'I wanted to make a series which is reflective and maybe calming for these days when, I feel, our airwaves are often choked by the fumes of very heavy heavy traffic...' Regan Hutchins writes for Culture about his new RTÉ lyric fm series, Morning Noon and Night - listen to the first episode below:
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One evening, a few years ago, I was visiting my friend Gerald O'Brien in Skibbereen.
Darkness was falling outside and Gerald offered to put on a light. We were sitting by his fire and I told him that I was enjoying the glow and would prefer to talk in the dark.
This got Gerald thinking.
He’s in his eighties and his mind travels far back - even to a time before his own. He started to muse on how electricity has changed, maybe destroyed, the meaning of night. Then he told me a story about a woman called The Little Nun who visited his house when his father was a child there and who brought local news and gossip with her in exchange for her lodging.
This got me thinking.
Morning, Noon and Night. We all experience these times of the day but how we go through them is another matter. I decided to make a short series for Lyric FM looking at how some of the people I know spend their waking and sleeping hours.
In the series I talk to family, friends, writers, artists and other fellow human beings about aspects of their day. They tell me stories about ordinary moments in their daily lives which hold some power over them - or moments which they take for granted.
How does breastfeeding a newborn baby change your relationship with the night? How do everyday objects in the shed remind you of someone who is no longer there? How did you travel three miles to school in the 1950s?
Why do our dreams linger in the mornings? Why should we spend our afternoons staring at the flowers? Why do we pray at night?
I didn’t set out to make a documentary. There is no true crime or conflict in this series. I wanted to move gently around the clock, listening to people’s stories, discovering experiences which are unfamiliar to me or, in some cases, celebrating experiences which are very familiar to me.
I also wanted to make a series which is reflective and maybe calming for these days when, I feel, our airwaves are often choked by the fumes of very heavy heavy traffic. Thankfully Lyric provided me with the space to do this.
I asked several poets to share their work with me and I also asked the a capella group, Landless, to lend their harmonies to some interesting, curious texts which I picked up along the way.
And of course I returned to Gerald O’Brien’s house to record his story of The Little Nun.
It’s quite possible that when you hear this series you’ll think that it bears no resemblance to your life and how you live it. But then, wouldn’t it be very dull if all our mornings noons and nights sounded exactly the same?
The Lyric Feature: Morning Noon and Night, Sundays from February 9th - listen back here.