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This month marks Seoirse Bodley’s 90th birthday; an Irish composer known for pioneering traditional music as an element in his compositional voice. This book examines its influence on his work.

The Story

“The Story of Seoirse” is the memoir of one of the Blasket Islands’ most influential writers and public figures. Filled with local detail, this book appeals to readers interested in Irish folklore, history, culture and literature – particularly those who have visited Seoirse herself! Additionally it serves as an invaluable resource for Irish literary studies scholars.

George (Seoirse) Clancy was born in Grange, Co Limerick in 1881 to John Clancy (a carpenter) and Bridget Farrell – parents who had strong Fenian connections as his uncle Patrick had taken part in the rebellion of 1867.

Grange National School and St Patrick’s Seminary in Bruff provided him with his education before attending UCD from 1899-1904. Seoirse joined the Irish Republican Army (IRA) in 1918, serving in various capacities such as dispatcher and messenger work until 1921 when he was appointed assistant district secretary in London before also acting in Dublin region as Assistant District Secretary.

In the mid 1920s, he was arrested and charged with membership of an illegal organization; released on bail later that month and shortly afterwards resigning from the IRA shortly thereafter; though having left their fold he still played an active role in politics by holding several elected positions.

As an enthusiastic genealogist, he spent much of his life researching his family history. Along the way he discovered some interesting details, including discovering that one of his grandparent’s sisters married an IRA member; also being able to identify where his grandfather’s farm had once stood in Desertegney area in County Donegal — something especially significant since many farms in that region had been destroyed during Rising.

This week, Seoirse speaks with Children’s Book Illustrator, Writer, and Musician Electra Grant about how she got started doing genealogy, specifically her ancestors living in Ireland during the 1800s. Additionally, she shared her experience of making a film under Lockdown during Covid and more.

The Music

Seoirse Bodley was an influential composer who combined contemporary trends in music with an abiding love of Irish folk and traditional Gaelic singing, taking an avid interest in all three traditions. His five symphonies and two chamber symphonies, as well as numerous orchestral, choral and vocal works are played worldwide; his works feature emotive soundscapes with themes of loss reoccurring throughout.

He has written extensively on this subject, publishing several books. His most recent offering, The Invisible Art: Music, Culture and Context (Oxford University Press), represents an in-depth look at his work.

Cox offers a lucid and insightful study of one of Ireland’s foremost living composers, Bodley. He explores its development over sixty years as well as its most notable technical features; thus making this book highly appealing to musicians of both professional and amateur standing alike.

Bodley was widely revered during his life for the impact of his vocal and chamber works. Additionally, he was revered as an exceptional teacher at University College Dublin’s School of Music – teaching over four decades as a dedicated instructor.

RTE’s Composers of Ireland series features three pieces by Bodley. To start off this session, he sets 25 words of Milton’s See, How from Afar; performed here by Radio Eireann Men’s Octet conducted by Michael Rosen.

Irrationality and logic collide on an immense scale in this work, which is both magically sustained and hypnotically engaging. A similar fusion is evident in Remember (2011) which sets poetry by Christina Rosetti, Emily Dickinson and Seamus Heaney.

Both works explore loss and mourning through music that uses dark, brooding sonic landscapes reminiscent of despair. Yet their composer shies away from sentimentality to create powerful music which speaks directly to human experience; resonance plays an essential role in its success.

The Actors

Saoirse Ronan is one of the most talented young actors working today. Since making her film debut in 2007’s Atonement and receiving an Academy Award nomination for her performance as Agatha in Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel as well as playing Lady Bird (co-starring Timothee Chalamet) under Greta Gerwig, Ronan has garnered wide acclaim and several Academy Award nominations; most notably her portrayal of Jo March in Gerwig’s 2019 adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women earned Ronan another Oscar nominations and nomination.

She has also appeared on stage, playing Abigail Williams in a Broadway revival of The Crucible and Lady Macbeth in 2021 West End productions respectively. For these roles she received many accolades including Golden Globe and BAFTA nominations.

Ronan has also appeared in TV shows like Single-Handed and Fleabag, both of which she directed. Recently she was recognized by BuzzFeed as someone likely to become the new Meryl Streep; fans also love her work in Harry Potter films as Petunia Dursley.

Adam and Joseph Richie of Robust Games joined Seoirse this week to talk about their upcoming murder mystery game set on a train – Loco Motive. They discussed its origins as an entry in a Game Jam before becoming a full title; how player choices make the story feel more realistic; as well as what inspired them to create this title.

This week’s episode was recorded live at Reboot Develop Blue with Revolution co-founder Tony Warriner joining the cast to talk about their early days playing text adventures before starting Revolution together with Charles Cecil and how the genre has developed over time. Tony then shared some insight into adventure game development trends going forward as well as top tips for anyone just entering the industry! This was an engaging and informative episode. Thanks for listening!

The Cast

This week’s show features an interview with actor Rodrigo Ternevoy, best known for his role as Cristiano on Fair City in Ireland. He discusses with Seoirse about his career thus far and moving from Brazil to Ireland as well as working for Fair City during lockdown.

This week’s show also includes an interview with Jack and Pavle, co-founders of Flavourworks who recently released Erica, their FMV game. They discuss its inspiration as well as ensuring player choices have an effectful story impact, casting A-list actors for its roles and more.

This week Seoirse spoke with the directors and cast of Dublin-based theatre group Firedoor Theatre. They informed her about their upcoming production of God of Carnage which will run at Smock Alley theatre from August 23rd-28th. Furthermore they shared details about their rehearsal process for this production which initially involved Zoom before transitioning to face to face rehearsal.

Willie McGee was an ex-Mayo footballer and Fraud Squad head. In the final episode of this season of Show Seoirse speaks with Willie about his time with Mayo as well as ecoterrorism issues he dealt with while working at the Fraud Squad and other positions within law enforcement. Willie also discusses his memoir The Weight Of Time which chronicles his time spent working within law enforcement; now available from all good bookstores online.






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