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Legend gets modern twist in high-energy ‘Trickster’

Judy Murphy

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Richard Hickey of That's Life rehearsing for Trickster.

Arts Week with Judy Murphy

It’s not a musical, it’s not a concert, it’s not a drama.‘Trickster” , a new show combining elements of all of these art forms as well as lots of special effects, will premiere at the City’s Black Box Theatre this Friday and Saturday.

Trickster is the work of Galway company That’s Life and UK based Mind the Gap, and it follows Odysseus, the hero of Greek mythology, on his long journey back home after the Battle of Troy.

That’s Life is a group people with intellectual disabilities who are involved in creating art as part of a programme run by the Brothers of Charity here in Galway.

Mind the Gap, meanwhile, is England’s largest learning disability theatre company, creating work for UK and international audiences. Its members include Jez Colborne, an actor and composer with a condition known as Williams Syndrome. This genetic condition causes cardiovascular disease, developmental delays, and learning disabilities.  These occur side by side with striking verbal abilities, highly social personalities and an affinity for music. And that is true of Jez, who could sing before he could talk and who has an absolute passion for all kinds of music.

Last autumn Mind the Gap applied for money from a new initiative, Ignite, which is funded by the Arts Councils, Arts and Disability Ireland, and various local authorities, including those in Galway. Ignite was set up to assist people with disabilities make new work, explains Claude Madec, one of That’s Life’s leaders.

The group’s application was successful, with one condition being that That’s Life would have to build relationships with potential partners, explains Claude. He had heard of Mind the Gap and was especially interested in Jez Colborne’s work. Claude made contact with Jez and, having got to know each other via Skype, they decided to pool their companies’ talent for a co-production here in Galway.

That is Trickster, which was inspired by Jez’s fascination with making music, using sirens, foghorns, cranes and all things industrial.

Then the pair needed a venue, so Claude approached Fergal McGrath of the Town Hall, who was “100 per cent behind us and became part of the partnership”.

That’s Life is a tiny company compared to Bradford based Mind the Gap, so initially the Galway artists “were a bit shy”. But with Fergal McGrath’s reassurance, they realised that they had their own skills and talent to bring to the table, skills which Mind the Gap were anxious to avail of.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

 

Connacht Tribune

International collaboration has Galway duo on the right track

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Bursting Wonderland…debut album.

Groove Tube with Cian O’Connell

Bursting Wonderland is as expansive and ambitious a project as its name would imply; a collaborative project between Mimmo Ripa and Ania Chmielewska, the work tackles themes of art, politics and culture on their debut album David & Goliath.

The duo, based in Galway, hold kindred outlooks on many aspects of songwriting and creativity. Perhaps crucially, their views on work ethic and application are of a very similar nature.

On February 17, the duo is set to release Rebels – the first single from their aforementioned LP. Their sound takes inspiration from classic grunge and rock bands and leaves space for melodic, sweeping vocals.

Having worked with a long list of musicians from an early age, Mimmo was somewhat hesitant of joining Ania’s act.

“I was reluctant to accept Ania’s proposal to make music together because I was very reluctant to embark on any other music projects,” Mimmo admits.

“My solo project Aboutmeemo had and still has its own portion of effort and responsibility with the obstacles that occur in any music project. I’ve been in many bands and collaborated with many artists over the years and I found it draining for different reasons – mainly the lack of commitment in band rehearsals and the lack of planning and direction.

“Too many people approach music promising a level of commitment and effort that unfortunately they will never be able to respect. I’m always careful to only collaborate with other musicians if I see a spark in their eyes. Otherwise, it can end up being a waste of time.”

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Music to raise spirits as Proud plays Bach classic

Judy Murphy

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Malcolm Proud will be performing Bach's Goldberg Variations on a two-manual harpsichord.

Arts Week with Judy Murphy

As a youngster growing up in Dublin, Malcolm Proud harboured vague dreams of one day becoming a train driver or maybe a pilot. But those dreams were never serious and, in the end, music won out – always a far more likely possibility. Malcolm’s mother, Yvonne, played and taught piano and one of his earliest memories is of her playing Bach.

He began learning piano and later went on to study the organ as a choirboy in St Bartholomew’s Church in Clyde Road, Ballsbridge.

Malcolm entered Trinity College in 1969, graduating with a degree in music. It was in Trinity that he first came into contact with the harpsichord, a stringed instrument that looks like a piano – it was one of the most important instruments in European music between the 16th century and mid-18th century.

After graduating from Trinity, Malcolm studied harpsichord at the Royal Irish Academy and won a Danish government scholarship to the Conservatory of Music in Copenhagen. Some years later, he attended Amsterdam’s Sweelinck Conservatoire, where he studied under the renowned harpsichordist and organist Gustaf Leonhardt. He won first prize at the Edinburgh International Harpsichord Competition in 1982, having been a finalist in the Bruges International Harpsichord Competition in 1980.

Since then, Malcolm has carved out a national and international career playing harpsichord and organ, with many recordings to his name. He also taught fulltime on the Degree course in Music at the Waterford Institute of Technology until his retirement. And he was organist and choirmaster at St Canice’s Cathedral in Kilkenny until he bowed out last year. Inistioge in Kilkenny is his home, where he and his wife Susan, reared their three, now grown-up daughters.

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.

 

 

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Charting the changes in how we use language

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Not many people these days would be able to point out a ‘collya’ in the Claddagh. PHOTO: JOE O'SHAUGHNESSY.

Galway Heritage with Peadar O’Dowd

Nearly three years ago, one of my columns appeared under the heading, ‘Words Are a Crucial Part of Our Heritage’.  The passing of time has only served to highlight the importance of this.  Not surprisingly, as 2020 closed to the disconcerting sound of fireworks going off across Galway City, the lack of clarity around words only added to the hardship and confusion already suffered by the population during the unforgettable first year of Covid, and all it entailed.  Some of the confusion came from issues around identifying the pandemic itself in its early stages, as well as naming it.

From its appearance at the start of the year, when it was classed as another virus to add to a long list that predated it, we seemed to have settled, initially at least, on calling it the Coronavirus, a title still it seems, much used in the USA.  We were told from ‘on high’ in that country that it would be over perhaps by Easter!  We in Ireland got to know the pandemic as Covid-19 – but even now, with new variations of the virus coming onstream, we may be off on the word game yet again.

More confusing were new words used in explaining its spread, such as ‘asymptomatic’, a mouthful, if ever there was one.  Then, there was the initial confusion about the usage of the words ‘positive’ and ‘negative’, as given to describe the results of testing for Covid-19.   Normally, the former is the good thing and the latter the bad outcome, but not here.  Think of it!

As well, a whole plethora of unfamiliar words came into general use, such as ‘pandemic’ itself, (often pronounced ‘pendemic’ in the States), as well as ‘mitigation’, just to mention two.   Here in Ireland, where we have the ‘gift of the gab’, we were soon indulging in such delights as ‘staycations’, as well as ‘wet pubs’, and we even brought back ‘shebeens’ yet again into general conversation.

For more, read this week’s Galway City 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.

 

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