'Early in the spring morning... I'll find myself, sometimes... kind of becoming an absence to myself... in a nice way... and travelling... travelling far across the fields of the sea.'

Island Time is a new monologue written and performed by acclaimed author Kevin Barry at Inis Oírr Lighthouse on the Aran Islands, created for Aerial / Sparks as part of the Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture programme, and now the subject of this weekend's Lyric Feature, in tandem with another piece, artist Louise Manifold's On the Ice Edge. Listen to them above...

As part of Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture, the artist Louise Manifold worked in partnership with the Marine Institute to commission work from seven artists, writers and composers, which would explore one of the last unknown spaces on Earth, the ocean wilderness. The works were exhibited in September 2020 on the island of Inis Oírr under the title Aerial / Sparks. On this weekend's Lyric Feature, we’ll hear two works created as part of the project: Kevin Barry’s Island Time and Louise Manifold’s On the Ice Edge.

Kevin Barry recording Island Time at Inis Oirr Lighthouse, July 2020 (Pic: Louise Manifold)

Island Time is a multimedia monologue written and performed by Kevin Barry at Inis Oírr Lighthouse. A melancholy lighthouse keeper dreams of a different life and of distant lands and even of a woman in Ennistymon. It's a tragic-comic reflection on isolation which has many resonances with our current predicament. 

On the Ice Edge is a sound composition by Louise Manifold, inspired by the artist’s participation in survey work on board the Marine Institute’s Celtic Explorer. It features original text by Louise, performed by Adrian Crowley, as well as sound recordings by the artist and John Brennan - listen to an extract below:

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The sound design for both pieces is by foley artist Jean McGrath.

The Lyric Feature: Island Time and On the Ice Edge, RTÉ lyric fm, Sunday 21st of March 2021 at 6:00 pm - listen to more from The Lyric Feature here.