Some positive words…

Two days to go so hopefully you’ll forgive another blog about Theme Night #27 – there’s not much else going on in my head these days! I did read two excellent articles about the current state of the music industry in the last 24 hours however. The first one is very well-written and details clearly how difficult the current times are for musicians – explaining how the virus makes it incredibly difficult to do what we are best at – bringing people together. It emphasises the need for supports for musicians at the current time. The second one is similarly realistic (and hence downbeat) throughout but does end on a more positive note – and indeed the upcoming theme night is very much in the spirit of the last paragraph of this article. I have had so much help in putting this show together. From so many people (105 at the last count) – most of whom are out of

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Interviews

An interview is all about the person being interviewed. A good interviewer knows this, and doesn’t always stick to the script of prepared questions, especially if she feels the conversation is naturally going somewhere more interesting. An inexperienced or less skilled interviewer sometimes makes the interview about themselves, but this rarely produces a good outcome for anyone. This is true in the fields of journalism, recruitment and entertainment. We decided to include a couple of short interviews with regular theme night and teenage theme night participants in next Thursday’s show. To let you all get to know a bit better some of the performers you are used to seeing on stage and online. And while they were too short this time to deviate too far from the script, if you enjoy them we might try some slightly longer form interviews in the future.

The film crew

A film crew must be patient, attentive to detail, thorough. Usually the first there and the last to leave. The star of the film shows up hours later, and if she’s on her game, will deliver a performance once. Maybe twice. And if the film crew are doing their job, that’s all they need. One job takes very little time and gets all the glory. The other takes all day but rarely makes the headlines. But for those who matter when it comes to making a film, each appointment is as important as the other, because you need both to make a great film. Here is one of our film crews on location in Markree Castle earlier this week getting some shots for one of the videos in the upcoming Theme Night #27. And they certainly deserve some recognition for the amazing job they are doing – so thanks to Rory, Drew and Rummy from TemperHound Productions – I’m looking

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Yesterday’s shoot

Yesterday morning on O’Connell St approximately 70-80 people gathered in an event I organised to shoot a video for the upcoming online Theme Night #27. The song involved in this particular video is Dancing in the Street and we wanted to shoot footage of people having fun while doing just that. I would like to acknowledge from the off that much to my regret social distancing was not maintained at all times in certain areas of the shoot. And as the event organiser I apologise unreservedly for that. It was at the centre of the planning of the event that the risk to people involved would be as low as possible. It was planned that social distancing would be maintained at all times. From the outset we requested this, and the same advice was repeated throughout the event. In arranging it I was aware that the risk of transmitting the virus outdoors is significantly lower than indoors. And since gatherings

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Doing it anyway…

It’s not ideal to cut the grass when it’s wet. Everyone knows that. But sometimes it still has to be done. Neither is it ideal to shoot videos meant to be set in summer while it’s not sunny. But if you have a show coming up in 12 days then you might just have to bite the bullet. Speaking of which…we are shooting a video on O’Connell St in Sligo between 10 and 12 tomorrow (Sunday) morning. And we need 199 people. To dance. If you can do it please contact me on 0872390710 or kieran@kieranquinn.ie and it would be great to have you. Any age and dancing ability welcome. A determination to have fun is the most important thing. Please do let me know if you can make it though. We don’t want more than 200 people to show up given the current restrictions. It will be possible for you all to dance at a safe distance but not

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Waiting is the gift of unexpected time…

So we tried to tell ourselves as we waited by our phones yesterday for the green light to go ahead with our recording session in the Hawk’s Well Theatre. And one of the lads in the band used the unexpected time to make unexpected cookies. For the band. And I and some others got through some unexpected extra practice. But despite trying to pass the time productively, we were still waiting. And then all of a sudden the wait was over. The long-awaited go ahead, followed by a burst of energy and adrenaline that fuelled the recording of 20 songs in less than two full days. Live. And the videos will look better than the pics. Because that’s how we designed the lights. But here are some pics anyway…the band, the crew, and performers from the first and last songs recorded in the session. Theme Night #27…the most ambitious yet. Coming your way on July 16.

Teenage commitment

An old GAA coach of mine defined commitment as doing what you said you would do, even when you don’t want to do it. At the start of April, I put out a call to the youth musical community of Sligo – wondering would people be up for recording videos of themselves playing and singing to share with others. It was a way to keep people making music together while we couldn’t do it physically. And in the spirit of the times, 60 individuals/groups answered the call and said they would do it. 3 videos a week over the course of 20 weeks. And even though a lot has changed in those three months, each person has stuck to their word and delivered what they said they would. On time. We are into Week 13 of the 20 today, and I’d like to share some of the highlights so far. Enjoy. Here are two great original takes on classic songs…

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Theme Nights – The future…

Yesterday on Rosses Point beach the locals were given a surprise by the sight of a dozen musicians with instruments dressed in Hawaiian shirts and ballgowns shooting a video. Later in the evening, the bass section from the theme night choir were on a Zoom call figuring out the harmonies for one of the songs for the upcoming show. Then at lunchtime today one of the soloists found a quiet corner of her office and belted out Summer in Dublin into her phone so I could hear the key in which she wanted to sing it. And the next ten days will be full of little mini-events like this in various locations around our town and county in order to bring you the sequel to April’s online Theme Night #26. Ten days of shooting/recording, followed by ten days of mixing/editing and we will be ready to broadcast on 8.30 on the evening of Thursday July 16. Lockdown has provided much-needed

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Reaching for it…

Ask someone to think of moments when they felt satisfaction or a sense of achievement. It’s likely they will mention a time where they rose to a challenge. A time where they stretched themselves and succeeded. Something they reached for and just managed to grab perhaps. So if a sense of satisfaction or achievement is a feeling you like and perhaps strive for, then maybe it might be no harm to figure out when and how you can get out of your comfort zone next.

More is more

More notes are rarely the answer if you’re looking to write a great melody. Just as more words will probably not work if you haven’t already got your point across with your first go. And more money doesn’t usually make a problem go away. Not for long anyway. But more invention, more passion, more thought? That could be exactly what we are looking for. Photo by Miguel Orós on Unsplash