The musicians that impress me operate at borders… cross them when they need to, stop short of them if they need to. It's sometimes a difficult terrain to navigate.
I first played with a group called Socialite in my hometown of Sligo. That was immense fun and I have very fond memories of it. Subsequently, I spent time in France and Montreal, learned French, got hooked on songwriting and recorded a short EP in cold Québec city. My next group was Thy Swan Army in Galway. I took a lot from this band, recorded songs and played some really good gigs. People liked us. The group splintered eventually and members went to work on separate projects.
I lived for a bit in London, played with more musicians and gigged the indie scene as Walkperson. Most of the songs I wrote during this period I‘ve let go but there are several I‘ve held on to, of which I‘m still proud.
Back in Ireland again I released Desired Effect EP in 2006. I released my solo album Busy Whisper in 2009, a clearer, more cohesive piece of work than anything I had produced previously. This was recorded with Andy Knightley and partly by myself and Karl Odlum. Played by a troupe of talented musicans, it received a quiet but genuinely enthusiastic critical reception.
And then to In Movement, which I recorded working closely with producers Jimmy Eadie and Enda Roche. It was more literary than Busy Whisper and showcased some very fine musicianship from Enda, Christophe Capewell and Sweeney Lee amongst others. As soon as I finished In Movement (2012) I wanted to move to something fresher and very shortly after the promotional runaround of that album I began discussing plans for a collaboration with composer, songwriter and friend Justin Grounds. We decided to put together a concept album inspired by Fyodor Dostoevsky’s The Idiot, a book about rebellion, honesty and fragility. Together we created a new genre, ‘electronic chamber music’ and achieved what I believe to be a very fine work of art, borne of instinct and spontaneity but also of precision and craft. That’s where I am right now, bringing Idiot Songs to venues in Ireland, the UK and further afield. Sharing these songs has brought something transcendent into my life and we hope to create another album soon. The reaction to our gigs has been overwhelming.
I hope you too take something from these songs and I'd love I see you out there in the vulnerable magic of a live show.