The ¨Macalla Chill Áirne¨ soundtrack melds modern and older sensibilities. The first track, ¨Fáinne Geal an Lae," was written in the 1830's, the decade our period film is set in. The song's lyrics begin on the same lake in the opening scene of the film, "one morning early I went out on the banks of Lough Leane.¨ Séamus Barra Ó Súilleabháin, rap and slam poet, contributes vocals on ¨Fáinne Geal," giving a new energy and flow into this old classic Gaelic song. The synths and harmonium that accompany him, add an otherworldly vibe that fits easily with this ¨aisling¨ or vision poem of old. Séamus is our main actor on film, playing the part of Partlán.
The physical phenomenon of the Killarney Echo is the sound that resounds off the mountains and lakes of Killarney when you fling music or noise at them. Whatever auditory projections are thrown-bounce off the lakes and jump back tenfold into the ears of those who seek "the echo." It was an obligatory part of the tour of the Killarney district throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries. Back then, they brought trumpets and bugles with them on their boat tour, to coax the echoes from their hiding places amongst the ancient mountains. ¨Ochón a Leanbh¨ is an old Irish lament that I arranged here for French horn and trumpet. The arrangement attempts to evoke something of the wonder of that interaction of brass and mountain, in days of yore. The film itself is a recreation of that tour of old.
Macalla Chill Áirne, is set in 1837 in the west of Ireland - the shadow of hindsight hangs heavy over the film's proceedings. The film takes place just a few short years before "the Great Famine," which will change the country utterly - ushering out Gaelic Ireland and ushering in a new English speaking country. Constantly, conflict is hinted at and rebounded through contrast, all culminating in the performance of the brass musicians and the thunderous finale of the cannon’s roar, which marked an end to this Victorian musical tour of antiquity. We left out the cannons from this album, that had already been done by 1812!
Voice - Séamus Barra ó Súilleabháin
Trumpet - Roy Kelleher
French Horn - Louise O´Sullivan
Synths, Harmonium - Charlie O´Brien
All compositions and arrangements by Charlie.