I write songs but I also like making songs out of other people’s stories, literally. I collect their stories, the sounds of wherever it is the story is being told and sometimes a picture or two. I have collected hundreds of hours of stories and here’s a selection of things I have made with these stories.
First up is a live performance with visuals that I prepared for a show in London, October 2011. The woman you hear reminiscing (after 1 minute or so) about all the candles across the mountains on Christmas Eve? Well, I was working in an art retreat in the south of Ireland and we had just restored an old ruin of a cottage as part of the project when who should turn up after 50 odd years in England but a lady who was born there. I set up a mic in the middle of the room and captured about 4 hours of her and her brother discussing what it was like to grow up there…one of my favourite ever recordings bar none. The first section features the sublime visual talents of Irish artist Kate McKeon, the second section, my own concoction of old film and grainy digital footage I found on my old camera. All instruments played and controlled by me and the computer
It all started with this piece from 2005 I think, cut and spliced from many hours’ interview with my neighbours
(if player not working, click link below)
….which led to this, also in 2005, a piece for tape, cello, viola and violin featuring my friend’s grandfather repeating over and over again ‘Can you remember a Winter’s day long, long ago, I can remember it’. Unfortunately I don’t have a recording of it being performed so this is just an excerpt with crappy computer strings but hopefully you get the jist
click link below…and wait a few seconds…