We Only Want The Earth – how music can help us face the climate crisis

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We Only Want The Earth – can music help us face the climate crisis?

‘How The World Begins Again’ on RTÉ Lyric fm

How the World Begins Again is an RTÉ lyric fm series celebrating women composers and sound artists working in Ireland, presented by singer Elizabeth Hilliard, who meets twenty women -composers and sound artists – connected to the island of Ireland. They share their stories, their inspirations, creativity, work and challenges.

Athena Media · How The World Begins Again E1 ‘A Sense of Place’

In the first episode of How The World Begins Again singer Elizabeth Hilliard meets with composers and sound artists, Jane O’Leary, Natalia Beylis and Jenn Kirby and finds out what place and belonging means to them. She discovers how meeting new people from different backgrounds inspires them in their work and how they’ve explored new beginnings in their lives and brought that into their music and soundcraft.

Athena Media · How The World Begins Again E2 ‘The Space Within’

In episode 2, Elizabeth meets with composers and sound artists, Rhona Clarke, Una Lee and Jennifer Walshe and finds out how they found the imposed solitary life that we all experienced in the pandemic. She learns how this was a time for focussed creativity and work, for discovering new ways of creating music, and it allowed time to reflect on how, as artists, we are all individuals on our own journeys.

How The World Begins Again, produced with Athena Media for RTÉ lyric fm, Fridays at 7pm – listen during the interval of The Lyric Concert, and find out more here

MOTHER’S BLOOD, SISTER SONGS new podcast series


How the genetics of Iceland reveals its Irish female roots in story and song. 

Acclaimed Irish composer Linda Buckley has a personal and professional affinity to Iceland and in this radio series she teams up with documentary maker Helen Shaw to trace the connections between the two places.

The Icelandic female line goes directly back to gaelic women, mostly taken as slaves, by Norwegian Vikings who settled the land over a thousand years ago. Buckley asks what is the legacy of that biology and what are the physical, cultural and aural traces of that relationship?

An evocative, music-led feature series exploring heritage, language, music, and gender while drawing out the little known stories of the women who mothered Iceland and the sisterhood between the two places.

mothersbloodsistersongs.com Broadcast on RTÉ Lyric FM December 29th 2019 and January 5th 2020.

Listen to the podcast series, a companion channel to the RTÉ Lyric fm documentaries with contributions from  guests including Dr Emily Lethbridge, Prof Poul Holm, visual artist Joan Perlman, folklorist Prof. Terry Gunnell, harpist and composer Katie Buckley and musician/poet Melkorka Ólafsdóttir.

Anchor  Apple Podcasts 

Spotify Google Podcasts

New Podcast – Vocal Chords – In Conversation with Linda Buckley

Iarla Ó Lionáird shares an in depth conversation with composer Linda Buckley for Vocal Chords: In Conversation for RTÉ lyric fm as part of this multi award winning series. The full documentary was broadcast Sunday December 3rd 2017.


The full programme is now available to stream/download:

And is also available as a podcast via iTunes/RSS


In this 14th instalment of Vocal Chords, Iarla’s guest in this episode is the Cork born composer Linda Buckley whose work explores and uses the human voice. Linda comes from a family of 9 from the Old Head of Kinsale and grew up in a traditional music environment before studying music at UCC and Trinity College Dublin.


Linda Buckley is a composer/performer based in Dublin/Kinsale who has written extensively for orchestra, and has a particular interest in merging her classical training with the worlds of post punk, folk and ambient electronica. Her work has been described as “fantastically brutal, reminiscent of the glitch music of acts such as Autechre” (Liam Cagney, Composing the Island) and “engaging with an area of experience that new music is generally shy of, which, simplified and reduced to a single word, I’d call ecstasy” (Bob Gilmore, Journal of Music).


Music for theatre includes work by Enda Walsh (Bedbound) and film by Pat Collins (Living in a Coded Land) and Tadhg O’Sullivan (Solas Céad Bliain). Awards include a Fulbright scholarship to NYU and the Frankfurt Visual Music Award 2011 (Silk Chroma).


Recent and upcoming collaborations include work with Mmoths, arrangements from This Mortal Coil, remixes for Augustus and John, as well as performances by the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Icebreaker, Joby Burgess, Ensemble Mise-En and Crash Ensemble. Linda also lectures on the renowned Music and Media Technologies programme at Trinity College Dublin.


She is now an international artist of considerable reputation and her music has been performed by the Dresden Sinfoniker Orchestra, Crash Ensemble, Fidelio Trio, Orkest de Ereprijs, Janus Trio, Rothko Trio, University of York Javanese Gamelan, and featured at international festivals including the Bang on a Can Summer Institute of Music at MassMoCA, Gaudeamus Music Week Amsterdam and Seoul International Computer Music Festival.


She is herself a fine singer and her work, like her recent show at the Kilkenny Arts Festival – Antartica in collaboration with the uilleann piper David Power, features her vocal and electronic composition. In this episode Iarla explores Linda’s work and talks about their own collaboration Ó Íochtar Mara which was performed by Crash Ensemble at the Sounds from a Safe Harbour Festival in Cork. From January 2018 Linda will take up a new post as Lecturer in Composition at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, in Glasgow.


Vocal Chords – Iarla Ó Lionáird and Linda Buckley In Conversation – Trailer



Vocal Chords – Iarla Ó Lionáird and Linda Buckley In Conversation. The story behind their work together.



Music performances featured in this episode:

Revelavit Linda Buckley
Alice Cocteau Twins
The Sensual World Kate Bush
Song of the Siren Annette and Linda Buckley
Corpus Christi Irene and Linda Buckley
Do you remember the planets? Linda Buckley
Torann Crash Ensemble
O Pastor Animarum Hildegard von Bingen
Eriu Linda Buckley
An Lacha Bacach Eilis Ní Shuilleabháin
Siúl a Rún Linda Buckley
Draíocht na Nollag Pro Cathedral Girls’ Choir
Haunt The Relay Project
Revelavit Ergodos
Beloved on the Earth RTE Philharmonic Choir and National Symphony Orchestra
Íochtar Mara Iarla O Lionaird and the Vanbrugh String Quartet
Fridur Isabelle O Connell
Heckla Crash Ensemble
Numarimur Linda Buckley
Water Sugarcubes
Hoppipolla Sigur Ros
Drink all your Passion Michelle O Rourke
Haunt The Relay Project
Antartcia at Night Linda Buckley and David Power
Jump Kate Ellis
Chiyo BBC Symphony Orchestra
Fall Approaches Ruthless Jabiru Chamber Orchestra
Haza RTE Contempo Quartet
Ekstasis Linda Buckley and Joby Burgess


lindabuckley.org for more about Linda and her work.


vocalchords.ie for more on the series


Vocal Chords – In Conversation with Glen Hansard

Glen Hansard is in conversation with fellow singer Iarla Ó Lionáird about his life and work in song in this documentary for RTÉ lyric fm as part of this multi award winning series. The full documentary was broadcast at 6pm on October 29th 2017.


Glen Hansard’s vocal journey began as a young teenager busking on the streets of Dublin but it has taken him to some of the biggest arenas in the world and an academy award for best song in the film ‘Once’. That film was inspired by Glen’s own busking life and he also got to play the lead role.

His film work began in ‘The Commitments’ while he was fronting his band ‘The Frames’ and since then he has worked with his idols Bob Dylan, and the late Leonard Cohen, as well as sharing a stage with international performers like Bruce Springsteen and Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder.

Glen talks with Iarla of a life dedicated to music and shares a song ‘Didn’t He Ramble’ written after the death of his father.

The full programme is now available to stream:

And is also available as a podcast via iTunes/RSS

Vocal Chords : Iarla Ó Lionáird in Conversation with Glen Hansard -Glen Hansard Performing ‘Didn’t He Ramble’

Vocal Chords – Iarla Ó Lionáird and Glen Hansard In Conversation on Glen’s early influences

Glen Hansard in Conversation with Iarla Ó Lionáird is an Athena Media production for RTÉ made with the support of the BAI.

http://www.iarla.com/ for more about Iarla

http://glenhansardmusic.com/ for more about Glen

New Vocal Chords Podcast – Iarla Ó Lionáird meets sisters Maighread and Tríona Ní Dhomhnaill

Iarla Ó Lionáird meets sisters Maighread and Tríona Ní Dhomhnaill, two of Ireland’s most respected traditional singers, and shares a conversation of family, song and language with them; from the stories of their father, the singer and folk song collector Aodh Ó Domhnaill, and his sister, the blind singer Neilí Ni Domhnaill, natives of Rann na Feirste, Donegal, to their own roots in the Meath Gaeltacht.

In this segment from the upcoming documentary feature Iarla talks to the sisters about that journey back to Donegal when they were children, to what they see as their spiritual home, and how their Dad would tip them sixpence for the first sighting of Errigal. In the piece you hear the song Níl sé ina lá that the sisters learnt as girls from their Aunt Neilí and recorded by them on the album Idir an Dá Sholas.

The full episode was broadcast on May 5th on RTÉ Lyric fm.

From their first band Skara Brae, with their late brother Micheal, the sisters share their work together and separately, Triona in the ground-breaking Bothy Band and Maighread in her acclaimed solo work. They sing together for Iarla a song once sung by their late Aunty Neili and collected by Maighread’s husband and traditional music devotee, Cathal Goan.

Listen back to the episode in full

Vocal Chords is an Athena Media production for RTE Lyric fm made with the support of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland and the TV licence fee.

The producer is Helen Shaw, The audio editor is Pearse Ó Caoimh.

The digital editor (behind our website and podcasts) is John Howard.


Photo image by Helen Shaw – all rights in Vocal Chords, recordings and images, rests with Athena Media Ltd. www.athenamedia.ie

iarla.com for more about Iarla Ó Lionáird


Vocal Chords In Conversation with Peggy Seeger – available as podcast

In a new instalment of Vocal Chords – Iarla Ó Lionáird meets folk singer Peggy Seeger at her home in Oxford to explore her life’s journey in song and song composition. Peggy talks of her childhood growing up under the influence of her older half brother Peter Seeger and in a home where legendary singers like Lead Belly and Woody Guthrie would visit to meet her parents, song collectors and composers Charles Seeger and Ruth Crawford Seeger.

Peggy met, and later married folk singer and writer Ewan MacColl, and she shares her experience of working with Ewan from the late 1950s until his death in the late 1980s. Since then Peggy has continued to write and perform and she now works with her musician sons Neill and Calum and she is now in a civil partnership with Irene Pyper Scott, a Northern Irish singer she first met in 1964 in Belfast.

For more about the making of the episode check out our LinkedIn Blog – “Meeting Peggy”.

peggyseeger.com for more about Peggy Seeger

iarla.com for more about Iarla Ó Lionáird