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.
If you like choral music, and traditional Irish music specifically, you should definitely listen to anything the UCD Choral Scholars produce under Desmond Earley.
I discovered their works just a few weeks ago and have been listening to them ever since almost every day. Just to give a few examples, the mezzo-soprano solo (Marie Woulfe) in this piece goes right through me (in a positive manner, that is to say):
And seldom, if ever, you get to hear such a vibrant, clear tenor as this one (Glenn Murphy) with non-professional singers:
Belonging to the latest but, it is to be hoped, not the last productions, this piece’s lyrics are written in one of the most beautiful languages in the world, Gaeilge (Irish Gaelic):