Saturday 16 December 2017

Irish composer who has penned songs for Hollywood movies says TV talent shows are 'glorified karaoke'

Paatrick Cassidy
Paatrick Cassidy
Caroline Crawford

Caroline Crawford

A successful composer, who has penned songs for a host of Hollywood movies, has praised Irish talent for “punching way above its weight” on the international stage.

However, he urged reality music programmes to move away from the ‘karaoke’ format and instead focus on encouraging young artists to focus on their own work.

Patrick Cassidy, who has written pieces for a range of films including ‘Hannibal’, ‘Veronica Guerin’, ‘Layer Cake’, ‘Calvary’ and ‘Che Guevara’, said he loved returning to Ireland to work with home-grown talent but urged a rethink on some of our music shows.

“I would say those programmes are possibly bad for the music business in a sense because in the old days it was about a singer songwriter; these people now sing a standard song that is well known already, so it’s kind of glorified karaoke.

“I’m not knocking it but it would be nice if they had that forum for songwriters, if they sang their raw material it would be even better,” he added.

Mr Cassidy, who also composed the music for the 1916 documentary narrated by Liam Neeson, will take part in a Concert for Peace to commemorate the 1916 Rising and WWI.

The event is taking place at Knock Basilica in Co Mayo on Saturday with President Michael D Higgins attending. Mr Cassidy, from Mayo but living in Los Angeles, said he was delighted to be back in Ireland for the commemorations.

“I think the commemoration has been a huge success. We have commemorated in a very beautiful, dignified, solemn way. I think all of the events have been really fantastic. We have done ourselves proud and we’ve done it in a way that has been inclusive to all,” he said.

Among his pieces to be performed at the Concert for Peace is an ‘Elegy Suite for 1916’ by the RTÉ Concert Orchestra and his aria ‘Vide Cor Meum’ from the movie ‘Hannibal’, performed by mezzo soprano Anne Marie Gibbons and tenor Owen Gilhooly, joined by the 120-strong Peace Choir.

The concert is organised by the Mayo International Choral Festival and more than 200 artists will perform.

It is produced in association with the Western Development Commission and the Mayo Clinic, and will take place at Knock Basilica at 8pm this Saturday.

For tickets and for more info, visit


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