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Artists talk: illuminating the creative angle

Updated: Mar 12

Here's an opportunity to see some behind-the-scenes freelance reporting work that I enjoy. Following the blog title "Artists talk: illuminating the creative angle to catch a glimpse. My vision going into every Culture File story is to illuminate the creative angle. I love to dig out the pulse of the artistic process.


Gathering sound stories is a love thing. It's beautifully challenging,. Theres lots of technology to contend with, and in the field the sound world is consistently changing, and that's oh so very exciting. I lead in with a thought, how can I give the listener a visual with this audio? It's very inspiring to meet with fellow artists for the show, it has a profound and positive influence on my art (composer and songwriter)


Am I any good at journalism? You'd have to ask Luke Clancy. Luke invited me onboard this wonderful show, and gave me the opportunity to develop my skills, and interact nationally and internationally with fellow artists. I am incredibly thankful and Luke is amazing. I'd be very lost without the show and Luke, as he's always there helping me along! So as the knowledge was passed to me, I am happy to explore my approach to making sound stories more in-depth in another blog post, please just ask...


OK! The most recent report took me to the University of Limerick... let's look at that!

Illuminating the creative angle for "The House of Light" report delves into the realm of the duologue... not your typical literary exchange, though that could work in this scenario too. In the context of The House of Light event, duologues are a series of short duets between differing art forms.


I joined Matthew Noone and a group of students in the rehearsal studio of the academy to capture a live duologue for Culture File. I also aimed to capture the energy of the building, The Irish World Academies architect, Daniel Cordier's, vision, and the reasoning behind the students' artistic decision-making as they improvised contemporary dance and flute music.


"So the idea of the duologue is to get two musicians or groups of musicians together, or not just musicians, artists to collaborate to create new work." - Matthew Noone (course director)


A "duologue" refers to a conversation between two people, often used in theatre or literature. In the context of the World Academy event, the term "duologue" emphasises the interaction between two artistic individuals who perform in different artistic forms. In the rehearsal, we witnessed a duologue between a group of contemporary dancers and a piper, who happened to bring his Irish traditional flute that day. We sat in a circle for a little talk before they improvised beautifully...



"So have you guys done introductions?.." said Matthew Noone, and we each introduced ourselves. As you will hear on the Culture File. Then Matthew asked the students if they would like to do a short improvisation for the recordings, and they did. I captured their performance with a handheld recorder, you'll hear the sound of the dancers feet move across the floor to the lilting and flitting and droning instincts of flautest.



When the piece was complete we sat in a circle, once again, deconstructing the improvisation. I pondered: What's influencing the dancers to move so fluidly with one another? What's directing their movement, and what in the movement is enticing the flautist, Connell Sanderson, to play the rhythms and melodies that he is choosing in the moment? So I asked them, and they responded with some beautiful artistic insights into what they were thinking about, and seeing and reacting to during the performance... and a beguiling response from one of the students really set the tone for the day.


"Through the window I can see the tree, and maybe I will follow the tree. Through the window I can see the beauties and maybe I will follow the beauties." - Jo Jo (international student and contemporary dancer)


This sentiment really encapsulates the essence I was seeking—the role "The House of Light" plays in gathering artistic wisdom.


I find the beauty of improvisation in this educational setting lies in its profound influence. Every element and individual in the moment, from the building to the marketing ladies quietly observing, even the tree outside, contributes to the artistic atmosphere. The creative energy within the building, sustained over the academy's thirty-year history, further enhances this ambiance.


All these factors shape what the student aptly describe as "beauties", the beauties she saw and placed into this duologue. Isn't influence such a potent force in our daily lives? Being in a place like the IWA, surrounded by positivity, energy, and light, has a profound impact on the artistic growth of its students.


The power of the movement and music in that moment also influenced me, guiding my creative decisions for this report. And Matthew, sitting beside me, was surely pondering his own thoughts. Perhaps he was still enamored by the romanticism of the Mogul Empire, as he mentions in Culture File "Likes." How do we collectively illuminate the creative perspective in a moment? And how do we distill our findings through audio to share with a wider audience? It's all about sharing, influencing, and learning together.


The director of the world academy Helen Phelan kindly described the building, taking in secrets and hidden sentiments of the ritual pit, "I have photographs of Mícheál (Ó Súilleabháin) jumping into the ritual pit..." she laughed. To hear about the ritual pit and day at the academy, please listen back here; https://www.rte.ie/radio/lyricfm/clips/22355814/


We recorded the interviews in booth 2 of the recording studio in the academy, using my AKG C214 mic. The atmos and rehearsal were captured throughout the building using a handheld recorder.


The final edit of "The House of Light" report is credited to Luke Clancy.


Photographs by the University of Limerick

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