By Aideen O’Flaherty
Although he has been based in Vienna for several years now, Shane Ó Fearghail’s music is still firmly rooted in Irish tradition and forms the centerpiece of his new album, aptly titled “Born from Tradition”.
The Tallaght Community School alumnus, who grew up in Balrothery, has been making music for over a decade, both as a solo musician and previously in the folk group Caruso, and already has three albums to his credit. active.
Musician Shane Ó Fearghail (Image: Sabine Mann)
Shane wrote his first song many years ago on the 65 bus from Tallaght to the city, and since then he has developed an enduring passion for the art of songwriting, and he draws on his Irish heritage. to inform its musical production.
Just before the release of his fourth album, “Born from Tradition”, which is the first of two volumes, Shane took the time to talk to The Echo about the importance of Irish influence in his music and what it is all about. was to be back on stage after confinement.
You recently played a few gigs in Germany after the lockdown was lifted there. What was it like to be back on stage after so many months?
To be honest, it was pretty weird at first. Great, but strange.
I had been pretty busy until lockdown, only returning from a series of spring dates in Germany when it all came to a standstill. It had been four months since my last concerts, and I was back in Germany to kick off the events. The first show was pretty surreal, with all the social distancing measures taken, but fun things will always happen live.
You click again and, before you know it, you’re back on the horse in no time.
Even though you’ve been living in Vienna for several years, your music is still firmly anchored in Irish folk. How do you think being Irish affects you when it comes to writing music?
For Irish musicians, being Irish is who we are, we can’t really do without it. It is our tradition and where we come from, whatever direction we take.
For me, it’s a big part of the music I make and the songs I write. Being away from home, you find that music keeps you connected, and maybe it’s that distance that brings you back, deeper into your culture.
(Photo: Sabine Mann)
Can you tell me a bit about the idea behind ‘Born from Tradition’?
‘Born from Tradition’ comes back to this idea of the house. The album kind of tells my story. It’s folk and it’s Irish.
And in some places it has a modern Irish folk touch. It’s made up of songs that I wrote, as well as ballads that influenced me; songs learned in sessions with family and friends.
Maybe the idea is just for me to come home, just like that proverbial salmon coming up the stream.
What impact do you think recording the album in Dublin had on the record?
It’s huge, it shaped the whole record. In 2019, I recorded all vocals and acoustic guitar – live in one session, at the AP studios in Ticknock.
I had a vague plan to break a record and see what might happen. It wasn’t until I returned to Vienna, and listened to the recordings a few weeks later, that I realized we had captured some of that island magic.
And you can hear it in the songs, in the voices.
You are one of the founding members of the Tallaght Songwriting Circle and the Vienna Songwriting Circle, why do you think it is important for songwriters to come together and share their work?
I was and still am connected to the whole scene in Dublin, and of course here in Vienna.
The importance of seclusion is good for any creativity – this is where you find your rhythm. However, isolation will not get you far. In this game you need people around you.
Songwriting groups and communities, besides providing support and networking opportunities, challenge and sometimes scare you. This keeps the energy moving, bringing more oxygen to those creative rock pools.
Within groups new ideas come and go and let’s be honest, healthy competition doesn’t hurt.
What advice would you give to aspiring songwriters looking to perfect their art?
Write, write and write. Listen to the same extent, then write some more. And, when you have something to say, say it, as loud as it sounds. Sing your mind and speak your truth. And on that note, if I may,
I would like to say thank you all to The Echo for the continued support. I wrote my first music in The Echo, a long time ago, so that – like the album – brings it all home.
“Born from Tradition” comes out this Saturday July 18th and contains four traditional tracks and five new original tracks. More information is available online at www.shaneofearghail.com.
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