I was never a musical child. As the saying goes, I couldn’t even carry a tune in a bucket. Once, in my twenties, I bought a tin whistle and a book of folk songs with music, and I tried to pick out tunes in that.
Music theory was a locked book. I did not have the key. I did not even have a clue what a key was.
Continue reading “Playing by Ear”
A new album from the Boss is always an event, but this is something a bit special. Western Stars sees him channelling Glen Campbell and Burt Bacharach among others in a widescreen homage to Westerns. It’s Bruce taking a bold new direction down well-travelled roads. Rumours that Bruce has been through writer’s block give writers everywhere a boost when the results are an album of easy-listening gold. Continue reading “Western Stars by Bruce Springsteen”
The cover version was a way of honouring the original artist and many were successful, others best forgotten. But a few cover versions exceeded their brief and became synonymous with the covering artist, leaving the original songwriter and performer overlooked and forgotten. Continue reading “Once More With Feeling”
Now and then a band appears which seems to defy any definition by genre. On Friday 26th May I was lucky enough to catch the second set of one such band, the Belfast five woman outfit Wookalily in the Gallery Bar of the Ardhowen Theatre. (For those curious about their name, the urban dictionary refers to “wooka” as meaning “very sexy woman”, and “Lily” coincidentally was the name of several band members’ grannies!) Continue reading “Wookalily”
Are Artists Augurs? asks the exhibition which opened in the Higher Bridges Gallery on the 7th of April and runs to the 29th. Cirque des Oiseux is French for Circus of Birds or rather the circling of birds in flight, something we notice particularly at this time of year as new migrants begin to arrive. Continue reading “Cirque des Oiseux: Artists & Augurs”
There are so many things in this world that divide us as human beings, that seem to create conflict and strife, but if there is one thing that can be pointed to, as bringing brings people together in a positive way, it is music. Continue reading “The Magic of Music”
2016 may have been a tough year for music, but that certainly wasn’t the case for emerging Fermanagh band Anto & the Echoes. After only a few short months of forming and honing their sound, they took on their debut gig in July. Punters were turned away from Charlie’s bar as the crowd reached maximum capacity early in the night. A series of well-received gigs around Northern Ireland followed, and the band returned to Charlie’s to close the year with another sell-out show.
Continue reading “A Colourful Debut”
Valerie Whitworth writes:
Together One Voice are starting the New Year with a challenge to free your natural voice and increase your singing skills!
This term we will be focusing on releasing the voice, vocal development, singing skills, confidence building with some small group work on pitch, and harmony work. Many people come to my classes with stories of how they were told not to sing by a parent or teacher, or not allowed to join the choir.
The truth is – if you can speak you can sing.
The Vanbrugh Quartet (Gregory Ellis, Keith Pascoe, violins; Simon Aspell, viola; Christopher Marwood, cello) has enjoyed a successful international career throughout Europe, the Americas and the Far East. Based in Cork since 1986, it has brought string quartet music to audiences throughout Ireland and has given more than one thousand concerts in venues ranging from small country schools to the major city halls.
Continue reading “The Vanburgh Quartet”
A 2,000 year old Sequoia Tree falls over in the forest and dies. No one heard it fall. It was a famous tree – they even gave it a name, the Pioneer Cabin Tree and carved a tunnel through its great trunk. Yet now it lies in state on the floor of the forest. Continue reading “When a Tree Falls in the Forest”