A Movie Called Silence

A Movie Called Silence

'Whenever you sing a song, the first note comes out of silence, and the last note, when you finish the song, falls back away down into silence again. And they say that no matter how many tunes you play, no matter how many songs you sing, there’s no cure for silence.'

These are words delivered by writer Michael Harding in a new film called Silence directed by Pat Collins which is to be screened on 23 February next at the re-opened Lighthouse Cinema as part of the forthcoming Dublin Film Festival.

The outline of Silence goes as follows: ‘Eoghan is a sound recordist who is returning to Ireland for the first time in 15 years. The reason for his return is a job offer: to record landscapes free from man-made sound. His quest takes him to remote terrain, away from towns and villages. Throughout his journey, he is drawn into a series of encounters and conversations which gradually divert his attention towards a more intangible silence, one that is bound up with the sounds of the life he had left behind.’

Influenced by elements of folklore and archive, Silence is the culmination of an idea and a collaborative process between Collins, his wife Sharon Wholley, and Donegal writer and film-maker Eoghan Mac Giolla Bhríde, and is co-produced by South Wind Blows and Harvest Films.

The soundtrack includes a version of ‘Amhrán na Leabhar’ from Seán Mac Erlaine’s new solo CD (Long After The Music Is Gone), which will be out later this year. Contemporary tracks include one by Los Angeles-based composer and author, Akira Rabelais called ‘1671 Milton Samson 1122 Add thy Spear, a Weavers beam, and seven-times-folded shield’.  ‘Caves’ and ‘From Monday Afternoon’ are performed and composed by Irish artist and composer Karl Burke, while ‘Derechos’ is by Canadian multi-instrumentalist Damian Valles.

Eoghan Mac Giolla Bhríde himself comes from a well known sean-nós singing family in Gaoth Dobhair, Co Donegal. His brother, Dominic Mac Giolla Bhríde won the Corn Uí Riada prize for sean-nós singing in 2010. In the soundtrack Eoghan sings extracts from ‘Is Trua nach Bhfuil Mé in Éirinn’ and ‘A Pháidí a Grá’. His mother, Nellie Nic Giolla Bhríde, is also an accomplished singer and old reel-to-reel recordings of her singing ’The Breeze And I’ (written by Ernesto Lecuona and Al Stillman) are heard at the beginning of the film. Her version of ‘An Chúilfhionn’ also features. 
A Rory Gallagher track, ‘I Fall Apart’ is used during the opening credits, and ‘Who Knows Where the Time Goes’ by Sandy Denny is used in the final credits and also during the film. 

Published on 9 February 2012

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