In a spur of the moment decision informed by another valuable lesson learned in lockdown, that isolation and a generosity of time can do much to fuel the creative mind, Rónán Ó Snodaigh and Myles O’Reilly filled a car with musical instruments and decamped to a remote cottage in Maynooth. Bringing with him a canon of new lyrics, inspired by deep and newfound connections with time, place, family, friends and… gratitude, Rónán found a nest in O’Reilly’s minimal ambient textures, to lay some musical ideas. In the ethereal sound grown to characterise Myles ambient music moniker [Indistinct Chatter], songs were hatched.
Surrounded by thick forest and overlooking a lake, in Shell Cottage the fire was always lit and the stew pot never empty. Music was a constant. Regular trips to forage for more wild garlic and wood for the fire became a welcome interlude Each morning a song would begin with Rónán accompanied by guitar. All day and into the night the air would then fill with pace and atmosphere. The pair would take it in turns to play instruments and invent parts, dressing the bare bones of each song with heartbeat, horizon, sunset, and stars. Cyclical. Celestial. Each night, listening back from the hearth of a large inglenook presided over by giant antlers from a long extinct Irish Stag, there was a feeling that time held no dominion over Shell Cottage. Ancient, pure, and uninterrupted was the well source of inspiration they had access to there. Every sleep was another opportunity to dream the next passage, and each morning arrived with the excitement and anticipation of more discovery, and invention.
The resulting album Tá Go Maith is a perfect companion with which to practice Tai Chi. It has that inner poise, depth, and controlled meditation, as well as soundtracking a gentle spirituality. O’Reilly has a talent for mining lush, organic sounds from synthetic tools, and his Moog leaves only faint traces of its electric imprint on Ó Snodaigh’s mellow acoustic example. A pastoral plain of percussive guitars, zithers, strings, horns, spectral electronics and perfectly timed bodhrán.
Artist’s website: https://www.ronanosnodaigh.ie/
‘Tá’n t’Ádh Liom‘ – live:
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