Over the last few months I've been working on some new projects which, in collaboration with a variety of vocalists, explore spoken word performances alongside minimalist and expansive music.
One was debuted live last Friday night (see below), and the first piece of another is now available to hear online. More to come soon:
Martin A. Egan: A Man In Full
Many thanks to all the audience members and performers who travelled from near and far to attend the Martin A. Egan tribute concert and launch of his album A Man In Full on Friday. An emotionally deep and cathartic event that felt like it needed to be done. By the end of the night there was no doubt that this was a celebration of love and life.
Particular thanks to my co-organisers John Kearns (who did an especially remarkable job as MC of the evening), Carol Keogh, and Ruairi Conneely.
And to my musical collaborators on the night: Debra Wallace (with her outstanding and uplifting version of Martin's 'I Lived On An Island Once'),
Ruairi Conneely (the unearthly and uncanny collaboration of ours debuted on the night will be performed live again and recorded in the near future),
...And a pleasure to once again play alongside Dara 'Dip' Higgins (bassist best known from the Jimmy Cake who performed on A Man In Full), Bryan O'Connell (who was involved in the earliest stages of my work with Martin and now composer for award-winning dance & theater productions such as those of Junk Ensemble), and Kevin Whyte (stalwart sound engineer who worked throughout on the album and with Martin live).
And thank you to Loreana Rushe for her beautiful poster design, to The Thin Air for all their support, to sound engineer on the night Sean Corcoran who delivered an immaculate presentation of the nineteen (!) acts (whose instrumentation ranged from uilleann pipes and harps through to electronics and violins played through masses of effect pedals), and to all of Martin's family... you all made this such a wonderful and moving event.
When I first started working with Martin back in 2009, this was the first song we did. Pure folk horror, a Michael Hartnett poem ended up as Lovecraftian Sean Nós, pitch-black, haunted and menacing:
And here's the opening song - and my favourite track - from A Man In Full, written by Martin and myself, recorded by - and with electric guitar and drums from - Tommy O Sullivan of Estel, and mixed by Kevin Whyte:
The final piece of my performance at The Cabinet of the Solar Plexus exhibition last September, which ended my set in the all seated Georgian venue of 12 Henrietta Street in total darkness, is now available to be heard online.
Endless gratitude to Jessica for her wonderful guest vocal, and to Dolorosa De La Cruz for making it all possible.
"Venus am I, the love and light of earth,
The wealth of kisses, the delight of tears,
The barren pleasure never come to birth,
The endless, infinite desire of years.
I am the shrine at which thy long desire
Devoured thee with intolerable fire.
I was song, music, passion, death, upon thy lyre -
A Man In Full
Two songs from the final - and though completed, until now unreleased - album by Martin A. Egan (28 January 1952 - 24 November 2015 RIP), A Man In Full, are also now available to hear online. The album will be launched with a tribute concert on the third of March, more information here. The Gardener And The Grower features orchestral electronics from myself and Tommy O Sullivan of Estel on electric guitar and drums.
"Take me out beyond myself,
to where the masks all fade to dust,
take my spirit further still,
beyond this world of gold and rust."
James Bond is Invincible (as usual) features myself on electronics, Dara 'Dip' Higgins of the Jimmy Cake on bass and Paul 'Binzer' Brennan of The Frames on drums.
I speak about ten favourite albums for Adverse Effect magazine, including Crass, Aaliyah, traditional West African drumming, Duke Ellington, Indian classical music, Comus’ First Utterance, Robert Ashley, Ramleh’s ‘90s rock incarnation, and Coil's How To Destroy Angels.