Wednesday 11 December 2019

A question of culture: Caoimhin O Raghallaigh, fiddler

Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh
Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh

Declan Cashin

The fiddle player on funny moments at Fleadh Cheoil and why he rather watch Johnny Logan over and over again, rather than Simon Cowell.

Favourite musician?

Cellist Jacqueline du Pre. Puts the hair standing on my head every time I hear recordings of her. So much passion and beauty coming through every note.

Favourite band?

Jan Garbarek and the Hilliard Ensemble. The Officium album is as good as music gets for me. Press play, close your eyes, and wave goodbye to the world for a while as you disappear into the most beautiful sounds imaginable.

Best concert or gig you've been to?

Arvo Part a few years ago in Dublin. I got to shake the hand of the great man himself. He was not at all what I expected: he was this small little man full of divilment, with a real sparkle and a mischievous glint in his eyes.

Funniest thing you've seen at a gig or festival?

I remember a fleadh cheoil years ago, some guys pulling up random tents and throwing them on a bonfire. The next morning, one guy couldn't be woken, so his friends rolled up his tent and threw it in the boot of the car with him inside it.

Favourite writer?

Samuel Beckett – for the humour, funnily enough. I started on the thinnest book of his I could find, First Love, and couldn't stop once I had started.

Last book you read and loved?

Stepping Stones, edited by Dennis O'Driscoll. It's a book of interviews with Seamus Heaney, and a wonderful window into a wonderful mind.

Favourite film.

The Life of Brian. Utterly ridiculous and infinitely quotable. I can't imagine life without having seen it.

Last film you saw and loved?

Frank was beautiful, daft, touching and superbly executed. Like all Lenny Abrahamson's films, the feeling from it lingers in your mind. So good.

Last film you saw and hated?

The Double. Over-stylised and the main character was just a bit rubbish.

Wine or beer?

Beer – specifically the bottles of Buried At Sea from Galway Bay Brewery. It's a chocolate milk stout, served at our local, The Headline Bar, on Leonard's Corner.

Cultural blindspot?

Simon Cowell. I'd nearly prefer to watch reruns of Johnny Logan winning the Eurovision instead, on loop, forever.

CAOIMHIN AND BRYAN O'CONNELL HAVE COMPOSED THE MUSIC FOR LIV O'DONOGHUE'S HEAR ME SING YOUR SONG, WHICH IS ON AT THE PROJECT ARTS CENTRE, DUBLIN, TONIGHT. WWW.PROJECTARTSCENTRE.IE

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