Dubliner Malachy Robinson is principal double-bassist of the Irish Chamber Orchestra, and a member of Crash Ensemble. His album The Irish Double Bass came out last year and he plays at the West Cork Chamber Music Festival, Bantry, which started on Friday and runs until July 3.
BOOK: Still Life
My wife gave me the beautiful book by Sarah Winman, Still Life. It’s full of love and joy, with a cast of very eccentric characters who leap off the page. The story begins in 1940s Italy, but most of the first part of the book takes place in East End London.
Remarkably in this drab postwar setting, the wonderful characters continually reveal beauty in themselves and their environment. When we return to Italy in the second half, the Florentine warmth and humour amplifies these aspects of the marvellous characters.
I’m not a big consumer of TV, but I do like to get stuck into stand-alone things. My favourite category is music documentaries, and I’ll happily watch any and all genres. Recently I loved the eponymous one on Motorhead’s Lemmy (2010), and Oil City Confidential (2009) about Dr Feelgood.
Neither are bands I’m a particular fan of but musicians of all stripes are interesting to me. Also rewarding are Great Conductors of the Past (1994; all those golden-era maestros were huge characters) and The Genius of Lenny Breau (1999).
PODCAST: Mike Harding
The Mike Harding Folk Show podcast is brilliant. Which is not to say I like all the music he plays – I feel no guilt about skipping past a song I find tiresome. But those are rare, and his delivery is so full of honest passion for the idiom, he’s a great advocate. I’ve come across many artists and songs there that I have followed up on.
THEATRE: Les Girafes
I’ve always loved giraffes: their revelatory combination of the improbable and the elegant sums up my aesthetic tendency. There’s a French company coming to the Galway International Arts Festival [July 11-24] with a street spectacle called Les Girafes that I’m looking forward to.