'The Trackless Wild,' album and documentary film

“The Trackless Wild, Irish Song of the Pampa” will be the first album from this forgotten tradition of Irish-Argentine ballads, the documentary that accompanies it will follow my trail as it intersects with the writer of five of these 19th century Irish-Argentine songs. Most  of “The Trackless Wild's” lyrics were resurrected from the pages of an old newspaper “El Monitor de la Campaña.” The Pampas in the album title refers to the South American low grasslands that cover large tracts of the Continent. This crowdfunding campaign is my last blast effort to get this worthy work made! Scroll down to see various ways to support ↓↓

The Trackless Wild

Charlie O' Brien

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The Trackless Wild

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"The Trackless Wild, Irish Song of the Pampa” explores the forgotten tradition of Irish-Argentine balladry. The album's lyrics were resurrected from the pages of an old newspaper “El Monitor de la Campaña.” The pampas in the album title refers to the South American low grasslands that cover large tracts of the Continent. Many of the lyrics had

"The Trackless Wild, Irish Song of the Pampa” explores the forgotten tradition of Irish-Argentine balladry. The album's lyrics were resurrected from the pages of an old newspaper “El Monitor de la Campaña.” The pampas in the album title refers to the South American low grasslands that cover large tracts of the Continent. Many of the lyrics had obvious Irish melodies associated with them, such as, "Donovan's Mount," which specified the air "Lannigan's Ball." For those that didn't have an obvious melody, I created one, or chose an air from the Irish tradition, such as, "The Mountain's of Pomeroy" (for The Pampa's Fairest Child).

Expected release: August 1, 2024

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    Donovan's Mount

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The Trackless Wild film
  • The Trackless Wild film

The Trackless Wild film

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The Trackless Wild film

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€15.00

Stream the film privately at home before its released in a special screening with myself the director.

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Trouble or Fortune T-Shirt
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Trouble or Fortune T-Shirt

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Trouble or Fortune T-Shirt

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Emblazon yourself with Trouble or Fortune's ubiquitous logo. The original engraving in the design comes from an article from the London Illustrated News printed in the 1880's and entitled "In Pursuit of the Fenians."

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Donation, Any Amount
  • Donation, Any Amount

Donation, Any Amount

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Donation, Any Amount

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Please pay at least €1.00

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€1.00

Support this project for any amount, from small to large. Includes no item. Thank you kindly for your support of this latest Trouble or Fortune endeavour.

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Associate Producer of The Trackless Wild
  • Associate Producer of The Trackless Wild

Associate Producer of The Trackless Wild

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€800.00

You will be credited on IMDB (and on the film's credits!) as associate producer. You'll receive personalised "The Trackless Wild" updates, and a VIP invitation to the premiere. Includes copy of the vinyl of the album "Exile & Adventure," t-shirt, and download of film.

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Organisation Logo
  • Organisation Logo

Organisation Logo

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€1,000.00

Have your organisations logo pride of place on both the album artwork and credits of the film, as well as promotional material at festivals and concerts. Bring these Irish songs of the diaspora back to life through supporting this historical and contemporary artistic endeavour.

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Executive Producer of The Trackless Wild
  • Executive Producer of The Trackless Wild

Executive Producer of The Trackless Wild

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€5,000.00

The individual or owner of a company will be the executive producer of the film and their name or logo will appear in the opening and ending credits of the movie-“in association with….” they will also be credited on IMDB and all associated promotional material at concerts, screenings and festivals. They will receive all the physical perks such as

The individual or owner of a company will be the executive producer of the film and their name or logo will appear in the opening and ending credits of the movie-“in association with….” they will also be credited on IMDB and all associated promotional material at concerts, screenings and festivals. They will receive all the physical perks such as vinyls and cds, as well as a VIP invitation to the premiere.

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Trouble or Fortune Vinyl Discography
  • Trouble or Fortune Vinyl Discography

Trouble or Fortune Vinyl Discography

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€75.00

Get the whole Trouble or Fortune discography on vinyl. This includes "Where Splendour Falls" (2016), "Fire and Foam" (2022), and the new album "Exile & Adventure." Both Fire and Foam and Exile and Adventure are limited edition (30 each) lathe pressed records from Phonocats in Wexford. Where Splendour Falls comes with a poetry book in old Gaelic

Get the whole Trouble or Fortune discography on vinyl. This includes "Where Splendour Falls" (2016), "Fire and Foam" (2022), and the new album "Exile & Adventure." Both Fire and Foam and Exile and Adventure are limited edition (30 each) lathe pressed records from Phonocats in Wexford. Where Splendour Falls comes with a poetry book in old Gaelic script and English containing the words of the songs themselves. There are only 4 of this offer available, as thats how many records of "Fire and Foam" remain. The price is a steal. The "lathe-cutting" process gives an even better sound quality than factory produced records. The work is carried out by one person in real time, its labour intensive work, making each vinyl like the master record that all other vinyls are printed off in conventional factory printing.

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Crowdfunding updates

Onwards and Upwards on the Trackless Wild 

Back at ground zero in Chaco, I'm sitting down at the computer again, spending the last couple of weeks at the mixing process, catching up on correspondence and formulating the plan for the release of the album in July/August. Speaking of “The Trackless Wild” the final bit of music was recorded for it at the weekend in the county of Clare. Aidan Connolly, the bould Dublin fiddler added fiddle to two tracks and whistle to one. 

 

Thankfully the old motor that is this crowdfunding's financial support has started churning again and we are a bit nearer the goal. As the old song “Bleak is the Pampa” says…

hearts that looks upward from hope cannot sever

for theirs is the goal at which all is divine!

 

Raised €6102

GOAL €9800

 

GRMMA!

Jason Mundok €59

Seán O'Connell €25

Mari Mochizuki €68

Noreen O'Shea €24

Anon. €1000 

Mícheál Ó Caoimh €100

Martin O'Dwyer and Park Jieun €107

Neil Brosnan €24

Tango Street Food LTD €100

Sean Looney €800

Peter Money €25

Benedict Cosgrove €34

Mary Ann van Beuren €59

Father Tom Looney €200 

Edmundo Murray €52 

Susan Clifton €1040

Edward Devinney €100 

Micheál O'Ciardubháin €25 

Anonymus €500 

John McAuliff €42 

Kieran O'Brien €100

Maureen O'Riordan €500 

Anto McCarthy €20 

Aidan Connolly €40

Billy Kemp €67

Rene Van den Heuvel €34

Hazel Moloney €30

Paul Doyle €15

Fergal Horgan €158

Jim O'Donohue  €50

Eoin O'Carra €50

Geoff Cobb €30

Chris Dove €24

Patrick Donnelly €200

Marion Hartnett €200 

Sr. Margaret O'Brien €200

 

 

"Exile & Adventure," Done and Dusted. 

A highly productive month of January was spent recording this new album. As well as finishing the recording process of “Exile and Adventure,” another two and a half days of filming for the conjoining documentary “The Trackless Wild" was completed. In that spirit, I spent a day wandering around A Wandering Tip's old stomping ground of Capilla del Señor. I even sang one of his songs while waiting for the train to take me there!

Myself and Facundo Flores

The album, besides my own musings in sound, contains the musical contributions of Patricio Sullivan (charango), Facundo Flores (tiple and percussion), Manu Momobertoni (bandoneon), and Ezequiel Dutil (double bass). The only music left to record is fiddle which will be recorded by Aidan Connolly in Dublin in the next few weeks.

After five weeks in Buenos Aires I'm now back ensconced in the north of Argentina where I'm delving into the mixing process, which should take another month or so. Next step then is to concrete the plans for release, another kettle of fish altogether!

I was told by Irish-Argentine author Juan José Delaney that “A Wandering Tip” could possibly be from “A Wandering Tipo” which would translate as a wandering lad. Juan José was interviewed on our second day of filming in the iconic “Club Fahy” in Belgrano, Buenos Aires. Singing Tip's songs and delving into his stories, sometimes I feel like I'm singing out a self fulfilling prophesy, unknowingly carving my own story into “The Trackless Wild” and these 19th century songs of “Exile & Adventure.”

The amount raised for the completion of all this work hasn't moved a jot since the last update seven weeks ago, I've had no time atall to spend on that aspect of things. Something will have to give in that respect, or I'll be wandering the Trackless Wild eternally. Speaking of which, I'm half thinking of naming both album and film “The Trackless Wild.” I think it encapsulates better than “Exile and Adventure, Irish Song of the Pampa" the wild places those first immigrants found themselves in. Although most every song on the album is one of exile, that title “Exile and Adventure” I first came up with when I was hoping to get a grant for the recording. Since not a penny was raised in that sense, I'm thinking the more poetic “The Trackless Wild," as a title, tells a better story than “Exile & Adventure.” 

Thanks eternally to all who have supported this worthy work, bail ó dhia ar an obair. 

beir bua,

Cha

 

 

 

A Shepherd's Song 

A week from now we'll begin the recording process of “Exile & Adventure, Irish Song of the Pampa” in Buenos Aires (after a 24 bus journey from here in Chaco!). Last weekend another day of filming for “The Trackless Wild” was completed, on the farm of one, Fernando Sheridan. Fernando's grandfather lived in the same town and at the same time as 'A Wandering Tip' (the writer of many of these Irish-Argentine songs). I sang “The Jolly Shepherd Boy" for Fernando and he told me about how his family came to Argentina and worked in that profession of shepherding when they first came to the country. Amazingly, Fernando's grandfather was a child of the famine, who arrived in Argentina in the late 1860's just before the songs I'm singing were published. 

I am a jolly shepherd boy and live upon the plain  

Oh! once I was my parentsjoy e'er first I crossed the main

 

 

The crowdfunding effort to see this film to fruition has again crawled up a little more towards the goal, though still it is lacking a major injection to get this worthy work done.

GRMMA!

Mícheál Ó Caoimh €100

Martin O'Dwyer and Park Jieun €107

Neil Brosnan €24

Tango Street Food LTD €100

Sean Looney €800

Peter Money €25

Benedict Cosgrove €34

Mary Ann van Beuren €59

Father Tom Looney €200 

Edmundo Murray €52 

Susan Clifton €540

Edward Devinney €100 

Micheál O'Ciardubháin €25 

Anonymus €500 

John McAuliff €42 

Kieran O'Brien €100

Maureen O'Riordan €500 

Anto McCarthy €20 

Aidan Connolly €40

Billy Kemp €67

Rene Van den Heuvel €34

Hazel Moloney €30

Paul Doyle €15

Fergal Horgan €158

Jim O'Donohue  €50

Eoin O'Carra €50

Geoff Cobb €30

Chris Dove €24

Patrick Donnelly €200

Marion Hartnett €200 

Sr. Margaret O'Brien €200

 

Raised €4426

GOAL €9800

Update Six: Quiet Fronts, Roll on January! 

All is quiet on the northern front here in Chaco, though wider spheres of politics & culture have been beating their incessant drum. Tipperary's last bard, Shane MacGowan, passed away, Argentina now has an anarcho-capitalist president, Javier Milei, and there is even talk of war on the shores of South Americay, way up in Guyana. 

As for my own machinations, I've been busy organizing the logistics of recording in Buenos Aires. Besides my own contributions, multi instrumentalist Facundo Flores will be both recording and playing on this album “Exile and Adventure.” The amount collected hasn't moved alot from the last update. Though we have tipped over the €4000 mark, its still quite a distance from the hoped for amount that would see both the album and film completed. As it stands, both projects will be wholly funded by those that support this campaign. The work will come to fruition as much from the support of those who dig what I'm doing as from my own volition. 

From the generous contributions already received I have money to pay Facundo and have rented an apartment near his home for the month of January. Thank you all kindly for your belief and support of the rekindling of the fire in these Irish-Argentine songs of old. 

Resurrecting in songs, spirits long gone  

This ballad below “Bleak is the Pampa” had no obvious air, have a listen to the one I composed for it in the ‘song sketches’ above. Bleak is the Pampa nods to the ancient isle of Hy Brasil in the lines 

“had I ne'er quitted my own island dwelling, in search of a phantom in lands far away.”

 

Raised €4026

GOAL €9800

Fifth Update, Four Weeks In! 

Having had to run off to Córdoba for a week (a 16 hr bus ride each way!) I haven't been as present at the helm as I'd like to have been the past week of this crowdfunding push. Thankfully, I'm ensconced in the hot north of Argentina again and can get back to making Exile & Adventure and The Trackless Wild film happen. Below is another one of the songs “Donovan's Mount” as it appeared in the old newspaper “El Monitor de la Campaña.”

Resurrecting in song, spirits long gone. 

 

 

The plan is to record the album of these old Irish-Argentine songs in January/February in Buenos Aires, we will also have another couple of days filming there at least. 

Raised €3640

GOAL €9800

¡Fourth Update, A toda máquina! 

Mil gracias, thanks a million to all who have supported this project so far, from Argentines in Killarney to stalwart New Yorkers and many's the paddy in between. As it stands, we are closing in on receiving sufficient support to cover the cost of recording and publishing the “Exile & Adventure” album, next stop “The Trackless Wild” film. Here's the page of the newspaper where the poem of the same name first appeared in 1872. In reality, that poem “The Trackless Wild” is an Irish-Argentine version of the 19th century Irish ballad “The Home I left Behind.”

So hail La Plata! though by birth an exile from your shore

Adopted land both wild and grand and I’ll try to love you more

For freedom unadorned hold, last my roving mind

And help me scarce lament the land and friends I left behind.

 

 

Raised €3474

GOAL €9800

 

Third Update, 12th Day! 

The TF train has thankfully hauled out of the doldrums it pulled into last week. Though we still have a ways to go to reach our destination, I now have enough gathered to make it to Buenos Aires and record this album. There will of course be many costs after that, including mastering, mixing, printing and more. 

The film “The Trackless Wild” has also a myriad of work attached to it. Making this documentary happen for €5000 will be no small feat. Thankfully, having been an integral part of three other documentaries in Latin America I am adept in many parts of production and post. This is how its possible to keep the cost of filming so low. I'll be looking after most of the edit, the soundtrack, even some of the filming. Trouble or Fortune has gathered the bare bones of what it takes to make a film over the years, editing software, microphones, field recorder, GH5 camera and many other small but essential parts of will go into making “The Trackless Wild” happen. Work that will be outsourced will include, two camera operators, two soundmen, color correction, dubbing mixer, lighting, & graphic motion design elements (of the beautiful 19th century newspaper these songs appeared in).  

Raised €2980

GOAL €9800

 

I Hear That Trouble or Fortune Train a Coming, Second Update. 

A week into the “Exile & Adventure” crowdfunding campaign and the Trouble or Fortune train has screeched into the station, destination delayed. What started on a very promisingly upward trajectory last weekend, has risen little since. I've been emailing, ringing, texting & posting all week trying to get the word out there about this worthy work. Being ensconced in the far north of Argentina has made it challenging to interest those (mainly at home and in the U.S.) that have supported my work in the past. Anyone that wants to share the campaign link please do, thats what its all about, sharing the plan to resurrect these songs, stories & souls of old. With your help we can get the Trouble or Fortune train, 'bound for glory' again, as Woody Guthrie once said. 

GOAL €9,800

Raised €2,039 
 

Bombs Away, First Update!  

I began this third crowdfunding battle just yesterday and so far I have gathered €1,419,* no paltry sum. To record the album in Buenos Aires and to cover the costs associated with printing, mixing and mastering works out at €4800. “The Trackless Wild” film can be completed on a Trouble or Fortune "shoestring special" with another €5000. The two unsuccessful Arts Council applications for the album included a detailed budget breakdown, any one that wants can have a gander at those, just shoot me a line. 

GOAL €9,800

Raised €1,439 

*€520 of this figure is from the launch of the single “ The Pampa's My Home” a week or so ago. 

Thanks a million to all who have supported thus far, in a sense ye are all associate producers and I look forward to seeing your names emblazoned in the credits of the film next year! 

 

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FAQ

Q: What is “Exile and Adventure, Irish Song of the Pampa and Farther Afar?” A: “Exile and Adventure" is an upcoming album that combines traditional Irish music with the spirit of the Argentinean pampa. Eight of the eleven tracks come from a forgotten newspaper printed in the countryside of Buenos Aires in the 1870's. Two others tracks are Spanish translations of old Irish ballads. The album will feature local Buenos Aires musicians Facundo Flores and Fernando Killian, as well as Dublin fiddle player, Aidan Connolly. This album brings takes these Argentinian-Irish songs from the archives where they have languished and places them back into traditional Irish music idiom they were first written in.

Q: What is “The Trackless Wild?” A: The Trackless Wild is the name of a half hour documentary film that follows the crossing trails, both physical and emotional, between myself, folk singer, Charlie O’Brien, and the anonymous author of  the 19th century Irish Argentine song “The Trackless Wild.” We will record four of “A Wandering Tip's” songs in various filming locations pertinent to the Irish-Argentine community, as well as interview a handful of the people met along our trip, including, a present day Irish gaucho, local historians and Irish Argentine musicians. Besides this, archive footage of the Pampa’s from the early 1900’s would also be employed to evoke something of the long gone era our writer lived in. Graphic motion design segments incorporating the actual prints of the 19th century newspapers his songs resided in will also be interspersed amongst the rest of the footage. Resurrecting these lyrics of old, he time travels to our timeline as I muse and sing my way into his past. 

Q: Have you received any other funding? A: I've spent the past year or more looking for official funding for the album, applying for grants on three separate occasions (and all the form filling and waiting that implies). None of the applications were successful. That is, “not a mango,” as they say here in Argentina, was collected. 

Q: Whats the craic with the price of the vinyl? A: Each record will be hand-made by Phonocats Vinyl in Wexford. This "lathe-cutting" process  gives a better sound quality than factory produced records. It is, however, labor intensive work, carried out by one person in real time. Essentially, each one of the records will be like the one master record that all others are copied off in conventional factory printing methods. Hence the hefty price.

Q: How can I contribute to the crowdfunding campaign? A: To support this crowdfunding campaign for "Exile and Adventure, Irish Song of the Pampa and Farther Afar," simply click on the "amount" or "add to cart" button links next to each item above, then select an amount to contribute (there is a suggested minimum amount, you can also pay more). You will be given two options for payment, paypal or credit card.

Q: When can I expect to receive my rewards? A: I will fulfill all rewards once the album production is completed in April/May 2024. You'll be updated throughout the process. The album will be officially launched in July 2024, the film may take a few months longer. 

Q: What if I have further questions or need assistance? A: If you have any additional questions or require assistance with the "Exile and Adventure" crowdfunding campaign, reach out through the contact form on this website. I'll be more than happy to run through whatever questions you have personally.

beir bua,

Cha