Music Video by PoN

This is a music video I made for the track “Bubble Chamber” by Brooklyn based musician PoN. Visit his sound cloud here

The clips come form the movie “Cosmos – War of the Planets”, an Italian film directed by Alfonso Brescia and starring John Richardson, released in 1977. It is considered a remake of the 1965 film Planet of the Vampires. The movie has been made public domain. Howard Hughes criticizes the movie in every respect, stating, “Cosmos is the most consistent Italian sci-fi movie: script, special effects, costumes, music, and acting are all terrible.”

That may all be true, I wasn’t watching it for the performances, just to steal shots and I think it suits the video well.

A Song for Ireland

A while back I edited and directed a music video for my friend Aoife Scott who next week will represent Ireland in the Liet International Song Contest in Italy


It’s no surprise that Aoife Scott shall be taking to the stage in Udine to represent
Ireland in this prestigious competition.

Born into the legendary Black Family – which includes her mother, Frances,
and her aunt, Mary – she has been surrounded by and immersed in Irish music,
language and culture from an early age, from listening to her grandparents,
mother, aunt and uncles making music around the fire, to observing the backstage
workings of festivals both here and abroad. Having moved to the west coast of
Ireland several years ago and her passion for the native Irish language spoken
there is reflected in her choice of songs.

She possesses a voice that reflects the wild western landscape: fragile one minute
and forceful the next. Aoife has showcased her music at an international level,
bringing the Irish language to the world stage and increasing an awareness for
Irish Culture and heritage abroad. Her work includes prestigious performances
with some of Ireland’s finest musicians and international acts including Sharon
Shannon, Séamus Begley, Cherish the Ladies, Eddi Reader, Pauline Scanlon
and of course the Black Family. Hers is the featured voice on the soundtrack of
the acclaimed Irish language TV series 1916 Seachtar na Cásca, which aired in
September 2010, and she has made appearances on the BBC’s Imeall Geal.

Through Aoife’s involvement and participation in the Liet International Festival,
Aoife shall once again take the Irish language to a world stage through the
medium of music. Whilst in Italy, Aoife shall partake in many press and media
interviews discussing her role as the Irish musical ambassador in Udine, whilst
also promoting the Irish language, bringing it further positive international

Aoife’s involvement with Liet International Festival, will create relationships with
other such artists abroad and other organisations, i.e. booking agents, festivals,
tour promoters and interested media partners. Aoife will perform in this reputable
contest with the song “Donal Ná Fag”, written by acclaimed singer and songwriter
Enda Reilly.

“Donal Ná Fág is proof that you can take the wild spirit of traditional Irish Music and
reset it in a 21st century context. A thrilling mix of the old and the new, it sums up Aoife
Scott herself, a fiery passionate young talent springing from a fine musical family. ”
Hot Press September 2011

For more information please contact

<a href=" International – Takes place on 19th of November 2011
Winner of “Fast Track to Feis” Competition – London Feis – June 2011
Winner of BallyShannon Folk Festival Showcase – Ballyshannon – July 2011
Regional Finalist in Hot Press/2fm/Arthurs Day competition – September 2011
Finalist in Upcoming Liet International Song Contest – Italy – November 2011

Susan McKeown Music Video

Here is a music video I edited for award winning artist Susan McKeown over the summer. The track was called ‘No Jericho’. It was directed and shot by Niall McKay from Media Factory, a really cool production company based in Brooklyn for whom I did some bits and bobs over the summer. Niall and I were both really happy with how this turned out. The video was shot last january near Marcy Avenue in Williamsburg, which happened to be very close to where I ended up living during the summer.

Here’s her bio piece from her website

A singer of passion, grace and striking presence with the ability to capture both the essence of a traditional folk song or the more hard-edged domain of contemporary adult rock; she seems to personify both past and present.

One of the strongest, most expressive voices to have come out of Ireland belongs to Dublin native Susan McKeown. Her powerful pipes create a primal sound that comes from an adventurous musical spirit. The strong, richly colored contralto and the enlivening intelligence of her songs marked Susan as a distinctive talent upon the release of her debut album Bones (SNG 1995). The GRAMMY award-winning vocalist and BBC Folk Award nominee has gone on to record eleven more albums spanning the realms of world music and rock and has performed with Pete Seeger, Natalie Merchant, Mary Margaret O’Hara, Linda Thompson, Billy Bragg, The Klezmatics, Mariachi Real de Mexico, Ensemble Tartit, Flook, Lúnasa, Andy Irvine and Johnny Cunningham. Susan’s own music has been featured in documentary programs on PBS, BBC, RTE, and ABC (Australia) and she has frequently performed on NPR and PRI.

She walks on the wild side of Gaelic melody.

Susan grew up in Dublin, Ireland where she was greatly influenced by her mother, an organist and composer. As a teenager she abandoned a promised opera career, choosing instead to sing folk and original songs on the streets of her native city. In 1990 with a Travel Bursary from The Arts Council and a Kaliber Arts Achievement Award she left for New York City to take up a scholarship to attend The American Musical & Dramatic Academy.

Settling in the East Village in 1990 Susan started out as an actress but soon gained a reputation as a vocalist and songwriter. She has forged her own creative path in a personal journey of self-discovery, drawing influences from sources as far flung as the words of Chief Seattle, the poetry of Emily Dickinson and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and the epic Irish legend of The Táin.
If there’s some dividing line between Celtic traditionalism and eclectic contemporary songwriting, McKeown refuses to acknowledge it. And with a voice as warm, resonant and versatile as hers, why should she?

McKeown has been praised in the pages of Time Magazine and Rolling Stone and has appeared on various NPR programs (All Things Considered, A Prairie Home Companion, New Sounds Live, Mountain Stage and The Infinite Mind) as well as on the nationally televised CBS This Morning and Sessions at West 54th Street. Her powerful, emotive delivery and unique approach to a lyric have made Susan the vocalist of choice for documentary film soundtracks on CBS, Discovery Channel and PBS American Masters, as well as for prestigious theatre companies such as San Jose Repertory Theatre and Mabou Mines: Susan contributes lead vocals to the latter’s production of Peter & Wendy which plays The New Victory Theatre in New York in May 2010.

“McKeown grabbed both song and audience by the throat, dragged them through heaven and hell and back again, and left the stage to the loudest
applause heard all evening.”

Music video I made goes online tomorrow

A music video I made for the singer Aoife Scott will be premiering on her facebook page tomorrow Friday 27th of May at noon. It is now available to watch here well it was, its gone down for the moment. Some issue with Youtube Aoife is sorting it out

Here’s how it came about,
About six weeks ago I was asked by Aoife to direct a music video from her upcoming cd release. I was naturally thrilled to be given the opportunity to make something for her. However prior work commitments and my upcoming NYC Sojurn meant that we had to be creative in how we used our time. So I decided to raid some archive I had laying around.
Last year my friend Jimmy had asked me to help him get his parents old Super 8 footage transferred so i put him in contact with another friend Julien Dogere from Super8 Ireland. His company as well as the sale of Super 8 cameras, film and accesories also specialises in the telecine of old footage. Each reel is carefully transferred frame by frame and brought back to life, my friend Jimmy and I were both delighted with the results. The footage we got back was great and a real treasure trove of memories for Jimmy and he let me hang onto a copy of it.
When Aoife sent me a copy of her song ‘The Growing Years’, it and Jimmy’s footage seemed a natural fit. From the very first frames I put down to the track I knew it worked and it seemed to cut itself. I then just had to show it Jimmy, who absolutely loved it. I asked him if there was anything he wanted me to change on the grounds of sensitivity and he said the only thing he’d change was a pan about two minutes in because it wasn’t moving the story along! Of course being the big film buff that he is he was spot on as well. I can’t thank him enough for letting Aoife and I use the footage we are both thrilled with the final product and are excited about getting it out there.

If you want to know more about Super 8 Ireland or indeed have some old reels who need transferred check out his website here

If you would like to know more about Aoife Scott you can visit her site here or read her biography below

That the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree is an oft-stated truism, but in Aoife Scott’s case that doesn’t make it any less valid. Born into the legendary Black Family – which includes her mother, Frances, and her aunt, Mary – she has been surrounded by and immersed in music from an early age, from listening to her grandparents, mother, aunt and uncles making music around the fire, to observing the backstage workings of festivals both here and abroad. Now she is making her own way in the music business, having decided (surprise surprise!) to pursue a singing career.

She is about to release her debut 5-track EP, which includes songs by Don Mescall and Damien Dempsey. Aoife attended an Irish language school and has been living in Connemara for the past year, and her fluency and love of the language are reflected in her choice of songs. She has been involved in a number of prestigious performances with some of Ireland’s finest musicians and international acts including Sharon Shannon, Séamus Begley, Cherish the Ladies, Eddi Reader, Pauline Scanlon and of course the Black Family. Aoife has been quietly generating a buzz amongst musicians for several years, and this EP will bring her to a wider audience.

Possessed of a voice that is laden with character, fragile one minute and forceful the next, she drew an unprecedented reaction from the listeners of a leading internet broadcaster when performing alongside several well known artists earlier this year. She is the featured voice on the soundtrack of the acclaimed tv series ”Seachtar Na Cásca”, which aired in September 2010. Other projects include a radio documentary exploring her family links with Rathlin Island, the birthplace of her late grandfather, and recent appearances on Imeall Geal, on BBC Northern Ireland.

In an era when talk is cheap, the assertion of stellar musician Sharon Shannon that the young Aoife Scott is possessed of “a great passion with a fearless attitude” has to be taken seriously. Watch this space for further developments!

Aoife Scott photo by Gavin Leane.

Arthurs Day 2010

This is a clip from the Arthur’s Day show that recently played on TV3 which someone has uploded onto YouTube. I am posting it up here as I happened to work on the show. I say work but all I really did was load and transcode the XD footage onto drives. It was handy if somewhat boring work but it meant I got to go to all the shows that night and could have a rake of free Guinness afterwards. Which I did with some fine people over from England who were producing it. Most of the gigs were muck mind!

David Byrne speaks out on his $1 million lawsuit against Florida governor

An article from

Florida governor Charlie Crist used Talking Heads’ “Road to Nowhere” in campaign video on his website and on YouTube earlier this year, and David Byrne is not happy about it.

The frontman and solo artist is suing Crist for $1 million, as the politician did no secure rights to use the song, monetarily or through Talking Heads’ permission.

The ads were used during the Republican primaries for the state, in attacking Crist’s then-rival Marco Rubio. Crist has since gone from Republican to Independent.

Byrne wrote up his reasons for the lawsuit on his blog, and took a swipe at the Republican party while he was at it:

A while back a friend told me that the Republican Governor of Florida, Charlie Crist, was using the Talking Heads song “Road to Nowhere” in a campaign ad. He’s running for Senate.

Well, using a recording of a song, or even just using that song and not the original recording, in an advertisement without permission is illegal, unless the composition has gone into the public domain. It’s not just illegal because one is supposed to pay for such use and not paying is, well, theft — it’s also illegal because one has to ask permission, and that permission can be turned down.

Besides being theft, use of the song and my voice in a campaign ad implies that I, as writer and singer of the song, might have granted Crist permission to use it, and that I therefore endorse him and/or the Republican Party, of which he was a member until very, very recently. The general public might also think I simply license the use of my songs to anyone who will pay the going rate, but that’s not true either, as I have never licensed a song for use in an ad.

It might be pointed out that Republican campaign organizations have done this kind of thing before. John McCain’s campaign used the Jackson Browne song “Running on Empty” and Reagan’s folks used Springsteen’s “Born in the U.S.A.” Both were used illegally without permission, and in the case of the Jackson Browne song a lawsuit was brought. After the Republicans lost several motions attempting to dismiss Browne’s complaint, they settled with him. Part of the settlement said that the Republican National Committee promised to respect artists’ rights and to obtain licenses for the use of copyrighted works in the future.

Now, there is such a thing as fair use. Typically the type of free use that doesn’t require a permission might be a student quoting a passage in a book to make a point in a graduate paper, or someone using part (not all) of “Road to Nowhere” to identify, say, the marching groove in that song as a metaphor for the inexorable forward momentum of time, or some such notion. These uses are typically exempt from licensing, permission and fees. In this case, however, the use was not to comment on or explain something about “Road to Nowhere,” ’80s music in general, Talking Heads or Cajun accordion riffs — it was used solely to further Governor Crist’s advertising strategy in his Senate primary campaign… a campaign that has nothing to do with me or my music.

Another tactic the Republicans have used to justify this kind of thing is the right to political free speech. Their argument is that the song is integral to making a political point, and therefore falls under free speech. Well, that’s just crazy talk — the song has nothing to do with Crist’s political views. It simply has a title that is a handy catchphrase, as does the Jackson Browne song — but the content of the song itself doesn’t have any connection with the politician’s campaign or agenda.

Interestingly, as Daily Swarm points out, Rubio was allegedly abusing the same copyright laws with his use of Steve Miller Band’s “Take the Money and Run.” Though a suit was not filed, Miller was not pleased.