Seana Gavin - Spiralled

Have you ever danced at a Slovakian lake party, partied at a quarry in Brighton, or experienced a solar eclipse during a rave in Hungary?

Seana Gavin’s SPIRALLED photo book puts you front and centre, experiencing a decade of travelling across Europe with the free party movement between 1994-2001.

As a young teenager, Seana embedded herself in the London party and after-hours scene. Following a massive clampdown on illegal raves and gatherings across the UK that included legislation like the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994, she began spending summers in Europe, travelling with her London friends from Spiral Tribe – a free party sound system that “succeeded in constituting an alternative public space, rather than just a secret one.” They joined other groups organising parties and joining teknivals throughout Europe where there was a somewhat more tolerant police policy.

Seana began documenting her experiences with a compact film camera – snapping the characters, come-ups, and comedowns from this cartel of travelling sound systems across France, Spain, the Czech Republic, Holland and Hungary. Diary entries, event flyers and first-hand photographs help sequence Seana’s memories and experiences together. Largely preceding social media, camera phones and Google Maps, they enjoyed a back to basics experiences and iridescent adventures in this rough and ready retreat.

While this covert culture was driven by music, for Seana, it was the community and people that drove her interest in this scene. Most importantly, her camera never intruded on the parties themselves – it was largely the build-up, aftermath, and key moments that she chose to capture.

These images remained largely unseen until 2019 when she felt the time was right to showcase this seminal time in her life.

An exhibition at galeriepcp in Paris, and the publication of SPIRALLED gives us the chance to experience this nomadic raving lifestyle for ourselves.

What appealed to you about the opportunity to travel abroad with Spiral Tribe?

I spent periods of time travelling in my friends mobile homes in a convoy with the sound systems which included Spiral Tribe along with other crews that formed at the time.

I was very young when I got into the scene in London and just 18 when I spent my first summer travelling in this way. I was still living with my family and studying at the time so I felt an enormous feeling of freedom and excitement when I was on the road. At that period in my life,

I didn’t need to be surrounded by creature comforts, I was happy to experience the simplicity and lightness of bringing just myself, a backpack, a sleeping bag and my camera.

I loved living with friends in this way, there was a real sense of community and family.

It was my life and normality to me but part of me also knew it was a very hidden underground scene that not everyone had access to in the same way. And as it was the days before smart phones and social media there weren’t many of us that were taking photographs. I am so grateful now that I did this. The fact I kept a diary and wrote some of it down too really has helped to keep the memories alive.

Tell me about some of your favourite people/characters along the way? 

There are too many to mention!

Any moments that ‘got away’ that you wish you had documented?

Yes many. After a full summer of travel in 1997/98 I had my bag with all the rolls of film from the trip in the back of my friend’s truck I was travelling in. We realised when we got to Calais that some of the bags had fallen out along the road somewhere, sadly it included mine. I still feel gutted sometimes when I think about that.

And there was a specific party – ‘The End of the World party’ in Gerona, Spain 1999. The police turned up after a few days to close it down and were being quite aggressive. As me and my friend drove off-site she encouraged me to take a photo of one of the police officers. He got very angry, stopped us and insisted I pull out that roll of film. So as a result I have minimal documentation of that party which is a real shame.

How were these parties advertised without social media, how did traveling around Europe, without Google maps and mobile phones work?

It was a very different experience from how I imagine the process to be today.

In London, there was a party line number that you would call on the night with the party address details, from a payphone. In Europe, there were often DIY flyers handed out with party details or we’d hear by word of mouth from one party to the next.

We’d use actual ‘physical’ maps to navigate the roads. Which sometimes meant you would be driving around all night trying to find the party. I remember one small party in France which we were really struggling to find. We ended up with a convoy of 20 vehicles of ravers behind us all in the same situation and presuming we knew where the party was. And I’m happy to say we figured it out and got them to the party in the end. Which felt like a sense of achievement at the time!

The first line from the book describes these images as being ‘emotionally buried’…why do you think that was? Was there anything that had to happen for you to work with these images? 

After 10 years of my life evolving around the free party scene, I removed myself from it after the tragic loss of my best friend Ben at a party in France. Many of the journeys in my book were taken when I was travelling in his converted army truck. It was a big turning point for me and in some ways, it may have saved me.

My life went in a different direction. But after 15 years I felt enough time had gone by and I was ready to revisit that period of my life.

I felt it was time to share my lived experience as I realised there wasn’t a lot of documentation of that era and it was precious.

There also seemed to be an increased interest in 90s rave culture so the timing was right.

Why do you think these images resonate so much with people? 

The rawness of it. The early stages of that scene that I captured can not be repeated in the same way because the world is such a different place.

I think the images resonate to people of my generation as it brings back a feeling of nostalgia and youth. And for the younger generations maybe it’s an era that they idolise and wish they could live through. That was even before the pandemic set in. Since 2020 there is even more of a longing for those times of innocence and simplicity.


Tell me about how the exhibition in Paris and then your book came about? Going from private to public - how did that feel? 

I had been thinking for a little while that it was time to share my archive and then it all fell into place. Pete from galeriepcp wanted to do an exhibition relating to that era and scene and then he discovered I had this collection of photographs that had never been shown. So I was offered a solo show there in 2019.

Going through my archive and making the selection for the show brought back floods of memories.

With the addition of my diary entries, I did feel very exposed and vulnerable in a way. I was worried at first how the people included in the photos or mentioned in the entries would feel.

Part of me thought I would be judged in a negative way. But luckily I was reassured when it brought joy to those that viewed it and I was blown away by the great press responses to the show.

After my book was released so many people from back in the day that I hadn’t seen or spoken to in 15 years contacted me to reconnect and let me know how much they enjoyed the book. Some of them were in tears as it brought up so many emotions. So it was a very healing experience for me.

Is there anything that you feel you learned from these experiences that you carry with you - creatively or otherwise?

It definitely formed me as a person. I was much more ‘tough’ back then, it was quite a hardcore way of life. Sometimes when I’m going through challenges in my life now I remind myself of that side of me to give me strength.


When did you stop taking photos and move to collage work? Why? 

I never really stopped taking photos. But I started to take them less on a night out with friends when selfie culture took over. And with the overuse of mobile phones, the magic was lost for me. I still enjoy photography and look at the world through a photographic perspective a lot of the time.

I started to create my hand-cut collage worlds over 10 years ago. I think for people that know my photographic work and are aware that I was part of the free party rave movement, they can see where some of the inspiration may have come from – with my collages there are clearly psychedelic overtones which may relate to that era

Who or what is your community now? 

I guess for a while it was ‘The art world’ in London. I was going to a lot of private views, exhibitions and after parties for many years. But then I moved from London to a small village in Oxfordshire 3 years ago with my husband.

At first, I didn’t expect to have a social life here, I had London for that. But then the pandemic happened with endless lock downs so we were forced to spend time here and meet our neighbours and other people in the village because we kept bumping into them on our daily walks. As a result, we have made good friends with people in the area which has turned into a really nice community. So some positives have come out of this strange moment in time we are all living through.

You can see more of Seana’s work on her website or connect with her on Instagram.

Dublin Digital Radio

Claire Prouvost 

Ngoni Egan

The story behind Ngoni Egan’s first drum machine is one of chance and charm. 

Having promised his friends in San Francisco a present for letting him stay for two weeks, Ngoni’s Craigslist research led him to the drum machine listings – his welcoming hosts got a coffee table and Ngoni arrived back in Ireland with a Roland TR-707.

Music has always delighted Ngoni, and as he grew up it moved from passive enjoyment to passion projects. His obsession progressed into production, promotion and purveying all things electronic – co-founding electro collective Lepton, DJing, and releasing intergalactic jams on labels such as Winthorpe Records and All City.

The Roland 707 has been joined by a host of other synthesizers and drum machines to make up a much-loved home studio. During his recent move from Dublin to the Netherlands, his equipment also made the journey. For Ngoni, home will always be where his machines are.

We chat about small pivotal moments, the importance of his peer group, and the impact of music on his life.

The first time music really moved you

As a kid, I always loved music – there was always music around the house growing up. My Mum, Dad and sister would play Nina Simone, Luke Kelly and The Pogues, R&B hip hop, Hindi music, music from Botswana – where my family’s background is from. It was a mix of really random styles of music, I was always very open to different styles of music. 

When I was a teenager I always had my iPod or my MP3 player on me – I really started to appreciate music when I started going out to gigs. That’s when I was really amazed, it wasn’t just listening to music at home or outside –  that’s when the passion got more intense.

The biggest influence on you?

The enjoyment of listening to music, the enjoyment of making music is what influences me. Whenever I came back from a gig I always felt like “Oh my God, that was amazing”.

Whether there was a live set or DJ set, I would be thinking about those sounds in my head, and thinking I really want to make some music now.

Having an interest in music, drum machines, and synthesizers – that’s another thing that influences me. Whenever I feel like producing, I look at the drum machine and think “I want to play with that”.

From enjoying music to creating music

I dabbled with music production and when I was about 16, I downloaded Fruit Loops and made some hip hop-like beats and did nothing else for a while. I didn’t really know what I wanted to make, what I wanted to do. 

I started to learn to DJ when I was about 19 and started getting gigs a few years later. Whenever me and my friends were going out to gigs, I was always really really interested in what equipment the artist was playing,  if it was decks or a live set, I was always really blown away.

My best friend’s older sister would have brought us out to a lot of techno gigs, she would have been like a big influence on me and all my friends.

So whenever she brought us out to gigs and I was always the one saying, you know “this person is using this equipment or you know this person is doing this”, and then she said to me “Ngoni you have such a big interest in music, would you not ever think about taking DJing or music production seriously?” 

So I started going to the DJ society in DIT, I’m still really good friends with some of the people I met there.


A studio of my own

Years ago, we always used to go back to a house after gigs and one of the guys had a couple of drum machines and synthesizers in the sitting room, that was the first time I saw somebody with a home set up like that.

I didn’t understand how any of it worked but I was able to have a little go and I thought, “I’ve no idea what I’m doing but this is really cool.” That was my first memory of a home setup. Then I really wanted a home set up but I was in college and was also broke, it took years till I was actually able to get set up.

I got my studio shipped over when I relocated- they said it would take two weeks for it to arrive, but there was really bad snow in Rotterdam, it took them three weeks. I was panicking for a little while because I phoned the company in Ireland and they were “like oh, you know we don’t really know what’s going on right now”. I was really freaked out but they delivered everything ok.

My studio consists of a Roland Tr-707, Elektron Analog Rytm, Elektron Analog Keys, Nord Lead 1, Roland TB-3, Korg MS2000BR, Modular rig, Guitar effects pedals and a Soundcraft 16fxii Mixing desk.

I didn’t have room to get my Nord Lead 1 shipped over but I recently took it back from Ireland on a Ryanair flight –  I booked a seat for it… it only cost me 30 quid! It’s my baby, I’m happy to have all my equipment here now. 

Adding to your studio? 

There’s a lot I would like to add, and I know that I should feel happy with what I have because what I have is more than enough.

The thing is, every time I get a new machine, it takes a while to learn that machine, so I have to stop music production and focus on learning.

So I’m not going to be making music for a while – it’s probably gonna affect my music output. 

I think ideally with music production it doesn’t really matter whether somebody is using hardware or software, it’s the end output or whether the person enjoys the process of making the music is the main thing.

How do you approach making music?

Ableton is my master clock, that’s the brain of my whole setup, and then I have this MIDI Thru box. All the drum machines and synths can be timed from Ableton. 

Usually, I start off blank or with a couple of pre-loaded drum machine patterns. I’d start off making the drums first, so I’d go to the ELEKTRON Analog rytm, that’s the main drum machine that I like to use. I don’t always start using hardware, sometimes I get kicks and snares, my percussion from samples. 

Usually a lot of the time I don’t use all the machines in one go, I would select a couple of machines. I could use two drum machines and two synths or another time I could use one drum machine and four synths to make a track. There are times I might use no drum machine and just Ableton, and two synths –  it depends. If I get bored of something on one machine or move on to a different machine.


Finding your sound

Once, somebody suggested replicating a song by one of your favorite artists to get better at production. I actually tried that once and then ended up scrapping it – I just wasn’t feeling producing that way.

It took a while for me to get to a point where I could just be like “Oh yeah, I have an idea in my head about what I want my music to sound like”, and actually implement that. 

Defekt helped me a lot when I started producing electro a couple of years ago. With techno there are so many different styles, it was much easier to make tracks. When I started producing electro, it’s a much trickier genre because it’s more about the groove and the feeling that makes it electro. I was really struggling with making tracks, I was thinking is this even really electro? 

I asked Defekt and he gave me a lot of really good tips – like the type of snares that are important, the type of snares he uses, making patterns on drum machines that give it that sound. He gave me a lot of guidance around making baselines – he showed me how to use an arpeggiator for basslines.  That really did influence my music a lot and help me to get my sound to a better place and to be really satisfied with what I was making.  

Last year’s lockdown was the busiest I ever was in terms of finishing tracks. I had a studio in Cabra, I could go in and spend the weekend there. It was a positive input on my creativity in the beginning. Now it’s not even the pandemic, it’s more so other things in life – getting settled into a new country and into a new job that slowed down my output.

Hardware vs software?

For me, I think it held me back a little bit because I was focusing on hardware. I was like oh, I’ll get this drum machine, but the reality was, I needed software and a soundcard to listen and sync the drum machine and record and time it in Ableton. 

I jumped into it too soon and I didn’t really do enough research. I was seeing things and being like “oh my god, I really want that”, and then getting it and then realise oh crap, there’s a whole lot of other things that I need to make this work. 

So I was learning as I went and then that slowed me down because if I had just focussed on Ableton, having a set of monitors, soundcard and a MIDI keyboard – a small set up like that, it would have been easier for me. 

I think some people can start off with hardware if they have the right people around them if they have people who know what they’re doing around them. I just think from my personal experience, one thing that did slow me down was jumping into hardware really soon – I got there in the end and started to understand everything.

Getting your music released?

Things have changed from when I first started producing –  it was really difficult. I had no connections or I didn’t really know where to go in terms of record labels. I would finish a track off and think of record labels that I like and I‘d think ‘how the hell am I going to get in with those people.’ 

In the beginning, it was really difficult, I hadn’t a clue who to approach or where to. But the longer I just kept producing and more people I was introduced to, meeting people through Lepton gigs, asking people questions in terms of production, things to do with record labels …the more I started going to gigs and the more I started being around people who are in music. That’s when you get guidance from and suggestions from people saying “maybe do this” that that’s what really helped.

Once you get the first couple of tracks out it becomes easier, – there are people from labels that keep an eye on you.

A Lepton label is in the works – there is a record coming out at some stage next year, it was actually supposed to come out last year and then the pandemic really slowed things down for us.  We have talked to a distributor and a pressing plant, it’s in the works. 

I’d love to get running and programming gigs and events again – it was always really exciting. I really do miss it, I know I will get the opportunity again when the right time comes. 

Can you find Ngoni on Soundcloud, Facebook, Instagram and Bandcamp. 

You can catch Ngoni playing at : 

Oct 23rd – Wigwam, Dublin IE

Oct 24th – Circles at Index, Dublin, IE

Oct 27th – HÖR, Berlin, DE

Nov 7th – with Loraine James, Sugar Club Dublin, IE

27th – 29th  Nov –  SpiltMilk Festival, Sligo, IE

3rd Dec – Amsterdam Weekender, Amsterdam, NL

Interview with David Kitt

Meet Dublin Ghost Signs

National Folklore Collection

“Collect the fragments, lest they perish”. These words, adopted by The Folklore of Ireland Society in 1927, outline their mission to collect, preserve and publish the folklore and folklife of a fast-changing Ireland. Out of the society came the Irish Folklore Commission, who between 1935 and 1970, gathered one of the world’s largest folklore collections from every county in Ireland.

These collections go beyond fragments. They include transcribed tales from Peig Sayers, first-person recollections from the 1916 Rising and questionnaires that describe matchmaking, tally sticks and The Great Famine. 

Jonny Dillon, Archivist with the National Folklore Collection, outlines the background to the collection, how they collected and collated such an enormous body of work and the challenges that come with protecting and utilising this material for our modern age. 

It’s a story that is as interesting and steeped in history as the collections themselves.  

Background to National Folklore Collection - why was it set up?

The National Folklore Collection continues the work of the Irish Folklore Commission, an institution which was established in 1935 with the aim of collecting, preserving and publishing items of Irish folk tradition; the unofficial, informal, traditions and customs, beliefs, narratives, and crafts of the Irish people.

The Commission received government funding throughout its existence – a sum of one hundred pounds was initially set aside for the collecting of folklore from every county in Ireland (including Northern Ireland) and folklore collectors were trained and sent out to conduct fieldwork, the results of which they posted to Commission headquarters in Dublin. The collections they made, consisting of manuscript and audiovisual material, form the basis of our archival collections today. These collections are now known as the National Folklore Collection and held at University College Dublin.  In December 2018, the collections were inscribed into the UNESCO ‘Memory of the World’ Register, The Book of Kells is the only other Irish inclusion. 

What was Ireland like at that time? What led to it being established?

Ireland at that time was a newly independent state. The years preceding the establishment of the Commission saw the country racked by the 1916 Rising, the 1919-1921 War of Independence, the partition of the island into separate states and the 1922-1923 Irish Civil War – a conflict which left deep bitterness and political polarisation in its wake.

I think that following this period of great upheaval and discord, the country was seeking to renew and affirm itself; the valorisation of folk culture offered a means through which new visions and forms of national identity could be asserted in order to emphasise our independence as a nation.

The Structure of collecting and collating

Folklore scholars from Britain, Finland, Germany, Norway and Sweden were hugely instrumental in supporting the work of the Commission. International scholars felt that the work being done in Ireland could shed light on the broader European cultural landscape; since Ireland is a peripheral nation located at Europe’s north-western fringe, many customs and traditions which had died out elsewhere still formed part of a living tradition here.


The Commission worked carefully to document and collect traditions at a point in Ireland when the Irish language was in serious decline, while the effects of urbanisation and industrialisation had not yet eroded older cultural patterns and practices. Because the material with which the Commission was concerned was part of an oral tradition, it had to be documented through extensive fieldwork collections. In practical terms, this involved a network of folklore collectors travelling townlands the country over and collecting material for the Commission. There was a pressing concern at the time that our folk customs were in danger of passing into oblivion and slipping away without a trace, and so the remaining ‘fragments’ had to be collected as a matter of urgency.


In order to coherently arrange material received from the field, Seán O Súilleabháin (Archivist to the Irish Folklore Commission) travelled in 1935 to the Dialect and Folklore Archive at Uppsala, Sweden. Over a three-month period, he made a detailed study of the archival system in use there, familiarising himself with the methods employed to arrange, classify and catalogue fieldwork collections of folklore. The system he adapted for use in the Irish context laid the foundation for approaches to archival arrangement and description still employed at the National Folklore Collection today.


The Archival Collections

Our archival collections are broken into several series. The Main Manuscript Collection comprises more than 2,400 bound volumes of interviews in both Irish and English from all thirty-two counties in Ireland. Our Photographic Collection consists of more than 80,000 photographs, encompassing glass plates, prints and film negatives. The Sound Archive features approximately 12,000 hours of audio on early formats such as wax cylinder, wire-tape, magnetic-tape and acetate disc (along with more recent formats).

The Schools’ Collection consists of over 1,200 manuscript volumes containing material collected by senior primary school pupils over the period 1937-1939. Under this scheme, the collecting of folklore was made part of the school curriculum by the Department of Education, and every Friday senior pupils would ask their grandparents and parents questions on items of folklore which were covered in a booklet compiled by the Commission.

We also house a specialist reference library with over 50,000 titles, along with a considerable art collection. In 1970 the staff and holdings of the Irish Folklore Commission were transferred to University College Dublin. Now the National Folklore Collection, we ensure safeguarding, preservation and access to these historic collections, and oversee the implementation of new collection projects. Further, students can now study folklore from BA to PhD level, while utilising the collections at our disposal.

How do you operate and structure your work?

It’s very varied. We always have a very broad array of people looking to consult our collections; academics, students, genealogists, historians, writers, poets, visual artists, musicians, singers, film and documentary makers, radio producers, school children, elderly people, relatives of those recorded in our collections, others with a local interest they want to explore – the list goes on. As a result, you have to be able to shift your focus constantly to best suit the requirements of those you meet in the course of your work.

Some who visit may never have set foot in an archive and can be daunted by the enormous card indices and manuscript tomes (not to mention the considerable scope of the material). Our job is to guide, assist, advise, contextualise, explain and provide access as best we can. It’s a very rewarding process, though not without its own challenges.


There are many challenges – time management is one. We are a small team, and meeting the volume of interest generated by these collections can be demanding. Digitisation poses challenges too – traditional archival materials can withstand a certain degree of benign neglect. That is to say, you can close the door on a manuscript and come back in 50 years, and if the conditions are okay, it should still be there on the shelf in decent order. Not so with digital material; once an item has been digitised you need to keep it constantly fed and watered, juggling from platform to platform or format to format. With these challenges though come enormous opportunities; new ways to conceive of and present the collection, along with new entry points and approaches to analysis.


In the context of digitisation, ethical considerations also play a very important role. We maintain a keen awareness of the sensitivities of the archival material and its context. These aren’t just pie charts or numbers on a screen, these records deal with real people, with local communities, with people’s parents and grandparents. 


As such, we always need to remember our duty of care to those people who are represented in the records, and to the communities from which they were collected.

The Instagram account

If not for COVID-19, I don’t think I would have set the account up. I saw it as a way to reach out to people throughout the lockdown. Personally, I take somewhat of a mixed view of social media, but this experience has actually been really positive, and the material seems to resonate with a broad reach of people. I’ve had people contact me because pictures I’ve put up have shown their late father or grandfather.

Others have found something positive or meaningful in some of the excerpts from our early literature I’ve posted on there. Something as simple as a poem matched with an image, or the description of some event or calendar custom with which people can relate – all of these things can have a positive impact on someone’s day. I think that’s important, especially nowadays.

I want people to know that we in this country are sitting on an enormous treasure trove of native literature and thought; of wisdom, wit and imaginative artistry. Something uplifting, humorous, poignant, sad, whatever – it’s all there.This material is rooted in the past but can help us to navigate the present in a way that is meaningful and uplifting.

Future for the National Folklore Collection – how will It evolve?

I think increased access via online platforms, and digitisation will continue to be of central importance to our work. Our online platform www.dú is a collaborative project with our colleagues at Fiontar & Scoil na Gaeilge, Dublin City University – they’ve done fantastic work in developing a technical infrastructure upon which our digitised collections can be hosted and navigated by the public. When this material was first collected in the 1930s there was a great sense of urgency to the overall project, and a fear that all of this material was in danger of being lost forever. Today we can really open up these collections to communities all over Ireland and further afield, allowing people to draw on them freely, to learn from them and use the material in a multitude of different ways. This opens the collection up to a much broader array of people beyond the confines of a University setting, and allows us to highlight the importance of traditional culture and inheritance in contemporary times.

Our modern lives are being documented on camera phones and Instagram, do we need collectors to preserve our history?

Folklore collections, in comparison with records generated on social media, tend to be wrought very slowly. Trust is an important part of the process of recording – these things take time, and when done well, offer insight into the lives and voices of individuals and communities who might not otherwise be heard. Personally, I feel that while social media can have a positive impact and allow for a broad reach, it also facilitates a certain communal loneliness or isolation. So, while it is certainly easier to reach out to like-minded souls online in a way that we couldn’t before, many of the records being generated today seem to me to encourage a sort of collective solitude, atomisation and passivity which has surface appearance as its ultimate concern. 

I think the modern imagination has been stripped of many of the reference points which oriented our forebears and which provided meaning and cohesion to the world. It’s as though in modernity we have ‘liberated’ ourselves from all meaning, and, having heaved memory overboard like ballast now find ourselves lost in a world whose pace is increasingly frenetic and relativistic. Many nowadays are thirsty for meaning, and I think it is for this reason (among others) that folkloric material resonates with people. Our communal traditions, in all their multiplicity, are suggestive of a shared history, which likewise implies a shared destiny.

So, this Instagram account is intended as a vehicle to present the richness and variety of these customs to people. If it has a positive impact on someone’s day, I’m happy.

Visit for more information about the Collections, you can follow the incredible Instagram account here. 

Some favourites from the Instagram account

I love this photograph. It shows James Hamilton Delargy (Director of the Irish Folklore Commission), Seosamh Ó Dálaigh and Micheál Ó Dónaill collecting from Seán Daltún at Cúl na Sméar, county Waterford in 1948.

Halloween observances will be known by many in Ireland and further afield. This striking photograph by Maurice Curtin shows a young boy playing a divination game, in which saucers containing clay, a ring or water foretell death, marriage or travel. The child is blindfolded and spun around before extending their hand over the saucer to divine the future.

I love this photograph by Tomás Ó Muircheartaigh, though we have very little by way of contextual detail regarding it. The beautiful poem is from the 7th century, and asks where is God to be found.

This is a favourite of mine. It shows the solemnity a funeral on Inis Mór, and I thought it fitting for the winter. The excerpted poetry is from Thomas Telynog Evans, and the opening line of the piece was rattling around my head all winter. I’d been reading the letters of Rainer Maria Rilke again at the time, and I included a quote of his in there. All three pieces seemed to ‘click’ at the time.

This shot from Ballycastle, county Mayo shows a bride dancing with Strawboys – uninvited male ‘guests’ who would appear at the wedding feast and ceremonially steal the bride for a dance before playing music and providing entertainment. The text reproduced from the manuscripts describes practices on ‘Chalk Sunday’, in which the unmarried were marked with chalk on their way to mass on the first Sunday in Lent.

This was a post I put up containing a few lines from a Kerry poet whose work I like, Micheál Ua Ciarmhaic. In these few lines, the river explains how it will be here forever, flowing slowly in a relaxed and unhurried way. I was delighted to receive a note from Micheál’s daughter, who was glad to see her father’s work on the page. The photograph shows a stream and some dwellings in Dún Chaoin county Kerry, and there’s an easy and relaxed air to the whole scene.

Interview with David Kitt

Meet Dublin Ghost Signs

Claire Prouvost - The Queen of Colour

“One day at that sketch club, I took some gouache, and instead of drawing with a line, I was like, “oh, I will draw with colour blocks”. And I think that’s what stayed with me. And the moment I did that portrait, I thought, “Oh this, is it…bright colour, enough of this black line!”

Cubanist characters, sharp silhouettes and clever colour pops – Claire Prouvost’s designs can be found anywhere and on anything. From murals, tshirts, Gucci artwork, Guardian articles and electrical control boxes in Temple Bar – Claire’s work is as transferable as it is unique.

Claire chats with me about how lockdown has impacted her industry, discovering your niche, creating creative habits, challenging Instagram opinions and protecting your curiosity.

How your industry and business has been impacted by lockdown

2020 has been pretty hard in many ways on creativity, but also good and so kind of transformative. It was my first year being a full-time freelancer. And before that, I was working as a graphic designer. And then I took the leap into being a full-time freelance illustrator at the end of January 2020. Little did I know!

I had so many things lined up that ended up being canceled. Some of them involved traveling and teaching workshops and going to festivals and I had a residency as well. All of that was out the window, like most people, we have all had to adapt. It was a bit hard at the very beginning because I was trying to adjust from being a full-time employee to my own rhythm. And I’ve never been there before. So I can’t really compare it to 2019 saying “Yeah, and March was a bit slow.”

I had worked for a while before going freelance, so I had savings. So all of that was set up for me to start. And so there wasn’t too much stress for a while, it was really good to just put my head down and create a lot of things, and use that time to draw.

It was really good to transform my practice and see the things I needed to adjust or what I wanted to work on more, it was a great time to reflect and get feedback…I got a few portfolio reviews. I took that time to really focus on that, and I think it is really necessary to do that.

And then over the summer was nice, because I had a few festivals in Ireland. That was nice to see other artists and feel like you’re part of a community, because that’s the biggest challenge I think, the creativity part is also fueled by community and feeling like you’re part of a creative community somewhere.

And then for the whole field, I don’t know if we can already say we can measure the impact? And again, I have no real reference points. But I know for me work dried up during the summer, and at the end of the summer, and then it picked up again before Christmas. And now it’s crazy. It’s amazing.

And I also think it’s because I’ve spent that time working on different things. And there seems to be work out there. And I’ve heard a few people in the industry saying, look, we can’t have photoshoots, we can’t have exhibitions, so people are looking at illustration and influencers to promote things or create custom artwork or make some animations. Murals are popular because exhibitions have been canceled, people are trying to find ways to get art into public space. People said, ‘Oh, we had all these exhibitions lined up but can you do just a mural?’

Your creative journey

I always knew I wanted to have some kind of creative career. In France, we have an option for secondary school, what we call Applied Arts for three years. It gives you a big overview in architecture, design, fine arts.

I got into one graphic design school and one product design school. And I chose the product design one because it was closer to my home…which I didn’t end up liking! That was a two-year course. And then you have to do an extra year course to get to Undergraduate and then you can get a Master’s. So I’ve done a lot of different kinds of little coursesto get to the master’s degree. And that’s the moment where I realized, oh, product design, I’m not sure I like the 3D aspect of it, imagining a product in its usage and in real life, so I just switched to graphic design and I knew that’s really what I want to do.

And I came here, and I got an internship, then working for four years before going freelance. I was working in publishing and it was a great way to get to know the illustration world. It was in a lovely environment in the Fumbally Exchange where I was working – photographers, illustrators, architects. And they kind of became my second family. They were also very inspiring to start going your own way. I started building a network and feeling good in that community…in that environment. And then through building a community online and Instagram, you can see who is in your city and who is doing what. So I met a lot more artists outside of that bubble that way. It’s easier in Dublin because it’s a small city.

In that co-working space, we had a sketch club. We were just drawing each other every Friday at lunchtime. That’s really what got me back into drawing. For a long time, I’ve been collecting images that I really enjoy. I guess this inspiration ends up in your work in some ways, like what you’re instinctively drawn to. And then we were experimenting – we might be drawing with your left hand, bringing a new tool, drawing without looking at the page. It makes you think and makes you look at references and your drawings and something and start there.

One day at that sketch club, I took some gouache, and instead of drawing with a line, I was like, ‘oh, I will draw with colour blocks’. And I think that’s what stayed with me. And the moment I did that portrait, I thought, ‘Oh this, is it…bright colour, enough of this black line!’.

After that, ‘ve just set myself a challenge, which was called The 100 Day Project. I think it initiated from Yale University – with research projects, habits, and the things you can develop within 100 days. It’s just about creating a habit and developing a practice. And that was groundbreaking for me because it brought me an audience on Instagram. Just working with the same tools with an idea in mind. I thought, ‘Oh, I really like colour blocks, and how can I explore that?’ And I like drawing women, I saw the idea of a theme, medium, and style. I had some people ask me ‘Oh, would you like to work for us?’ So that’s kind of really started. And I always recommend taking on challenges like that if you want to grow any kind of creative practice.

It was almost like putting it out there in that community… some kind of accountability and support but it wasn’t really for feedback but it just pushed me to be accountable and draw everyday.

On finding inspiration

I think something comes from the difference in observing and being in daily life. But I also spend a lot of time online. I’ve been putting a lot of paintings and styles that I really like on boards and on Pinterest. And that comes back from when I started studying, I started to see a pattern in what I like. I have these huge collections of books – all of that compiling, that works! I try to refer to that, to see how they approach perspective, colours. But then I try to put a modern twist on it…what is happening in daily life now.

There were so many things that I tried for curiosity…I want to try so many different things. But there is a bad side. You can very easily spread your energy in too many ways instead of focusing on one thing – I try to focus on one or two things and not get too distracted. There are many other things that I’ve tried. I think one of them was writing a comic book but that’s not really my vibe.

What’s great is that now I have agents – they take on all of the contracts, quoting, invoicing, so I’m delighted to be able to dedicate most of my time to illustration. The agency approached me – at the time they only had 10 or 12 female illustrators.

It’s a pretty new field, and they want to really advocate for equality and gender balance and getting fair rates, not only for illustrators, because that’s already hard, but also female illustrators and getting projects that resonate as well. It’s exciting to build up a relationship like that -see where they go, the variety of people they try to represent.

What you would look for in a client or in a brief?

For now, my priority is to explore as many ways as possible that I can put my illustrations on things. You have so many objects or trends that are coming out right now that you wouldn’t have thought. When I was studying Initially, I hated illustration or the idea of illustrating children’s books!

Right now, I’m getting a lot of exciting projects, they are not the typical illustration project. I’m working on patterns for shoes, ideas for some reusable menstrual pads, skincare products. Things that just wouldn’t come to mind when you think of illustration. I’m just experimenting and seeing that there is a world of opportunities within illustration.

There are also other things that I would be careful about – some people contact you for your artwork, and some people contact you for your followers on Instagram. At the very beginning, I was just so happy to get work and to get the attention of a brand or project. And then you quickly realise they don’t really care about the illustration, they just care about what kind of message you’re going to put out there, how many times you would tag them. Once I was asked to give my login details from Instagram to a brand, which I turned down, but that’s really when I realised oh, okay, they really don’t care about what I’m doing – they just want my platform. Now I would definitely try to draw the line between my value as an illustrator and as an influencer.

But on the other end, I want to do more murals, there is a different kind of engagement. That’s out of the office or out of the studio.

Protecting your work

Recently, someone was found to be copying my work for a client project, I got many messages of support which was very much appreciated. A freelance designer took some of my work and put it on a client project – mirroring the illustrations, changing the colours and adding elements. And that’s not ok to do that. It’s ok to take inspiration from my style, from my palette, and maybe the subject and turn it into your own. We all take inspiration from other artists and feel inspired by some topics we see, but we are smart about it. So, maybe copy things to learn for your personal experience, and don’t share them online.

But obviously sharing that kind of stuff and basing your portfolio of work on someone else’s is not ok. And it’s going to come back on you at some stage. It might benefit someone in the short term, but not in the long term. You can’t build a career on that.

In the end, it was a frustrating experience but I got what I wanted, the artwork isn’t going to be commercialised. I hope the person that copied the artwork will have time to think about where they want their career and maybe build their own work. They should work out a style and not build it into anyone’s work. Yes, it takes time, work and research. But it’s totally worth it to have your own style. 

Epoch and painting murals

Epoch was another online meeting. It’s been very interesting as a journey because again, referring to a community, it’s really important to have people you can refer to and work with to grow. I’m a really big collaborative practice person. There were many, many things that were scary at first, when you’re on your own, like painting a mural

And we all had that idea and desire to paint murals and find ways to do that. We painted our first big mural in Lucky’s two years ago, which was a learning experience and gave us the confidence to do some more, individually and together. I just love doing them, it is so rewarding and allows me to get away from the computer and work with my hands in the real world. I guess it took the fear out of doing bigger scale things and also going to people saying, ‘Hey, we are five girls looking for an exhibition’. It’s just a lot less scary and a lot less intimidating. Right now the idea is to get more people on board. But we’re very much at a stage, like a lot of things during the pandemic, where we want to start shaping what it is that we want to do.

People contact us for a mural or say we’d love to have you involved in this. But sometimes it’s really obvious why we should turn down projects because they don’t reflect our ethics. We’re really trying to define what we are about and what we want to achieve with this group. We haven’t really done anything with a direct political message. We wanted to do one for direct provision, we were supposed to do it at the Bernard Shaw, but then the pub ended up closing. But it’s definitely something we would like to do more of. We contacted other artists to maybe start and do a project together. And a few of them were saying I’m making a point of not making my art political or not taking one side. So it’s a choice you have to make at some stage.

And that maybe links back to your previous question. What do you want to say? How do you want to say it? And, yes, there is a power in that. But you have to also accept the consequences of that. Let’s say I’m taking on a bit of commercial work but I have to be careful as well, not to be too political in all the things that I do.

I am first and foremost a commercial artist for hire, and trying to find a balance in between that and my personal practice. I do stand up to my values, and will speak about issues that are close to my heart and to my community, but I don’t think that makes me an activist. I guess that with Epoch, we would like to promote the diversity of female made art, and overall just promote a fairer and more equal pay for women in the industry. It is also to have a female representative body in an industry that is quite male-dominated. I suppose agencies and other companies are delighted to have a go-to collective when it comes to promoting female art and meeting their ‘quotas’ in terms of gender equality. But this is still a work in progress and we have a long way to go in terms of having more women involved and a more diverse group.

Acknowledging privilege

I think making the effort to step out of that Instagram bubble, whatever we are into, and that’s something I find hard to do. Because, you know, I post things maybe online on Instagram, and I’m used to an audience that’s very positive, very supportive, very encouraging, and stepping out of that zone and maybe challenging somebody’s opinion – maybe you’re facing rejection or criticism. Maybe step out of that comfort zone and engage in conversation that you weren’t feeling like having. And also researching and opening more circles of not only news and the people you follow. Going the extra mile to find more about what it is that people are doing and also reflecting on your practice and how you contribute in some ways to that circle.

Diversity in your creative work

This is something I’m trying to work on overall because I started painting things, I suppose that looked like me. And I follow a few artists that are just 100% all the time putting themselves in the picture. And they are the main topic, and it’s a reflection of their mind. I try to use colours that are completely so far away from what the real skin or hair colour is so that you can wander. I’m challenging myself in the making, in the process, to create that ambiguity. And she thin? Or is she thicker? Does she have curly or straight hair? That’s something I enjoy doing and kind of mixing. So people can see what they want in the image.

For example, I see a lot of things about fatphobia in socials in France at the moment. It makes me pay more attention every time I draw somebody like this or like that, I definitely learn a lot from other people. As I now have more people looking at my art, I definitely don’t want to come across as a person that only thinks of drawing skinny white girls. When you go to a museum, it’s mainly men’s art throughout history. And it’s mainly one body ideal ..representing the trend at a given time. That perfect Venus surely doesn’t represent the diversity of women and female form present at the time.

You can find more of Claire’s work on her website,  Instagram  and agency page. 

The Wonderful Worlds of Blusher

Where does your imagination take you? For Aidan Wall, thoughts feed into music, art, writing and gaming – intricate realms are designed, detailed and described. Born in Dublin, now based in Amsterdam – Aidan has been releasing music under various aliases such as Soil Creep, Hipster Youth and Porn on Vinyl since 2007.  Aidan’s latest project Blusher, appears to be a creative crosswords. A forceful combination of electronic and folk elements from previous releases – a creative full tilt tapestry.  ‘I want my music to make people dance or cry – or both!’ If you have experienced the album Tren Rezno, you will know this objective has been obliterated. Soft, sharp, strange and satisfying…Tren Rezno is full of multi coloured contrasts. From the full force whack of Wake Up a Skeleton, the blissful brilliance of Bifo Ulrich, or the face fracturing PAy Up – Tren Rezno makes it through your veins with a vengeance. Serene yet sense kicking, Aidan has created another cosmos that we will keep coming back to, time and time again. We chat about Aidan’s creative journeys, processes, influences and how that album name came about.


I started doing recordings in my gaff when I was a teenager, so when I was about 13 or 14 a friend in school said ‘hey download this thing you can record songs on it’ –  so I ended up getting Audacity. I pressed the red circle and did loads of layers of things. 

I was doing that for a couple of years – so I had an initial project doing folky music and guitar stringy sounds, while at the same time I was getting interested in electronic music. An internet friend told me to check out Fruityloops – so I ended up playing with that. That friend just recently put out an amazing album under their Nopomo moniker. 

I had these 2 parallel things where one of them would be the songs I would write on my guitar and then the other songs I would write on my computer – I was doing that for 10 years. Over the course of time, I had put out a few different albums on a few different projects. 

I had Soil Creep (pre Blusher), and that was when they started coming together a little bit closer. With Blusher the idea was that ‘I’m just going to put all the things together and not worry too much about whether they are a perfect match’.

It was actually a really nice time to be making music in a way, because I had always figured that it was a hobby. I was a teenager or in my early 20s when I was putting out stuff, so I was in college and living with my parents – I could just do stuff.

I wasn’t worried about it being a career. That was at the time where blogs were first getting popular and there was the idea that maybe you put your album out for free and maybe a blog would post it and 20 people would get to hear it.

It was nice, you’d find a lot of weird communities sharing music and you’d definitely find some people who liked your stuff and who would support you


I ended up doing a PLC course after my Leaving Cert because I wanted to go to art college. I had originally wanted to be a graphic designer when I was 16 or 17… the teachers on the course were really encouraging and saying I would enjoy NCAD – that it would suit the way I think about stuff. I ended up applying there rather than doing graphic design.

After I graduated from NCAD I started focussing on writing a bit more than pursuing an actual art practice. For the past 2 ½ years or so I’ve been studying for a masters in Critical Studies in Amsterdam – it’s a Fine Art Masters focussed on writing.

I had started doing art reviews and game reviews back when I came out of college…and in this course I was like ‘oh you can write weird fiction or weird theory?’ So I started working on prominently that kind of stuff.
I was lucky that in my 4th year at NCAD they were open to me doing other things. I actually ended up making a couple of zines for my end of year degree show and they were about video games. They were half personal essays, half theory essays at that point. I’ve been wasting half my life playing games, so I thought maybe I can say something interesting about it from the position of being a weird time waster!

Studying in art college was a really great experience. It teaches you to think about what you are doing and you can apply that thought process to music.

So I can ask myself, what does it mean when I do this, what is its effect? Thinking back on some of the things I’ve done, it’s like I was sampling stuff I shouldn’t have been sampling.

I think within music now you see a more progressive look towards the politics of sampling – there are meaningful conversations. I feel really lucky that I get to study politics and cultural theory and think about cultural appropriation and things like this. It affects what I want to be working on musically.

Building Worlds

Gaming is definitely a strong thing in my life. The thing that I like about gaming and thinking about science fiction is, you are building an atmosphere – you can build this thing that someone has never built before. Particularly with my DDR radio show – it’s what I want to convey with it. I know music does that, but I feel l learn a lot from reading and games.

For the most part, I make tabletop games, non-digital games and role-playing games – you sit at a table and pretend you’re somewhere doing something or different deviations on that formula.


I’ve been making collage work since I was in my early 20s in college and I really liked it as an art form, finding nice shapes and textures and composing stuff. At the moment it’s another thing I’m working on that fits in with the other stuff.

My Studio

It’s funny, the music on Tren Rezno was made across a 2 year span – a lot of that time was non studio based. There are maybe one or two songs that were recorded in a studio on Middle Abbey St…back in the day! It was a shared studio, the first time I had a space to do music. Then I ended up going to Amsterdam and there was a lot of working on a computer as opposed to having an actual studio. 

Right now, I’m in a really lucky position– a friend of mine got a cheap studio in Amsterdam and there is enough space for 3 more of us. 

When I first starting making stuff it was nearly all computer and using Fruity Loops and then Ableton, which I use now. For Tren Rezno I used mostly virtual synths in Ableton but I’ve been accruing hardware for my live shows and working more with those.

So now my studio setup and workflow is a sequencer, drum machine, bass synth and a little synth. I enjoy having this workflow……it’s a lot more physical rather than looking at a screen. When I first started doing stuff it was all VSTs (Virtual Synths).

I still use a lot of that stuff when it comes to sitting down to make a song.


I think the snobbery around making music on computers is a bit of a hangover from an earlier time. But with that said, I know a lot of people who I really respect that are champions of that kind of stuff. I would never want to be a champion at the detriment of someone who didn’t have access to it though. I know a lot of people who make unreal music just using Ableton and samples and virtual synths.

Getting nervous putting my stuff out? Not quite –  as I don’t think I have ever put something out under my own name! I think I’ve played 1 gig where I used my own name…and that was a bit of a weird one to say the least!

All the time there was an anonymous aspect to having different monikers. I can’t go back to a lot of it now, but at the time there weren’t big stakes because it was just ‘hey I’m working on this song in the evening’ and after 6 months I would be like ‘oh this is an album’

Do I like anonymity? I’ve always treated it that each project is a different thing –  it’s why this stuff is not called Soil Creep. When that’s done I will move on to the next thing…so there is a nice aspect of a fresh start or a change – or it opens you up to do different things.  

Creative flow and approach

It’s a mixed bag. A lot of the time I will either hear something and think I want to sample this – mess around with it in Ableton and see what works. Sometimes that totally fails and sometimes it doesn’t. I will take a shell out of part of it and bring it somewhere else and start working on it. 

Sometimes I will hear something in a movie or on a video online – most recently I was watching ‘The Rocky Road To Dublin’, and there was this lad who was like ‘the old guard is still in control, they’ve got to be removed’….so in my most recent song it’s a ridiculous techno song with this aul Irish lad talking.

For sampling stuff live, I like humming and whistling and so I cycle around with my recorder. There are songs that I have in my head that I just whistle to myself that I have never properly recorded….I’m nearly writing some songs for like five years. 

The way that I usually work is sometimes I will go two months without working on something and then in two months time I feel like I want to work on music and I will write loads of songs. I always have bits and bobs lying around… I like assembling things together and seeing how they work. 

If I hear weird noises I’ll try and record them – the track ‘Roof on the album …it was just me on a roof, and there was a fan humming somewhere so I thought I will try and sing along with this from the roof. Or the washing machine in my parent’s house – it was really rhythmic so I ended up using it as the basis for a song. I’m so regretful when I don’t record stuff I hear – it’s like ugh I wish I’d done that. 

Tren Rezno

I originally wanted it to be a double album, because there were dance aspects and then more ambient aspects, so I wanted one side where it’s ambient and another side dancey. 

Where did the name Tren Rezno come from? The name is after Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor, as I have a bit of a soft spot for him. He’s always done stuff that is off the beaten path but also following his own trajectory of what he’s working on. I always thought it would be really funny to name something after him, so I just decided, I’ll just take off the last letter off each name. It’s funny..I had sent the link with the clips to a friend and she was like ‘oh Trent Reznor’s new music sounds pretty banging’.  

So when I did make Tren Rezno into what that is now –  I kinda envisioned it as a bit of a mixtape in a way. My original plan was that I was going to put it up as a free download, but I sent it to some friends and I think Robbie Kitt said I should send it to the Patrúin lads – and they really liked it! 

I sent it to them – we had been planning it and it ended up being nearly a year after we first started talking after it finally came out – which is usually the case with music stuff. 

Tren Rezno doesn’t have any distinct themes or anything, there is definitely a lot of bounces into different places and some of them were songs that I was just like ‘hey I want to make a dance track’. I would always say that my goal with a lot of the music is to make people dance or cry – or both! 

Naming the tracks? I don’t even know. I think sometimes I’ll be working on something in Ableton and I will just write down a name that will make no sense, and at other times it’s a perfect excuse to make a shitty poem.

It feels like a document or an archive of this two year period, of weird turmoil and a lot of change in my life. I feel like it’s a nice in-between, some songs are recorded in Dublin some are made in Amsterdam and some in both. 

It was incredible holding the album, the only personal goal I really had with music was to have something on vinyl, as I was putting stuff out on cassette for ages.  I love cassette as a format…but there is something about that big square! It was amazing, I almost didn’t believe it – it’s still a bit surreal. 

Album artwork

I can’t remember the exact process for designing the collages for Tren Rezno. They were made a year or two beforehand. I think it was Ros at Patrúin’s idea, he suggested that Mel Keane and I could collaborate on the artwork. 

It’s funny – it’s half intuition or something – it’s ridiculous that I will look at a piece of paper and move it five degrees and rotate it, and think oh yeah that’s it! It’s mostly playfulness. 

I would completely link collage work and my music together. The way I approach my music, it’s really similar to how I make collages. I will find and collect images I want, and then I put a few images that I want to work with aside. With music, there are some samples that I like and then I think ‘oh this chord progression works’ …and then it’s just muddling around with the materials in the same way. 

Recent work

My most recent stuff… I was lucky to be asked to play The Emigrant Disco back in December, and I thought I would love to prepare some new stuff for it. I ended up preparing songs that I haven’t yet recorded. The most recent song I made started out as one I made for playing out live which I then sat down and made into a song. For the most part, it is just playing around and seeing what works. I’m never quite like ‘I need this to be this’ – but I have a lot of tendencies that I like, like bass drums and acid. 

There isn’t a new album planned right now. I’ve been contributing a few songs to a few compilations, I did one for DDR and for Bandcloud, and I have one forthcoming on a Dutch compilation. I also recently did a song for the 101bpm project. 

I’m in the process of gathering and making the stuff and it could be that in 3 months I will put the junk together. Right now I’m kinda working on finishing college and making that my priority. 

Playing records v playing live

I’ve never done any big parties, the DDR Party in Galway was my biggest gig playing records –  it was so much fun, I really like mixing a lot. There is something trance like… when stuff is just working together. 

The one thing that is really nice when playing live is getting to listen to your own music really loud, and then seeing people’s reaction to it. 

I feel so lucky to be part of the DDR community, in Dublin, people say it’s quite difficult to excel as a DJ, that Irish people are always the support act, but I think it’s very different now. The DDR parties exemplify that.


It’s funny –  I’ve been around Dublin long enough, so you kinda get to know everyone. I guess through being in NCAD there were a lot of people who were friends with people. 

Robbie Kitt and I would also go to a lot of the same gigs back then, late thousands – indie was still alive! There’s a weird overlap with people who make experimental music and the people that make dance music, they all like the same things, there is a natural comradery. 

I really miss it over in Amsterdam – I think Amsterdam has a big dance culture but it’s a lot bigger and a lot more impenetrable – I don’t really know the music scene there that much. I would know a couple of venues that do some interesting stuff and have a lot of friends who make good music there, but it’s not really comparable to the wonderful community here, it’s just so so magical in Dublin. Getting to see smaller local DJs get a headline slot is amazing and seeing the room go off!

Impact of social media

I had done a workshop in the RHA, a young writers workshop and someone who had been at that really liked the workshop, asked if I wanted to do one at IMMA (Aidan hosted a workshop at IMMA titled: Rebuilding the Self – examining how the development of technology has impacted on the relationship between photographic portraiture and identity, particularly since the development of social media and online profiles). 

I was invited in to give my perspective on the workshop’s themes. I’m interested in the idea of social media being like a spread of different ways in which you can present yourself, almost being a collage of specific elements of images and text that form a sense of yourself – how you want to present online. 

In terms of self-promotion, I know there is a lot of conversations about it at the moment in dance music.  Because I am this jack of all trades…I don’t really have a career from this – it’s three or four side jobs in a few different things – I have to be like ‘I’m doing this’ for people to know that I am doing x or y. That’s how I engage with my social media. 

I think social media has done some amazing things for some really amazing people who might not have found the opportunity otherwise. I think there will always be ways in which things are utilised in strange ways for strange means. I think you are lucky if you don’t have to rely on social media. A lot of people don’t have managers, don’t have booking agents, it is a really hard process when you have to do all that yourself. You have to remind people what you are doing. 

How mediums work together

Sometimes depending on what kind of context you are working in, there can be a literacy for certain things and not a literacy for other things. For example in the course that I’m in, there are some people who are working in sound, one person in particular, Luca Soudant, who is doing really interesting work with hardcore gabber music…and they are making this unreal music and also thinking about the theory of loudness and masculine noise. 

But for me I think I’ve always had a bit of a struggle between how different things I make fit together perfectly. I would sometimes do performance work with scripted performances where I use some of my music in the performance. 

It’s funny…I’ve always seen my art and writing as being separate, I like to think of myself as being an artist with an artist practice, but it’s also something that is a bit like a side job. I’d be lucky to get cash from it. 

For the most part, they only bleed into each other every now and again. I do see them as different. Ideally, I would love to be at the point where my three side hustles can become some kind of a coherent hustle. At the moment, they are all in their different places ..which is a shame because I love writing, I love making collages and making music, and it’s like you could nearly combine them. It’s difficult to know where to focus my energy on.

Most challenging mediums

I take a funny approach to a lot of stuff, I’m an incredibly anxious person. 

I think when you prepare music for a live show you can rely on the machines even if you do something wrong, it’s ok the music is there. A lot of times you can have something to fall back on. Sometimes performance stuff can be very vulnerabising – you just have to actually present yourself – it can be weird. 

The last performance thing.. someone had invited me to do a performance at a small art event. I was pretending to be a person who was a wrestler who used to be an artist…and then decided they were going to quit art because it’s too hostile so they went back to wrestling.

Follow Aidan on Soundcloud, Facebook and Instagram. Support Tren Rezno, pick it up online on Patrúin’s website here or in store at All City Records. 

Big thanks to Liz Rooney for the headshots, check out more of her work here.

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Chi-Carlow's finest -TR One

Word up Collective 

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