Classifieds Advertise Archive Subscriptions Family Announcements Photos Digital Editions/Apps
Connect with us

Entertainment

Talented Tom takes new tack with ‘Float your Blues Away’

Published

on

The Groove Tube with Jimi McDonnell

Multi-instrumentalist Tom Portman will celebrate the launch of his third solo album with a show in The Townhouse Bar, Spanish Parade in the city on Friday, July 5.  The release is called Float your Blues Away and is something of a change of direction for Tom.

“This one’s slightly different from the last two I brought out,” he says. “It’s a lot more song based than the last album, there are also quite a few bluesy numbers, whereas the last one featured a lot more traditional pieces, instrumental guitar music.

“On this one the dobro and guitar feature strongly. There are songs I’ve written during the course of making the album, and a piece I wrote when I was in India.”

Tom Portman plays lap-steel, dobro, acoustic and electric guitar. For this album, did he follow the muse or make a conscious decision to write songs?

“It was a deliberate choice,” he says. “I’ve got so many pieces that I’d like to record, but it was also trying to see what would sound good together. Which pieces would work, and which pieces I’d want to play this year.”

This focus has left Portman with a lot of spare material. He’ll spend the summer plugging Float your Blues Away – including some shows in Poland – but he also has an eye on future projects.

“I’ve written quite a few folk songs and some instrumentals which are almost classically based, but they wouldn’t suit this album,” he says. “I’ve also written some pieces for an electric ensemble which will be coming out at a later date.”

Although recording in a plush studio might sound ideal, for most artists it’s just not financially feasible. And, with advances in modern technology, it’s no longer necessary. Tom Portman is glad to have gone the DIY route.

“I recorded pretty much all of it at home in Menlo [village, on the east side of Galway City],” he says. “I’m not mixing it; I’m taking it to an outside studio for that. But the actual recording has all been done at home; it’s great to have the equipment to do that.”

While recording at home has its advantages, it also means projects can run and run. How did Tom decide when Float your Blues Away was ready?

“With the last albums, I left it a bit more open-ended,” he says. “You know, when it was ready, it was ready. With this one, I set myself a two-month deadline to get everything recorded, because I had everything written. Apart from a few bits – you get inspired, ‘oh yeah, I think this’ll work!’.

Did Tom find that giving himself a self-imposed deadline helped him to be more creative?

“Definitely,” he says. “I wanted to try it as an approach. I really time-managed the project, making decisions about when certain things needed to be done. [It was] a new way of working for me. It definitely helps, but it’s quite an intense way of working as well. I really had to block off the time and say no to other projects, to make sure I got the recordings done.”

Tom Portman is also a member of The Bahh Band, a six-piece with a grá for Indian music. In mid-January they embarked on a month long tour of India. Tom came back energised from the tour, and finished Float your Blues Away.

“Since I came back from India, I haven’t been doing that much gigging, so it gave me more time to put into the recording,” he says. “Now, the mixing’s getting finished off, and the printing, and also silly season’s starting in the summer with gigging. Trying to juggle everything!”

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune

CITY TRIBUNE

‘World in a Window’ – a unique perspective of lockdown life

Published

on

Helium Artist Chelsea Canavan, Galway-based artist and parent Yvonne Cullivan and her son at the launch of Helium Arts’ ‘Our World in a Window’ exhibition at Galway City Library. PHOTO: ANITA MURPHY.

A new exhibition, Our World in a Window, which is currently running in Galway City, focuses on the experiences of children who have been living with long-term health conditions during lockdown

Facilitated by Helium Arts, the national children’s arts and health charity, the exhibition features animations and mechanised artwork produced by young people from across Ireland who took part in Helium’s remote programme ‘Distance Creates’.

Our World in a Window can be seen until August 4 at Galway City Library before it goes on tour to Dublin, Cork, Kilkenny, Limerick and Longford.

Since last February, children aged 9-12 who are living with long-term health conditions have been exploring the world of animation, guided by Helium artist, Chelsea Canavan. From tinfoil and claymation characters to foam sculptures and hand-drawn illustrations, these young creators have brought their stories to life in unique and imaginative ways.

The origins of Our World in a Window date back to the beginning of Covid. That was when Helium Arts began adapting its usual in-person programmes, moving to digital and postal formats to allow vulnerable young people to be creative from the safety of their homes. The goal was to offer respite during a time of social distancing and to support the youngsters’ mental health, which is part of Helium’s brief.

In non-Covid times, Helium Arts supports sick children via arts-based projects in hospital, community and public settings. More than 5,000 children and their families have availed of its service since 2010.

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.

Continue Reading

CITY TRIBUNE

126 Gallery fundraising for new studio spaces

Published

on

126 Gallery and Studios, based in St Bridget’s Place in Galway City

The artist-run 126 Gallery and Studios, based in St Bridget’s Place in Galway City, has established a satellite studio space on nearby Saint Francis Street, in response to members’ need for working spaces that are affordable, secure and easy to access. The new Barton Studios will host four studio spaces and the artists using them will have access to 126’s main facilities.

Submissions for Barton Studios and any further spaces are open to current members of 126, in recognition of those artists and creatives who have supported the members-run gallery over the past 16 years.

The group is currently raising money to fit out the studios and because normal methods such as table-quizzes and its ‘drink and draw’ nights are out of bounds, the 126 steering committee has turned to GoFundMe to try and raise €2,000, which is what they estimate it will cost.

If any extra money is raised, it will be used to subsidise the rest of costs for the studios to artists for the remainder of 2021. Some €1,800 would be needed to lower the rent to €50 per week for each artist. A breakdown of all costs will be posted on 126gallery.com and made available to donors.

Initially, the studios will have a communal computer, a private workspace with wi-fi, and access to all resources at 126’s main facility, just six minutes’ walk away. Active studio members will have free 126 membership.  The mission of 126 is to support its members to work and to access opportunities, supports, and spaces. With that in mind, the gallery team is available for one-to-one conversations to facilitate group engagement between both facilities, or with other organisations in Galway.

To contribute, go to www.gofundme.com/f/barton-studios-2021. For more information on how to get involved, email contactg126@gmail.com.

Continue Reading

CITY TRIBUNE

Film Fleadh enjoys its day in the sun

Published

on

Dónal Ó Héalaí and Fionnuala Flaherty in Foscadh with writer and director Seán Breathnach in the background. The film won Best Irish First Feature at the Fleadh.

The winner of Best Irish Film at this year’s Galway Film Fleadh, which closed on Sunday night, was Here Before, a psychological thriller set in Northern Ireland. The feature debut of Belfast television writer and filmmaker Stacey Gregg, it stars Andrea Riseborough as a bereaved mother whose new neighbours stir up uncomfortable feelings of grief.

The award for Best Irish First Feature went to Foscadh, an Irish language drama set in the mountains of North Conamara, based on characters from Donal Ryan’s novel, The Thing About December. This delayed coming-of-age story about a bereaved young man, an only child, who inherits the family farm was written and directed by Seán Breathnach and stars Dónall Ó Héalai.

Pure Grit, directed by Kim Bartley, won best Irish documentary. It explores the male-dominated world of Native American bareback horse racing and the impact of a young woman, Sharmaine, who is determined to break the mould.

Galway Film Fleadh is an Oscar-Qualifying Festival in three categories: Best Fiction Short, Best Short Documentary and Best Animation Short.

The Tiernan McBride Award for Best Fiction Short went to Saul & I, written and directed by Jon Beer.

The Best Short Documentary Award was won by Nothing to Declare, directed by Garrett Daly.

The James Horgan Award for Best Animation Short was won by Memento Mori, directed by Paul O’Flanagan, written by Paul O’Flanagan and Laura O’Flanagan.

The Fleadh’s Pitching Award for 2021 went to Athenry man Giles Brody for his teen caper, Top Marks.

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.

Continue Reading

Local Ads

Local Ads

Advertisement
Advertisement

Facebook

Advertisement

Trending