June 2017

The June heat means sound is travelling faster than it has all year (warm air increases speed of sound) which unfortunately allows for all the late night drunken Dublin sing song to reach my apartment window even quicker. Not that I'm a curmudgeon!

Anne Maree Barry's new work Otium Cum Dignitate (Leisure with Dignity) which I sound designed is currently on show in The Lab on Foley Street until August 20th. It's a fascinating exploration of gender and class division through the lens of early 20th century Dublin, specifically the notorious Monto area above Talbot Street.

Currently in the works is a radio adaptation of Orla Murphy's award winning theatre drama Remember to Breath

Set during a young Irish woman's attempts to learn to swim in a post-earthquake Christchurch, New Zealand, it explores themes of loss, disconnection, and identity as she strives to reconcile her old home life with her new home land. Sound design and mixing are almost complete and it will be broadcasting on Newstalk FM in the near future.

May Workshopping

Spring finally arrived, and I started the month off with a trip to Sweden to take part in a week long Wildeye course in nature recording with the venerable Chris Watson and Jez Riley French. The wonderful Jana Windersen also joined us during the course to share her practice, ensuring that the trip was all the more inspiring and informative. I'll be doing a longer post detailing the course, with some audio. I'd be remiss, given the following paragraph, to not publish this one recording from the trip of a roe deer calling in the forest near the hostel I stayed at.  

The Killing of a Sacred Deer screened at Cannes to a really excellent critical response, and the icing on the cake is that it jangled some nerves sufficiently enough that a few people booed it!  I have been anxiously waiting to see what an audience response to it would be, since cutting the foley for it back in February, and it hasn't disappointed. It is a film that demands to be seen several times, and really burrows its way into your psyche. The amazing poster gives a small glimpse of the visual mastery at work.


Not content with the inspiration levels from a weeklong Sweden sound recording workshop, this month I've also managed to attend discussions with two auteurs of modern cinema. 

Hou Hsiao-hsien gave a masterclass earlier in the month at the IFI, and spoke about his visual aesthetic and the intuitions that drive his film making. Werner Herzog was then in conversation at the National Concert Hall as part of the Dublin Literary Festival, where he spoke about the books that have inspired him and influenced his world view. What became evident with both filmmakers is that they are modern pilgrims; searching for a universal truth by being uncompromising in their work and driven by a faith in their personal vision. 

Herzog included a reading list that is also required reading for his Rogue Film School:

  • Virgil’s “Georgics”
  • Ernest Hemingway’s “The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber”
  • Baker's "The Peregrine" (New York Review Books Edition published by HarperCollins). 
  • The Warren Commission Report
  • “The Poetic Edda”, translated by Lee M. Hollander (in particular The Prophecy of the Seeress) 
  • Bernal Diaz del Castillo “True History of the Conquest of New Spain”

Cannes and IFTAs

Great news from Cannes that Yorgos LanthimosThe Killing of a Sacred Deer has been chosen for the Official Selection this year. Sound Design is being handled by Lanthimos' previous The Lobster collaborator, Johnnie Burn, who is also known for the superb soundscape of Under The Skin. I cut the foley for Sacred Deer and it is another fascinating film in the inimitable and logically lateral world of Lanthimos. Looking forward to hearing about the audience reaction.

Tomato Red Film Poster Sound Design

A great result at the IFTAs for Tomato Red which won in the Best Sound category. The film is wonderfully written and shot, and the soundscape designed by Steve Fanagan, Niall Brady and Ken Galvin is nuanced and immersive. It was a great to get do some work on such good sounding film, and it is worth seeking it and Juanita Wilson's other films to see some great filmmaking. 

Awards Season

Really happy to see three projects I was fortunate enough to work on were listed as nominees for the 2017 IFTAs.

An Klondike

An Klondike

An Klondike has garnered a stunning 10 nominations including Best Drama, Best Direction, Best Script and Best Music. It was a fantastic show to work on and fully deserves the attention.



Smalltown has earned 3 nominations including Best Drama. It was wonderful to work on and to be part of a show that sees Pat Shortt deliver such an amazing dramatic turn.

Tomato Red

Tomato Red

Juanita Wilson's Tomato Red is up for 4 awards including Best Film and Best Sound. I was delighted to work as Foley Editor on this picture and the sound team of Niall Brady, Steve Fanagan, Garret Farrell and Ken Galvin are fully deserving of a win  for crafting such a gorgeous soundscape. 

Binaural Parade

Credit: William Murphy

Credit: William Murphy

I've been working with binaural for an upcoming project, and took the opportunity to record the Macnas parade for the Bram Stoker Festival in Dublin using the binaural technique. 

Results with binaural ambiences can vary in their effectiveness, but if you close your eyes and listen, there's  a nice sense of the parade moving in front of you. I had to make two small gain adjustments as there were some feedback issues with one of the bands on a float. Enjoy.