Of late, Dublin-based musician, filmmaker, and director Myles O'Reilly (AKA Arbitus Yarns) has been creating a series of ambient music works under the moniker Indistinct Chatter.

He's just released his third ambient LP, My Mother's Star.

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We asked Myles for his choice cultural picks...

FILM

The farther I go back in time with film, the more fascinating it is and the more it has to teach me. I'm a huge fan of time travelling to the 60's or 70's for an hour or two. There's something about the editing and cinematography back then. The use of long lingering shots where every nuance of a facial expression or body language is captured. The edits aren't as quick. Audiences then, were obviously not as impatient as now. My all-time favourite filmmaker, at his peak during this period was Werner Herzog. His film Land of Silence and Darkness is a perfect example. Herzog peers into the world of Fini Straubinger, a German woman who became deaf and blind early in life. There's very little narrative. We just gaze into her world. A most incredible scene is when a blind man examines a tree with his hands, and begins to cry and embrace it. So much more than just looking at, and appreciating a tree. Herzog as a filmmaker in the 70's always let us reach out and touch his subjects in this way. 

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MUSIC

My favourite music right now is 'minimal ambient'. I was raised on classical music. Lyric FM was always on in the house. Then to rebel against my parents in my teens I embraced pop music as it was the complete opposite. Then in my 20's I admitted I did have a classical problem, and had to have every soundtrack to every film of any quality, in my collection. Eventually I discovered Brian Eno and ambient music, which filled the same space. It was instrumental but with no instruments that were very recognizable. Ambient allows me to immerse myself, without hearing any familiar instrumental tropes. Basically I love new music, and when I don't know what I'm hearing, passages of music I can listen to a thousand times and not be able to repeat, describe or learn. Ian Hawgood is the minimal ambient artist that gets the most of my attention these days. His label Home Normal is on Bandcamp and every other artist he endorses, I adore. The man is an incredible talent. 

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BOOK

I've never been more blown away with a book than Robert Ludlum's The Bourne Identity. Never mind the film, the book is spectacular. There's literally not one page that doesn't have you on the edge of your seat. I'm not a huge bookworm. I'm a daydreamer to a fault, mostly put off finishing a book because of my impatience. When I get bored, I read a couple of pages while daydreaming about something entirely different, and have to start reading the pages again. Mad how that happens isn't it? Well it's crippled my experience of reading books. There's literally only two books that held my attention the whole way through. Lord of The Rings and The Bourne Identity. 

PLAY

I've never seen anything quite as magical as Bottom's Dream, by the Footsbarn Travelling Theatre company. Based in France they visited Ireland September in 2018 and pitched their tent in a field on the Dingle peninsula. They were there for a week, and I had the honour and privilege of documenting their stay, which became my film Come On Up To The House. Their costumes are so very beautiful. Timeless and ancient. 

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TV

Particularly close to my heart is the TV show Alone. It follows the self-documented daily struggles of 10 individuals as they survive in the wilderness for as long as possible using a limited amount of survival equipment, while also having to film themselves! With the exception of medical check-ins, the participants are isolated from each other and all other humans. They may "tap out" at any time, or be removed due to failing a medical check-in. The contestant who remains the longest wins a large cash prize. The most fascinating thing about the show is how we see into the minds of each contestant, and guage their mental resilience. Now the show is like a giant metaphor for living in Lockdown! Everyone needs to see it, if only to learn from the mistakes of those contestants that fail. 

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GIG

Sore point. I used to see a lot of gigs!! Through my lens. It was my career before the pandemic. So it's difficult to pick one. I think my favourite perfect storm of a gig was Glen Hansard in Iveagh Gardens. I captured three remarkable performances from that evening...

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The gigs I'm most looking forward to attending when restrictions eventually ease will be a trad session in The Cobblestone pub, or attending an unaccompanied singing session in the Goilin Singers Club on Parnell Square. 

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ART

I love the works of artist/painter Conor Cambell. He's an architect of buildings by day and architect of dreams and parallel dimensions by night. The album cover art for Ye Vagabonds album release The Hare's Lament is one of his most magical dreaming's. He's also created album artwork for Junior Brother, Alfi and a host of acts I admire. I firmly believe he's to become one of our greats, to be remembered long after we're all gone. I think he knows this. He's not sold one of his paintings, yet. 

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RADIO

While I absolutely love John Kelly's show, Mystery Train, for music but hands down fave show is Pat Kenny on Newstalk. My wife Aideen and I wake up every morning just in time for Pat, and we go about our morning routine with Pat sitting in the corner filling us in on all the topics of the day. We literally talk back to him like he's there with us. Along with our two cats, Pat is a very welcome fifth member of our family. 

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TECH

Huge fan of any app that helps my creativity. Music, photography and filmmaking. The Infinite Drum Machine by Google AI is an absolutely ground-breaking tool for creating beats on your phone using an infinite library of everyday sounds. In fairness, Instagram has become my new Photoshop... and finally there's an editing app for creating video clips that is easy and intuitive to use with such a small screen as a phone. You would normally need a decent size screen to be able to negotiate the amount of functions needed to edit footage, and finally I think the app InShot has come a long way towards making that easier. 

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THE NEXT BIG THING...

The singer-songwriter Niamh Bury. I've heard her songs, I know who's producing her next album. Nuff said. I'm sure she'll be a big star in folk music, if that's what she wants. Check out the video I did with her in July of last year:

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My Mother's Star by Indistinct Chatter is out now - find out more here.