Podcast: Irish Music Through the Lens – An Interview with Myles O’Reilly

For the past decade, film-maker Myles O’Reilly has been documententing the Irish indie and folk music scenes, creating videos with Lisa Hannigan, Martin Hayes, Ye Vagabonds, Lisa O’Neill, Radie Peat from Lankum and more, and he also filmed the Christmas Eve busk on Grafton street with Glen Hansard, Bono and Sinead O’Connor.
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Carrying So Much: Liam O’Flynn and the Tradition

A new feature-length documentary on the great piper Liam O’Flynn was broadcast on TG4 at the weekend. Toner Quinn reviews.

It is just over two years since uilleann piper Liam O’Flynn passed away aged 72, and yet his influence continues to grow, even more so at the moment with the current folk music resurgence, the sound of his 1970s band Planxty an essential thread in the work of today’s artists.

TG4’s hour-and-a-half documentary tribute to the late piper, Liam O’Flynn – Píobaire, which was broadcast on Easter Sunday (12 April), brings the viewer from O’Flynn’s weekly lessons as a child with Leo Rowsome in the 1950s, travelling on his father’s motorbike from Kildare to Dublin every Friday evening, right up to some of his final collaborations. The list of contributors is extensive, from his wife Jane O’Flynn to his original Planxty bandmates Andy Irvine, Christy Moore and Dónal Lunny, plus an array of fellow musicians and composers such as Noel Hill, Shaun Davey, Bill Whelan, Paddy Glackin, Louise Mulcahy and Mark Knopfler. There is also commentary from Leagues O’Toole, author of the 2006 book The Humours of Planxty, and former president Mary McAleese.

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There is No Going Back Now: Live Music and the Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic means we are going to witness another radical shift in music in the digital age, writes Toner Quinn.

In the technologist Kevin Kelly’s 2017 book The Inevitable, he writes about the large technological trends that are already up and running and that will shape our society over the next three decades. His argument is that these trends are not especially reliant on the arrival of new products or inventions, but are driven by the ‘biases’ of technology that has already been invented. When we ‘bend’ our society to these biases, we are in a better position to control the technology and take advantage of it. What is fascinating is how we often resist them until conditions suddenly change.
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Can Anyone But Artists Themselves Solve Their Money Problems?

If artists and musicians are ever going to solve their perennial financial issues then it is time for a different approach, writes Toner Quinn.

Last week, an article by the economist John FitzGerald appeared on the front page of the business supplement of the Irish Times. ‘Music really put us on the map with European citizens’, the title read. In the online version, an alternative title appeared: ‘Irish cultural exports helped pave the way for economic growth.’

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