June 2012 see’s the release of the digital single ‘INTO THE WILD’ by Co. Clare songstress, Lou McMahon.
Into The Wild, produced by Terry Wood’s – The Pogues, Woodsband & Sweeney’s Men fame was recorded in Slane Studios, Co. Meath. An additional track ‘Love is the Light’ will be packaged with it. The single tackles themes of escapism, hopefulness and ambition. A light and hooky refrain balances out it’s lyrical depth as friends say ‘It’s upbeat Lou, you must be in love?’.
Lou’s biggest platform yet came when The Irish Daily Mail Newspaper and The Apprentice reality television series joined forces to create a musical task for the show. Thousands of artists entered the competition and Lou was one of the lucky ones to win through and have her ‘song ‘A River’ featured on the ‘Fighting Chance’ CD – as Track No. 1 no less! The CD was distributed throughout Ireland with The Irish Daily Mail Newspaper.
In 2009 McMahon released an EP titled Delicate Dancer that received rave reviews. Lou worked on Delicate Dancer with her mentor Terry Woods from 2006 – 2008. The pair are currently working on Lou’s new material in the studio and also on her live set. McMahon toured nationally, both solo and with a band to promote Delicate Dancer.
A performance on TV3’s Ireland AM lead to McMahon filling the upstairs venue in Whelan’s, Dublin . Lou’s music has been receiving airplay from broadcasters on both National and Local radio stations; RTE Radio 1, The Dave Fanning Show on 2FM, Clare FM and more, she has played support to critically acclaimed artists – Mundy, Jack L, Mary Coughlan, Freddie White and more in venues all around Ireland.
Games Music Ireland (GMI) was launched this week by the Minister for Education and Skills Mr. Ruairi Quinn TD at an event hosted at the offices of IMRO. Its mission is “To ensure that Irish composers are at the fore front in the creation of musical content for the social and casual games industry”.
Mick Kiely, co-founder of GMI said, “Through my experience of being a composer for the AAA sector of the games industry I saw the opportunity for Irish composers to fulfil a huge need in other sectors of the gaming industry if we could get the skill set right.”
He went on to say, “The social and casual gaming sector presents huge possibilities for Irish composers. It is the fastest growing sector of the games industry. We have a huge wealth of talent in both the music and game development communities. Through our unique blend of technical, musical and cultural skills and the ambition offered by our composers, with support, education and hard work; Ireland will be positioned to take advantage of the emerging opportunities in this industry. By working together we will be able to create employment and service the needs of a fast growing industry”
In outlining the importance of developing services that meet the needs of industries looking to locate in Ireland Minister Quinn stated “The importance of up-skilling our workforce cannot be underestimated. If we are to attract more companies and develop clusters for industries we need to have the requisite skill base to meet their needs. We have been very successful in attracting high tech industry. With Ireland fast becoming the ‘Internet Capital of Europe’ we will be doing more to ensure that companies from the social and casual gaming sector choose to locate here”.
He concluded by saying “GMI’s up-skilling programme and overall approach is a welcome step towards making Ireland a more attractive destination for social and casual gaming companies. They have identified a niche in a fast growing market and have taken it upon themselves to up-skill their members to meet the needs of that niche. It’s a story that should be told and emulated”
Games Music Ireland
Games Music Ireland is a new organisation recently set up. Its mission is;
“To ensure that Irish Composers are the fore front in the Creation of Musical Content for the Social and Casual Games Industry”.
This will be achieved through;
- Educating Irish and up skilling composers on the specific needs of game developers introducing them to the latest technologies and production techniques
- Ensuring that there is a support network for Irish composers wishing to enter the games industry
- Fostering communication channels between Irish composers and games developers nationally and internationally
- Representing the views of Irish composers within the games industry nationally and internationally
Global Games Industry
Identified as one of the top 10 fastest growing industries it is estimated that by 2015 the games industry will be worth $82 billion. With further growth predicted it will sustain its position as the fastest growing sector of the Global Entertainment Industry.
Games Industry in Ireland
“Ireland has not only attracted some of the sector’s major global players but we have also home grown companies that have achieved global recognition…” Frank Ryan – Chief Executive, Enterprise Ireland[
“The potential for this sector is immense with potential job gains of 2,500 by end 2014 across a range of activities including games servicing and development”. Martin Shanahan, Chief Executive Forfás
Ireland has benefited from the global growth in this sector. ‘Employment has increased five-fold since 2004 with over 2,000 directly employed today. This number underplays the “complementary linkages” that the games sector has with other related activities’ such as animation, film, consumer-internet and e-learning
Admission free (booking essential via Dock Arts Centre. Ph: 071-9650828)
The Irish Music Rights Organisation (IMRO) present a songwriting workshop in The Dock Arts Centre hosted by singer/songwriter Luan Parle and songwriter/producer Gavin Ralston. The workshop will focus on songwriting, production, performance, touring and the latest developments in the music industry. By the end of the workshop, the budding songwriters will have written, performed and recorded an original song collectively. This is a unique opportunity music creators to get hands on experience of the day to day work in the music industry, whether they aspire to be performers, songwriters, producers or work in music administration.
Participants should bring musical instruments along to the workshop.
Background – Various Voices Dublin 2014
Various Voices is a pan-European choral festival aimed at gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender choirs and choruses. Following the wonderful 2009 festival in London, Dublin is ready to take the reins!
The festival will span four days, June 13th to 16th 2014, with an opening ceremony on Friday, and a closing ceremony on Monday evening. During the festival, each visiting choir will perform to the festival. There is also schedule of workshops and social events for each day. We look forward to welcoming the 80+ choirs from across the world, comprising 2,000 to 3,000 singers.
The festival has received support from Dublin PRIDE, DCU, Dublin City Council, Failte Ireland, IMRO among others.
The Irish Songbook
The board of Various Voices Dublin 2014 are setting out to create an Irish Songbook as part of the 2014 festival. This book would contain a number of new arrangements of both traditional and contemporary Irish songs, arranged for multiple choir formations. A copy of the Songbook will be sent to every LGBT choir and chorus around the world, approx 350, in the summer of 2012 becoming a key part of the festival marketing strategy.
It is anticipated that the choirs will include some/all of the songs from the songbook in their own repertoires in the year before the festival, performing them in their own cities and in their recordings. This will give IMRO members an opportunity to participate in an international event, with their works being performed across the globe, by some of the world’s most creative and renowned choirs, such as Los Angeles and New York Gay Men’s Choruses, Turtle Creek Chorale, London Gay Men’s Chorus and more.
The Songbook will continue to have a life outside and beyond the festival, with the potential to make the songs available online to any choir around the world to perform and record. The Irish Songbook will form a core to the 2014 festival, with a Songbook Concert held in The Helix – creating a choir of 1200 voices performing the songs. We hope to seek broadcasting and recording opportunities for this concert also.
The Irish Songbook will form part of the legacy of the Dublin 2014 festival.
IMRO members are invited to submit an arrangement of:
An Irish song, either contemporary or traditional
Arrangement should be accessible to most levels of choir
Where possible arrangement should be submitted for SSA, SATB and TTBB, either in three separate arrangements or arranged so that it can be transposed
Arrangements can be a cappella or with accompaniment
Submissions must be received no later than Friday 16th June.
12 songs will be selected from the submissions for inclusion in the printed Irish Songbook.
If you have any questions or queries please contact:
Ian Doyle Festival Director www.variousvoices.ie
Tel: +353 (0)86 3545011 46 Mountjoy Square, Dublin 1, Ireland
Seminar Date: Saturday 21st July
Venue: IMRO, Copyright House, Pembroke Row, Lower Baggot Street, D 2.
Time: 11am – 4pm
IMRO members looking to reserve a place at this seminar should send an email to
Gary Nicholson is a number one hit songwriter, a two time Grammy winning producer, a world traveling performer, recording artist, and session guitarist.
In 2006 he was nominated to the Nashville Songwriter’s Hall of Fame, in 2011 he was inducted into the Texas Songwriter’s Hall of Fame. There are over five hundred recordings of his songs in various genres including country, rock, blues, folk, bluegrass, and pop by such diverse artists as BB King, Garth Brooks, George Strait, Fleetwood Mac, Bonnie Raitt, Willie Nelson, Etta James, John Prine, Dixie Chicks, Stevie Nicks, Buddy Guy, Emmylou Harris, Keb Mo, George Jones, Neville Brothers, Reba McKentire, Robert Plant, Waylon Jennings, Patty Loveless, Kenny Chesney, Guy Clark and the list goes on.
In addition to his Grammy winning records with Delbert McClinton, who has recorded over forty of his songs, he has produced records for The Judds, Wynonna, Pam Tillis, Billy Joe Shaver, T Graham Brown, Chris Knight, Taylor Hicks, Seth Walker and others.
His work has been included in many major motion pictures and television, the song “Falling and Flying “ is featured in the Oscar winning film “Crazy Heart” performed by Jeff Bridges. ”Peace Dream” recorded by Ringo Starr was co-written by Gary, Ringo, and Gary Wright and features Paul McCartney on bass.
Current songwriting credits include a song on the new release by Bonnie Raitt, another co-written song with Ringo Starr for his new CD, and new recordings by George Strait, Dierks Bentley, The Mavericks, and a BB King/Buddy Guy duet.
For a complete discography and more info visit www.garynicholson.com
The Coronas popped into the IMRO offices last week to receive their IMRO Number 1 award in recognition of their latest album, “Closer to You”, reaching the top spot in the Irish Independent Album Charts in November of last year. This is the second time the band have received an IMRO Number 1 Award, with their last album, “Tony Was an Ex-con”, reaching number one in the Irish Independent Album Charts in 2010.
The Coronas have just returned from their first tour of Germany and are looking forward to few summer gigs in Ireland in the coming weeks. The guys play Mandela Hall in Belfast on 2nd June, The Marquee in Cork on 15th June and Sea Sessions, Bundoran on 30th June, with a couple of European gigs in between.
The IMRO Number 1 Award was introduced to acknowledge IMRO members who reach number 1 in the album charts here in Ireland or overseas. The Coronas are pictured here at the IMRO offices with IMRO CEO, Victor Finn.
Also LIVE AT THE OLYMPIA THEATRE, Dublin 8 & 9 June 2012
Brian’s new album ‘VOICE’ will be released on Friday June 8th and indeed his first since 2008’s ‘Interpretations”. Featuring the new single “Best Days”, the album was produced by Billy Farrell at deadeyeproductions.ie. The current single, “Best Days” was also co-written by Brian & Billy and features the stunning Dublin Gospel Choir.
“VOICE” is scheduled for release on Friday 8th June and will coincide with Brian’s live shows at Dublin’s Olympia Theatre on Friday June 8th and Saturday June 9th. Just ahead of the album’s release Brian is heading to The Middle East for shows also and is special guest with the legend Tom Jones at his Belfast show on August 24th next.
“Best Days” & the album in general convey not least Brian’s exemplary vocals and song writing prowess. On “Best Days”, Brian says “I wanted to write something from a positive perspective, that gives us all a flicker of hope amongst the negativity we have to deal with on a daily basis.”
Full track listing as follows:
01 I Wonder What Is Keeping My True Love Tonight [Trad ‘arranged by Brian Kennedy / Calum MacColl]
02 Best Days [Brian Kennedy / Billy Farrell]
03 Broken Crown [Brian Kennedy / Don Mescal]
04 The Ballad Of You & Me [Brian Kennedy]
05 Absent Friend [Mark. E. Nevin]
06 You’re The Only One I Want [Brian Kennedy]
07 On A Clear Day [Brian Kennedy / Brendan Murphy]
08 Try To Harmonize [Lyrics by Paul Muldoon / music by Brian Kennedy]
09 Best Friend [Brian Kennedy]
10 Imaginary Conversations [Mark. E. Nevin]
11 Only All The Time [Brian Kennedy]
12 Sunday Morning [Brian Kennedy / Brendan Murphy]
13 Crying [Roy Orbinson / Joe Melson]*
It’s easy to see why Brian Kennedy was selected as one of the four coaches on The Voice Of Ireland TV series. Quite simply, he has all the credentials.
A multi-talented artist, Brian is now reaping the rewards of his phenomenal twenty-year career in the music industry. It’s been a steady ascent towards deserved recognition and the past two years have been especially significant.
Brian is first and foremost a live performer and songwriter. His own words, “Music is my lifeblood,” are reflected in his relentless schedule, from his first gig in the ‘90s, to present time. His constant touring from Ireland and UK to Australia and the USA, including the major global festivals, has resulted in a thriving international fan base.
Brian’s work with Van Morrison has been well documented. As featured lead singer on the legend’s ‘Blues & Soul Revue’ he shared stages over that six-year tour with Van and other all-time greats: Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Ray Charles and John Lee Hooker. He also accompanied Van on five of his major albums. However, you might be less familiar with Brian’s performances with Stevie Wonder together with being one of only a few to perform with the now legendary Jeff Buckley at Sin É in New York.
Throughout the continuous touring, Brian managed to maintain a stream of a dozen or so chart-making albums. ‘A Better Man’ (1996) and ‘Now That I Know What I Want’ (1999), both went platinum at No.1 and earned him the awards of Irish Best Male Artist and Irish Best Male Album. His single, ‘You Raise Me Up’, from the 2005 ‘Tribute’ album to George Best entered the UK charts top 5, as did the highly acclaimed ‘Homebird’ (2006) and cover album ‘Interpretations’ (2008).
A born communicator, it’s natural that Brian’s abilities have carried him into other aspects of Arts & Entertainment. His abilities as a Radio/TV presenter are proven, exemplified in the successful TV two-part series ‘Brian Kennedy On Song’(2003), covering traditional Irish songs, in which he was both presenter and performer. At the same time, he’s managed to weave into a staggering workload, several short stories, and two best selling novels: ‘The Arrival of Fergal Flynn’ (2004), and ‘Roman Song’ (2005). Both books entered the Best Seller list and resulted in the award of an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters, from Ulster University for his contribution to the Arts.
Fred shot a video for ‘Villains’ with director Sammy Ray Welch while on their Canadian tour last month. Villain’s features on their double A-side single out on June 8th.
Fred have been invited to play in London during the Olympic games, they will also play at this years Galway Arts Festival & play a special show on Fota Island, Cork for the inaugural Ford film festival. More summer dates to be announced soon.
Double A-side: Villains/The Life Behind released June 8th
Album: Leaving My Empire is out now.
Whether it is was the use of Irish ballads in films such The Informer and The Plough and the Stars or an evocative uses of colonial folk songs in Westerns, John Ford understood the importance of music in film. This panel will find composers and musicians discussing the various considerations and concerns that surround producing music for the screen.
Panellists will include:
American Jazz musician Kyle Eastwood who has contributed music to films such as Mystic River, Million Dollar Baby and Gran Torino.
Composer and musician Christopher Caliendo has written over five hundred classical/world music compositions. He wrote the award-winning score for the DVD re-issue of John Ford’s epic Western The Iron Horse.
Date: 9th June
Venue: Project Arts Centre
JOHN FORD IRELAND – FILM SYMPOSIUM JUNE 7-10
The Iron Horse – Opening Night Gala at the NCH with the RTE Concert Orchestra – 7th June
Peter Bogdanovich – Public Interview 8th June
Directors Panel with Jim Sheridan, John Boorman, Brian Kirk, Thaddeus O’ Sullivan – 8th June
In Conversation With Stephen Frears – 9th June
Music for the Screen with Kyle Eastwood and Christopher Caliendo – 9th June
Writers Panel with Colin Bateman, Pat McCabe & Ian Power – 9th June
Editing Masterclass with Joel Cox – 9th June
Plus a host of Screenings, Discussions, Panels and more
View Full Programme details at www.johnfordireland.org
Laura Sheeran releases her second full studio album, WHAT THE WORLD KNOWS, to cap off what has been an incredibly productive year for the 24-year-old from Galway. A feature spread in the Sunday Times Culture magazine last month together with an RTE 2FM live session caused a recent spike in interest in the singer. The first single from the album, FOREVER LOVE ,was an instant hit. Her free download, available from Soundcloud, reached the 7,000 plays mark within five days of release, an astonishing figure for a new Irish artist. The attention the record has been recieving from iTunes (who want to promote it worldwide) and from UK bloggers and bookers, is sure to push Laura Sheeran to the next level in the coming months.
Laura released her debut album Lust of Pig and the Fresh Blood, exactly one year ago. It was a collection of demos that were weaved together to form an album with the magic of producer/mixer/musician Marc Aubele (Pig, The Walls, BellX1, Nanu Nanu).
Lust of Pig and the Fresh Blood was released to huge critical acclaim. The album’s beautiful sweeping orchestration and dark poetic lyrics showed that a huge talent was emerging onto the Irish music scene. Laura followed that record up with the nine-track mini-album Murderous Love, tracks of which was championed across the internet and in Ireland by respected journalist and DJ Aoife Barry.
Late last year Laura was asked by aerial performance group Paper Dolls to compose the music for their fringe festival show. The resulting 40-minute soundtrack is available from her Bandcamp.
On top of all this she formed the alien electro pop outfit Nanu Nanu with Marc Aubele and the pair have already recorded an incredible album, which is due for make an impact before summer.
What The World Knows is an album containing all the evidence that Laura Sheeran is one of the most exciting talents that this island has produced in many years. Again, mixed by Marc Aubele, it features beautiful songs, a hugely enjoyable and interesting sound, amazing beeps and blips, soaring vocals and a musical intelligence way beyond her years.
Laura is a Dublin based musician, composer and artist who also works with film and theatre. Her reputation and following have been growing steadily since she started her solo music project in 2005. 2010 saw the release, and immediate success, of her debut offering, the free-to-download EP Music for the Deep Woods. Following a successful crowd-funding campaign (with UK-based Pledge Music), Laura’s double album Lust of Pig and the Fresh Blood was released in April 2011 in double vinyl album, CD and digital formats.
Laura was born in Galway in 1987. At the age of 15, her voice came to the attention of a family friend, Clodagh Simonds (Mellow Candle, Mike Oldfield, Fovea Hex), who was looking for someone to sing harmony vocals on material from her new group project, Fovea Hex. Laura appeared with Brian Eno and Robert Fripp on two Fovea Hex records.
What The World Knows is available to order from Laura’s Bandcamp and from www.flamingjunerecords.com. It comes in two formats, digital and a limited edition run of 200 handmade CDs. The vinyl version will be released before summer.