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A Different View

Merit in slowing down to take whole lot in

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The inaugural MCnG, (Maoin Cheoil na Gaillimhe) the Galway Music Resource, a fully dedicated school of music in the heart of Galway city.) Student of the Year competition was launched Sunday 10th May in St Mary's College. A distinguished examining panel had shortlisted 11 finalists from a total of 90 that presented for assessment. All 11 students then performed their program in the presence of Mayor Cllr Donal Lyons. Overall prize of Student of the year went to Oisin Kerans on Violin. Students from the colourstrings kindergarten graduation class were also present to receive their medals from the Mayor. Photo:Andrew Downes

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

Perhaps the future of television is watching paint dry or kettles boil, after all – given the triumph of the BBC’s recent experience with slow TV which in turn mirrored the success of similar experiments in Scandinavia.

Highlight, if that’s not too dramatic a term, of the BBC Four Goes Slow series was a two-hour show featuring nothing more than barge making its way slowly down a becalmed canal – with no editing, music or commentary – which attracted more than half a million viewers.

All Aboard! The Canal Trip was filmed with one camera strapped to the front of the barge gently floating down the Kennet and Avon Canal, capturing nothing more than other boats, beautiful scenery and the occasional passer-by.

The show, in which the only sounds were birdsong, barking dogs, rippling water and the chugging of the engine, averaged at 506,000 viewers and a peak of 599,000, above the BBC Four slot average of 340,000.

And this wasn’t a once-off either; BBC Four’s earlier efforts included Dawn Chorus: the Sounds of Spring, which attracted 423,000 viewers, followed by another 423,000 viewers for its documentary that was about nothing more challenging than the making of a glass jug.

A three-hour tour of the National Gallery, also without any commentary, drew 252,000 viewers – and another Handmade programme on the making of a steel knife, pulled in 339,000 viewers.

None of these would qualify as a massive hit in terms of audience percentage – a new Channel 4 cop series called No Office, written by Paul Abbott, the man who made Shameless, drew two and a half million last week – but it still shows that not everyone wants to see life living at breakneck speed.

And whether it’s on the telly or in reality, there are few things in life more soothing than the sight of still water gently lapping off the bank or the side of a boat.

But this isn’t just about the effect of water; slow television – and indeed slow movies – work across a whole variety of fronts to prove that sometimes we just want something that doesn’t make us concentrate so hard.

The artist, and now film director, Sam Taylor-Wood for example once filmed David Beckham asleep and turned it into 107 minutes of a movie for the National Portrait Gallery back in 2004 – and the sad truth for the rest of us is that Becks is so damn perfect that he doesn’t even snore or break wind when he’s out for the count.

Long before that, Andy Warhol’s slow movie Sleep from 1963 showed poet John Giorno sleeping for five hours and twenty minutes.

It’s a concept that Big Brother have taken to new depths – putting cameras into the dormitory that houses wannabes, has-beens and never-will-bes so that we can see the nocturnal habits of people we’ve never heard of.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

One person’s useless tat is another’s stuff of dreams

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Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

The world is divided into two kinds of people; those who like to live in a world of clean, white lines and minimal clutter – and those of us who just love accumulating stuff.

Stuff covers a multitude, which – depending on your perspective – might be alternatively defined as either the souvenirs or detritus of your life.

Books, match programmes, concert ticket stubs, seashells, Dinky cars, beer mats…it’s all stuff that one person wants to treasure and the other, invariably, wants to throw straight out in the bin.

And it’s at the core of a fair percentage of domestic differences too – ‘it’s my stuff’; ‘don’t move my stuff’; ‘your stuff is taking over the house’ – because, for every hoarder, there’s an aspiring Marie Kondo who wants to take minimalism to new heights.

Attics are invariably full of stuff that hasn’t seen the light of day in years; old cardboard boxes of childhood toys, suitcases packed with dusty photo albums, boxes of video cassettes for which there is no longer a VCR; clothes that you didn’t want but also didn’t want to throw out – and it’s only a matter of time before they’re back in fashion and you’ll have shed the three stone it would take to close the zipper.

Overall, it’s the kind of stuff that you hoped you’d get back to and wallow in nostalgia, years after you consigned it to the darkest recesses of the eaves.

Those who abhor clutter have a different approach, working on the basis that – if you have stuff stored in a box and you don’t open that box for three years – you don’t need that stuff anymore.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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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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Connacht Tribune

Sense of belonging that brings it all back home

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Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

It was a chat with a ‘Galwegian in exile’ that brought it all home to me; although now domiciled in the capital for more years than he’d lived in the west, he was delighted to bring his Dublin-born daughter to the All-Ireland Football Final wearing her maroon jersey.

To be honest, she’d probably have gone to Croke Park dressed as Elsa from Frozen because it was just a day out – but Daddy couldn’t have been prouder if his eleven-year-old came on for Damien Comer with five minutes to go.

The sense of place is understandable when it comes to ourselves as born-and-bred Galwegians, because while you can change where you live as often as you like, even if you wanted to, you can never change where you’re from.

But trying to impose your own geographical heritage on the next generation is alternatively seen as understandable and a little selfish at the same time.

It’s a topic for discussion in our own house on occasion because while the two lads grew up in Galway, they were in fact born in Dublin – and if they want to pull my chain, all they have to do is remind of that fact.

My reply is a tired and stock one, to the effect that although Jesus was born in a stable, nobody ever suggested that made him a horse.

The more serious point is that you are shaped by your formative years rather than the maternity hospital of your arrival – and those years were spent in Galway.

Galway is their point of reference for sport and music and school friends and nights out and pubs and college – and almost everything else that really matters.

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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Connacht Tribune

Gaeltacht days – and a rite of passage to remember forever

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Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

A scholarship to Irish College wasn’t so much a backhanded compliment as an inverted acknowledgement of your grasp of the language – in other words you got one because you were bordering on useless, or to put it more diplomatically you’d benefit more than the rest from a couple of weeks of immersion in your native tongue.

Only it then transpired that the experience of three weeks in the Gaeltacht taught you that going there had a small bit to do with learning Irish for sure – but a whole lot to do with growing up, or at least beginning that blossoming process.

And you would do all this in an atmosphere as alien to your small teenage self as free elections are to the people of Russia; céilís, cispheil, comhra agus craic – as well as an Irish language version of the Streets of London written and taught to us by Art Ó Dufaigh that still lives in the memory bank, even longer than Ralph McTell’s original.

The truth, when you get there, is the realisation that three weeks in the Gaeltacht is a little like a week at the Galway Races or the Rose of Tralee; just as the horses or the Roses are ostensibly the reason for going, they’re really just the hook to get you there.

And so it is that you go to the Gaeltacht to learn the language but you come home having learned so much more.

My Gaeltacht summer was at the tail end of the seventies with three weeks in Beal a’ Dangan and céilís in Nestor’s Hall, brought there in a bus by a young man called Máirtín Tom Sheáinín who would go on to enjoy a stellar career as a broadcaster – particularly presenting Comhrá – but was back then a knacky driver with a dream, traversing windy roads in pitch darkness.

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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