Brian Byrne is a Golden Globe nominated composer and multi award winning film composer, songwriter, producer and conductor. His recent projects include the score for Jim Sheridan's The Secret Scripture, and Goldenhair, a song suite setting the poems of James Joyce to music.
On Friday, October 27th he'll mark the 10th anniversary of Meath's Solstice Arts Centre by leading the RTÉ Concert Orchestra in a night of celebration and song, and on Saturday October 28th he'll perform Goldenhair at this year's Richard Harris International Film Festival in Limerick.
We asked Brian for his choice cultural picks...
Out of films that have been released in the last few years, Birdman definitely left a lasting impression on me. I loved the score in particular, which was only drums, composed by Antonio Sánchez. I thought that was a really brave choice and I loved the film in general.
This year I enjoyed Bach Trios, the new CD with Yo-Yo Ma, mandolinist Chris Thile, and bassist Edgar Meyer. It’s truly fantastic, I love it. Chris Thile also hosts the radio program A Prairie Home Companion, and recently created a self-titled duo album with pianist Brad Mehldau – I’m a huge fan of both.
I recently read Andre Previn’s No Minor Chords: My Days in Hollywood. It’s a hilarious account of him, as a young composer and arranger in Hollywood during the Golden Age.
A play I’ve really been wanting to see is Two Pints, written by Roddy Doyle. It was recently adapted for the Abbey Theatre, and is set in bars all around Ireland. The show is centered around two Dublin men conversing at a bar.
House of Cards is the only TV show I’ve watched in months. I’ve been a fan from the first few seasons. I love Kevin Spacey, and it’s an interesting time for that show to be told.
I have always been a huge fan of Branford Marsalis, the jazz saxophonist, and I recently had the opportunity to see him perform in Oklahoma City. It’s great to see someone at the cutting-edge of jazz, and also a natural performer.
I’m actually working on a documentary right now directed by Brendan Byrne, titled Hear My Voice, about the internationally acclaimed artist Colin Davidson. He painted a collection of incredible, large-scale portraits of those affected by the Troubles of Northern Ireland. It’s tough subject matter, and Davidson really captures each person’s grief and emotion in ways words cannot express.
I love WTF with Marc Maron. It’s kind of a liberal, top of the charts podcast, he’s interviewed Barack Obama, Conan O’Brien, Robin Williams, among others. I also have been listening to Here’s The Thing, the WNYC podcast hosted by Alec Baldwin. He interviews actors, producers, journalists – that’s definitely been a favorite. Been listening for hours and hours.
I’m actually new to Facebook. Yes, I know, behind the times. I just didn’t want the distraction from work, but I’ve found since I’ve been doing more live concerts and gigs, it’s great to connect with people directly, to inform them of what’s been going on and to catch up on things. I’m also a CNN junkie.
The Next Big Thing
Jacob Collier is a London-based jazz piano player and singer I admire. I really like his approach to harmony, it’s very fresh and new. He’s well-known for his YouTube cover videos as they illustrate his eclectic musicianship, and his critically-acclaimed debut album In My Room.