Celebrating Magic of the Mundane with Foy Vance
Bangor born singer Foy Vance has made one of the most stirring albums of 2013 – it’s as simple as that. And he will be showcasing songs from Joy of Nothing when he plays Róisín Dubh on Friday, December 6.
‘The scenery’s changing, and it warms my soul,’ Foy sings on Closed Hand, Full of Friends, the album’s sublime opening track. It recalls the recent changes to his own landscape.
“I’d been living in London for seven years and kind of had enough of it,” he says. “So I moved up to the Highlands of Scotland and when I was on the train on way up to see the house that I’d rented, I wrote that song. Watching the change of scenery, I thought this is exactly what I need.”
The song swells and soars, it crashes and stops. When it came time to record it, was that hard to get right?
“We got a great studio [in Donegal] run by Tommy McLoughlin from the Villagers,” Foy says. “A beautiful room, with a beautiful view out the window and we just got really good gear, good musicians and that was it. We actually recorded that version in one take, it wasn’t like we sat around thinking about it lots.”
Calling an album Joy of Nothing could catch people off guard, but make no mistake – this is a record of substance. What was the thinking behind the title track?
“Well, there’s many ways to skin that cat!” Foy says. “I guess it’s as much the joy of the mundane, the joy of the everyday. People say ‘do you like touring?’. And yeah, I do like touring, playing live and all that, but I also like making sandwiches and doing school runs, making cups of tea and lighting fires.”
Marian Choral Society to bring Evita to life in Tuam
After more than four decades of performing on stage, the Tuam-based Marian Choral Society are embarking on their latest challenge, with plans to stage Evita in the autumn.
While they have announced details of the new production, they have yet to ringfence a cast for the epic. Auditions will take place over the coming weeks.
Chairperson Stuart Barrows told The Tribune that it was an exciting challenge for the group and expressed his delight that so many new members had joined the society.
The Marian Choral Society welcome back Ronan Lardner as Director for Evita, as well as Shane Farrell as Musical Director. And Jay Molyneux is on board for the first time as Choreographer for this production.
The musical will run from Tuesday, October 31, to Saturday, November 4, and will be staged in St Jarlath’s College Hall, Tuam.
The Marian Choral Society had never missed an annual production since their formation back in 1977 – until Covid struck. The pandemic meant that they had to abandon their plans for a couple of years – similar to other artistic groups.
Covid brought to an end a proud record of 43 consecutive productions, during which time they never missed a year. In fact, in 2013, they embarked on two shows to mark Tuam’s 400 celebrations.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App
Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.
Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.
Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite HERE.
Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.
‘Bring a cushion’ and enjoy Bach’s masterpiece at Galway Cathedral
Galway Cathedral is the venue this Saturday evening, March 25, for a performance of Bach’s St Matthew’s Passion from the Irish Baroque Orchestra (IBO). It will start at 7.30pm.
Conductor Peter Whelan will direct the IBO and the vocal ensemble Sestina Music, with the solo parts being performed by members of the choir and the role of the Evangelist taken on by tenor James Way. This concert of sacred music is being presented by Music for Galway as part of its Bach Season.
The renowned baroque composer Johann Sebastian Bach wrote hundreds of sacred pieces while he was director of church music at the Thomaskirche in Leipzig from 1723 until his death in 1750. The St Matthew Passion, which was first performed there on April 11, 1727, is his most elaborate work, with big parts for four soloists.
Its story was drawn mostly from St Matthew’s Gospel but the pieces that Bach put to music were written by various contemporary poets.
This epic work was performed on several occasions during the composer’s lifetime but was then forgotten for nearly 80 years, until Felix Mendelssohn discovered it in the 1820s and performed an abbreviated version in Berlin in 1829.
Mendelssohn would later perform it in Leipzig, with much of the original score restored and it’s now an integral part of the sacred canon. For this Saturday, the advice from Music for Galway is to “bring a cushion and experience this exceptional work performed by outstanding cast”.
Tickets are available from Music for Galway’s website www.musicforgalway.ie or by phone on 091 705962 and cost €30/€27 and €12 for full-time students of all ages. There’s a concession rate of €25 for Music for Galway Friends. To learn more about becoming Friend, visit the website or phone the office.
Sunshine feeling as Raines launch debut album ‘Reverie’
Reverie, the debut album from Galway folk-Americana group the Raines is being officially launched this Friday, March 24 following a musical celebration Galway City on Tuesday evening to mark its release.
The Raines, comprising Ruth Dillon, Yvonne Tiernan and Juliana Erkkonen, have been making waves on the music scene since 2019 and their last five singles have reached Number One in the iTunes charts.
Although they only joined forces four years ago – just before Covid – all three have a long track record in the business.
Ruth (vocals, guitar, ukulele) toured and recorded with singer Dolores Keane, is a former member of the roots group, The Molly Hicks, and has released three solo albums. Yvonne (vocals/ukulele/percussion) has toured internationally with numerous bands, most notably as lead singer with The Chieftains while Juliana (fiddle and vocals) has long been at the forefront of Ireland’s Americana music scene and has released eight albums with a diverse range of acts.
Reverie, with its terrific songs and beautiful harmonies, demonstrates the deep connection between the three women and showcases their unique blend of music.
As Ruth explained: “We worked hard to bring an album that is full of connection, [that is] textured and melodic but that would also honour our own individual voices and styles.”
Guest musicians on Reverie include Cesar Benzoni (mandolin), Sam Wright (bass and bodhrán), John O’Dwyer (bass), Wil Merrigan (bass), Cormac Dunne (drums), Tom Portman (slide guitar and dobro), Justin McCarthy (slide guitar) and Liam Bradley (drums).
The album was recorded by Ivan O’Shea, with additional recording by Cesar Benzoni, Liam King and Justin McCarthy. Except that is for Juliana’s playing and singing, which she recorded in her own studio.
“It has been a such a rewarding experience, as I composed and recorded all my violin/strings and vocals in my own studio which I have been developing over the last few years,” she said. “I am incredibly proud of how it turned out”.
Award-winning producer Brian Masterson, who has worked with The Chieftains, Van Morrison, Willie Nelson and The Bothy Band, among others, mixed and mastered the album.
For Yvonne, who has worked in the music industry since she was 17, Reverie has been “a lifetime in the making.
“It a joy to be part of a band that works so well together and to have created this collection of music we love is enough”, she said.
Ruth agreed, saying that, for her, what was most special about Reverie, “is the beautiful musical union and friendship built between myself, Yvonne and Juliana”.
The album is available on https://theraines.bandcamp.com from this Friday, March 24, and from selected retailers nationwide.
The Raines will be playing in Monroe’s in Galway City on June 17 for the Galway Folk Festival. On July 29, they will be in Áras Éanna, Inis Oírr, and on September 21, they will be playing at Clifden Arts Festival.
More information and tickets fortheir concerts is available at theraines.ie.