet hurt a little, yet all in all it was worth while. A different band than all these years accompanied Lisa, yet the performance was lovely – only the local sound system could have been better. After the concert there actually was an opportunity to meet and talk to Lisa, so I waited until everyone save me had left and thanked Lisa for motivating me to start playing the guitar again, which I had quit altogether for a couple of years since the music kept reminding me of someone of whom I no longer wished to think. This little conversation between two musicians revealed that this down-to-earth woman actually has much more interesting and intelligent things to say than in any given interview with her. The latter have always made her look a little stupid and empty-headed, although that may be my impression alone. I suppose it depends upon your specific statements and questions. Fret not, dear readers, though, I am not going to waste everyone’s time by reproducing the entire conversation here – suffice it to say it was a private conversation about our personal relationships to music in general and songwriting in particular.
Exploring the music produced by the UCD Choral Scholars under Desmond Early brought me to exploring the music played by Zoë Conway and Drew McIntyre. Similarly, exploring the music played by the latter made me discover Lisa Hannigan’s music. Lisa is an Irish singer-songwriter and has a very light and free demeanour, while at the same time her music is somewhat unconventional and she performs it passionately, without any artificial flavour. I wish to share this experience with you today with a small selection of videos:
As I admitted elsewhere, traditional Irish music calls to me, as though it touched the very essence of my being. This traditional tune, Bríd Óg Ní Mháille, is, however, not only heart-wrenching if you know what the lyrics mean and connect them to the music, it may as well completely destroy you. It most certainly did destroy me.
There is also another modern version of this by the group The Corrs, but I prefer this version. To be sure, this is a matter of personal preference. Since I am not (yet) fluent in Gaeilge, I am simply going to provide a link to the lyrics here. I do not claim any rights or correctness thereof, both as to the original lyrics in Gaeilge and the English translation.
Now I shall leave you to the incredible beauty and sadness of this song.