Monday 24 June 2019

My cultural life: Irish musician Frankie Gavin

Frankie Gavin
Frankie Gavin
Mick Jagger
Robert De Niro
David Attenborough

Frankie Gavin is a traditional Irish musician who has played fiddle, flute and whistle since his childhood in Corrandulla, Co Galway. From a musical family, he is the youngest of four: brother Sean and sisters Marion and Noreen are all accomplished traditional musicians. He has performed with The Rolling Stones, Stephane Grappelli, James Galway and Yehudi Menuhin, as well as with many of the great contemporary players and singers of traditional Irish music. He has played for four American presidents, including John F Kennedy, when he played as a child on JFK's visit in 1963, as well as for President Mitterrand of France, Britain's Prince Charles and Prince Albert of Monaco. His name is synonymous with the group De Dannan, the globally renowned band he founded with Alec Finn in the mid-1970s. Frankie now lives near Oughterard, Co Galway, and is the father of three children: Julian, Ruby and Ronald JJ. Frankie Gavin has joined with piper Paddy Keenan (founding member of The Bothy Band) and accordionist Dermot Byrne (Altan) to form KGB. They join the RTE Concert Orchestra and conductor Gavin Murphy on Saturday, August 11 at the National Concert Hall.

Film: Once Upon a Time in America

Robert De Niro

My all-time favourite movie is Once Upon a Time in America (above). I've seen it over and over, as it's the most extraordinary work of art in the form of a movie ever, to my mind. Tragic story, and the casting is beyond belief, what with the kids in street gangs, and to match them with the 'adult' version of them all grown up, is quite remarkable.

Painter: Brian Bourke

My favourite present day painter is Brian Bourke, whom I've known for more than 40 years. Brian will have a new exhibition in the Taylor Gallery, Dublin, early next year and therein I'll find my latest favourite painting, I'm sure. When Brian was being interviewed by Pat Kenny on the radio many years ago, Pat asked, "Is it hard to be a painter?", to which Brian replied, "It's not hard, it's impossible". Brian is also a brilliant bodhran player and recently recorded with Alec Finn and myself on a new album.

Band: The Rolling Stones

Mick Jagger

My all-time favourite band has to be rock 'n' roll legends The Rolling Stones (Mick Jagger, above). The energy and longevity of that team is beyond belief. And, to be enjoying performing to the degree they do after how many decades, is a joy to observe. I had the great fortune of recording with them on Voodoo Lounge in Windmill Lane, Dublin 24 years ago, and we're the best of pals ever since.

Book: The Silva Mind Control Method

My favourite book is The Silva Mind Control Method by Jose Silva. A class of a self-help book, not that it's worked for me, but it's terrific, and sadly out of print. It's the only book I've read over and over and in truth, some of it has rubbed off on me. If you follow the meditation training and skills, you'll be amazed where your mind can take you as a result.

TV: David Attenborough

David Attenborough

As for TV shows, I'm a devoted fan of David Attenborough (above), and thrilled to hear that a new phenomenal exploration ship has been named after him. God, how I'd love to meet him! As for other TV shows, I'll watch Two and a Half Men with Mr Sheen as main character.

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