Thursday, May 27, 2010

Donal Dineen presents 'Fresh Air' in Daghdha this Friday

TO LATE night radio listeners, he is something of an innovator, at the cutting edge of promoting new music. To regular Electric Picnic-goers, he is known for curating the beating heart of the festival, the stage in the Body and Soul arena.
He is Donal Dineen, radio presenter, filmmaker, gig promoter.

The Small Hours, Dineen’s nightly radio show, has something of a fervent cult following among music-lovers. The decision for him to take the music he champions on his weekly show into the live arena was a relatively simple one.
Present experimental music - live music - to a new audience, and make it almost an extra sensory experience with the aid of his own visual projections.
However, for Dineen, it wasn’t as straightforward - the introspective and quiet-spoken presenter being thrust into the spotlight as the organiser and MC of the live shows, known as “Fresh Air”, and before that, as “A Month of Sundays”.

Now however, into its third incarnation, Fresh Air has happily become a living, breathing thing, with a more confident Dineen at its helm, happy to express himself and his films, in tandem with the music that excites him.

This Friday Dineen presents three of Ireland’s “freshest soundmakers” at an unusual gig in Daghdha Dance Company’s space in St. John’s Church, and the results promise to be stunning.

“It should be good. I think in terms of the line-up it is probably the most interesting,” says Donal of an exciting line-up which features Sunken Foal (aka Dunk Murphy), Natural History Museum (also featuring Dunk, along with Carol Keogh - ex of the Tycho Brahe) and experimental two-piece Thread Pulls.

“I have never actually seen Sunken Foal or Natural History Museum, but I am a big fan of both - it is a unique situation in that Dunk is doing both sets - he is one of those people that I have total faith in everything he does,” says Dineen.
“Thread Pulls come very close to being a conventional rock band, but they have a different pace about them, and they have a different type of sound, which is what I am looking for usually, something that has an edge,” he adds.

This will be the third time Dineen has brought his live showcase to Limerick, the first featuring Matt Elliott in the Belltable, and last year’s amazing Daghdha gig, featuring Katie Kim and James Yorkston.
The city, and particularly St. John’s Church, has a special place in his heart, it appears.

“The venue is a totally inspiring place. The minute I saw that space, I couldn't believe my eyes, and it is most definitely the most interesting place that I have done any gigs in this country,” he says.
“I am really looking forward to ending the tour there, and we specifically chose to do that, having had the experience the last time, to kind of wind it up in Limerick. There is just a core group of people in Limerick who are really passionate and who share my passion for whatever I am trying to do,” he adds.

Dineen has used his discerning ear to seek out and encourage experimental music in all genres, especially music made in Ireland, and this tour is no different.
He is, in turn, inspired by the music he hears.
“The intention is to make and add to the atmosphere or create the atmosphere, so that people actually appreciate the music as best they can, there is nothing more to it than that,” he explains. “If I can make a space comfortable for the artist to perform in, and enhance it for the audience, it is all about making that happen. With each person that plays I just try and listen to their music and try to imagine something on their behalf - sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't.”

He adds: “I have definitely gained confidence and I feel very lucky to have the chance to repeat these things. I am able to pull it together more and talk more and actually tell a story somehow - the original intention was that I wanted to say something and express myself. This is a great vehicle for that, and I am inspired by this music”.

Fresh Air with Thread Pulls, Natural History Museum and Sunken Foal takes place this Friday in Daghdha from 8pm. Tickets are €15/12 and are available from tickets.ie or on the door.

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