music: DYO

DYO for prospective parents from Hugh_C on Vimeo.


My daughter plays viola in the Intermediate Orchestra of the DYO (Dublin Youth Orchestras) and I was asked to make a short piece about the DYO for prospective parents. The auditions are being held today. The script was written by Brigitte de la Malene and the video/photography/editing by me. For more information, visit the DYO website.

music: Valse Sinistre


I’ve been rabbiting on about how good Photo Booth is elsewhere on this blog so I should also mention that I’ve spent a little time messing round with GarageBand with my kids. The younger the child, the louder the noise, generally speaking. Hugo (3) is fond of the drum instruments. Shona had given me a midi keyboard a few years, and since both my older kids can actually play it, I’ve got them started on composing stuff. Kate is currently investigating 12 bar boogie woogie which is massively contrapuntal to her more classically-based viola studies. This is a good thing.

I learnt the piano a very long time ago and wasn’t very good at it, but with GarageBand’s editing tools, I managed to “record” my own tune and right the wrong ‘uns. There’s a limitation imposed though, you can’t print the sheet music from GarageBand (in an attempt to get you to buy the much more sophisticated and expensive Logic Express software from which you can), so what you’re seeing above is just a screen grab. Which is fine for a few bars, but anything longer is a pain.

Anyhow, here is a tune by Hugh: “Valse Sinistre”.



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music: sceptimysticism

My friend and fellow editor Derek Holland emailed me about ten days ago to see if I was going to see Jim White at the Sugar Club on Tuesday last. Needless to say I was blissfully unaware that it was on and immediately thanked my lucky stars and Derek that I had been made aware of the gig. Long-standing friend Klaus Harvey had introduced me to Jim White about three years ago with “Wrong-Eyed Jesus” and I’ve been a fan ever since.

Anyhoo, I ordered up some tickets and rallied the Dublin-based members of d’Squad for a meet at the Sugar Club.

It was flippin’ brilliant. After a good support session from Tadhg Cooke, we were confronted by Jim White and his band – a guitarist named Patrick Hargon [1] and a new sheet-music-reading bassist called Christian who’d only met the other two for the first time the day before.

Jim White’s gigs aren’t so much concerts as a mixture of music, story-telling and being there. A fantastic night’s entertainment altogether, including a few new words in the lexicon like sceptimysticism – you know there’s a 5th dimension out there but you just don’t believe it.

I’m not a reviewer so I won’t try, suffice to say that it was one of the most enjoyable gigs I’ve been at for a long time and I hope that those folks going to the Tom Waits gig (I’m not) enjoy that as much with its attendant price tag. Brilliance altogether. I’m so glad that he played Still Waters, my favourite of his songs.

There was a kind of folksy vibe after the gig and Jim patiently greeted and spoke to many of the attending gigsters afterwards, including us. He volunteered that reading Pedro Paramo might be a clue to the lyric:

Yes and there are projects for the dead
And there are projects for the living…
Thought I must confess sometimes
I get confused by that distinction…

from Still Waters.

I’ll let you know after I’ve read it.


[1] Patrick is an interesting guy – he’s a fine guitarist, and he also teaches English to special needs kids in Omaha. We were wondering if the fact that he plays in a band give him exxtra kudos amongst his students. Probably does. He uses the word eschew.

next music: Karen Dalton

When my monthly emusic downloads refresh I’ll be rushing out to buy this album from Karen Dalton.

I was pottering round the kitchen late one night, listening to the talented (and sadly graveyard-shifted) John Creedon on RTE Radio when this very eerie, nasally-timbred voice came over the airwaves and it turned out to be a song called Are You Leaving for the Country by Karen Dalton. Not sure whether she was male or female when I heard her first.

She was half Cherokee and beautiful with it, played a long necked banjo and hung round with amongst others Bob Dylan in Greenwich Village in the early 60s. Sparse in her recorded output. Favourite singer of all time for Nick Cave, so I suppose that’s an endorsement of sorts.

She died in 1993.