As lockdown drags on, the world keeps turning. Artists and creatives continue to make their art and their work, adapting as well as they can to the new reality. To facilitate and support this locally, Ballina Arts Centre is launching a new series of online programming platforms. First among these will be Music Makers, an online programme for singer-songwriters to showcase their work.
Launching later this year, Music Makers will be fronted by Ballina-based songwriter Brendan Farrell, and will features interviews and performances by songwriters from Mayo and beyond. Farrell is well known in songwriting circles for his online performances and his Writer’s Block series, as well as his show Take Me Home, Colleen, a suite of songs telling a story of the Irish Famine through the lives of two star crossed lovers. The show was performed in Ireland and the US in 2019.
Sean Walsh, Director of Ballina Arts Centre, said: “We are delighted to be launching Music Makers, offering songwriters a chance to get their music out there. In the absence of real, live performance opportunities for artists and audiences alike, this is something of a next-best-thing. I know that there is a lot of online programming out there nowadays, but we hope people will tune in. There is a huge amount of great songwriting talent in this area and Music Makers will have a lot of local artists featured. People can support them by tuning in and watching the performances.”
The show will be a mix of chat and music and will features songwriters who are emerging as well as those who are established in their careers.
“I am absolutely delighted to have been asked to get involved in this project,” says Brendan Farrell, the man who will be the ‘face’ of Music Makers. “To create a platform where our up-and-coming artists can improve their profiles, and engage with the already established Irish and international acts can only be a good thing. I am passionate about developing and encouraging new talent. Ireland has some of the best emerging songwriters on the planet, and I hope that we can bring this to our audience. The use of Ballina, as the backdrop to this show, is also important to me. Recognised recently as Other Voices’ location of choice, the music scene in the Mayo/Sligo area is clearly a vibrant and exciting thing to watch.
“The pandemic may have closed our venues somewhat, but this has led to an increased focus on the homework, the actual writing, from creators like myself, as we have had more ‘me’ time to play with. We look forward to sharing the songs and stories in our first series of Music Makers.”
Music Makers is expected to launch in late April/early May. Keep an eye on Ballina Arts Centre’s website (www.ballinaartscentre.com) and Facebook page for updates and announcements.