“Are you kidding?” was the response from Golden Globe-nominated Irish composer Brian Byrne when he was asked: “We’d love you to write this for Barbra Streisand, are you up for it?”
The composer, who was recently chosen as the first ever Artist-in-Residence with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, explained to RTÉ TEN how his song ended up on Streisand's latest album.
He said: “I told everyone that I worked with Streisand but then it [the song If It’s Meant to Be] didn’t make the album [What Matters Most] because they went with all old songs. I thought that’s my opportunity gone and thought this was the walk of shame.
"Literally a year ago he called me up again and said: 'Barbra’s doing a historic album [Release Me], she wants to release songs from the last 30 years and this is the only new song and we want to feature it'. So it came out.”
Byrne added: “She was great; tough, but great. I find when you get up on the podium and you work with any singer in the world, you go with what you know. Before you get there you’re nervous but when you’re up on the stand, it’s like driving a car.
"We recorded the orchestra and we sent the orchestra home. And as an option I worked with her for three hours on the piano..."
He said that the overall experience was “Just bizarre, but it was wonderful.”
The Jameson Dublin International Film Festival, the National Concert Hall and the RTÉ Concert Orchestra are collaborating on a special concert celebrating film composer Dario Marianelli (Pride and Prejudice, Anna Karenina, Atonement) this Tuesday, February 19.