Miriam Meets.. Paul and Mel Mercier
Miriam O Callaghan interviews brothers Paul Mercier and Mel Mercier.
Mel has been nominated for a Tony Award for his work as a sound designer on the Broadway production of Colm Toibin's play The Testament of Mary starring Fiona Shaw.
The brothers recall the early musical influences in their lives, including that of their late father Peadar who was bodhran player with The Chieftains for a number of years.
Their mother was also a great influence on their lives and she managed a busy household with ten children. Mel credits the closeness of the family to this day to the love shown by both their parents.
Paul taught in Greendale Community School in Dublin and while he was there, he founded, with others, The Passion Machine Theatre Company. He has since left teaching and has moved to Connemara with his family.
Mel initially studied electronics and worked in telecoms, but his early exposure to traditional music lead him to return to UCC as a mature student where he had a fruitful relationship with Micheal O Suilleabhain.
Mel explains how Paul opened the world of theatre to the family and inspired him with his passion and rigour. Paul explains how Mel is gregarious in contrast to his shyness. But despite the differing trajectories of their lives, they remain close.
They played live a selection of traditional jigs and hornpipes. They also played live an arrangment of a tune by Jim Lockhart from The Great Book Of Ireland arranged by UCC PhD student Fiachra O Corragain. They played CDs 'The Morning Dew' from The Chieftains 4 and 'Must Be More Crispy' from Elver Gleams - new and selected recordings by Micheal O Suilleabhain