Pulling multi-media project from the Plassey wreckage

Groove Tube with Cian O’Connell

It’s a tale well known to Aran residents and maritime historians alike; in the 1960s, a steam freighter named the Plassey was caught in a storm off the coast of Inis Oírr. The eleven crew members onboard, and their cargo of yarn, stained glass and whiskey, were rescued from certain death by a group of islanders who risked their own lives to save them. To this day, the wreckage of the Plassey sits on the east coast of the island, washed up on its rocky shore.

Loner Deluxe, the folky, electronica alias of Galway producer, songwriter, promoter and record label head Keith Wallace, has taken on the story of the Plassey for a new short film.

Part of the soundtrack for the Plassey Project has recently been released on Bandcamp ahead of a screening on Inis Oírr in August. Twilight Strings and Mandolin Whiskey are something of a departure for Loner Deluxe – sweet, coastal instrumentals with swaying melodies reminiscent of Lou Reed.

“It’s probably most famous [for being] in the opening credits of Father Ted,” Keith says.

“That ship ran aground in 1960 and the community came together and rescued all the people who were on the boat and then eventually another storm sent it onto the rocks where it is now forever. I just thought it was a really interesting story.

“So, what I did was I made a soundtrack to illustrate the story of the wreck and the rescue. There’s accompanying video footage that I’ve shot on Inis Oírr by the wreck of the boat.

“I’m putting that together and editing it into a short movie and that’s going to be shown as part of a solo exhibition on Áras Éanna out on Inis Oírr later on in the summer – that’s Ireland’s most westerly arts centre.”

“The story itself really appealed to me,” Keith continues.

“At the end of the day, it’s about a community coming together just to help some strangers which I think is something we could all be doing these days.

“It’s a very evocative story – music can evoke the sea quite well in terms of swaying rhythms and field recordings from the shore and things like that. It’s a progression in the Loner Deluxe aesthetic I suppose. There are no vocals or anything – it’s all instrumental so it’s attempting to paint in sound a visual picture.”

Pictured: Musical project…Keith Wallace on Inis Oirr.

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