Interview With Adrian Crowley, first published in Downtown/The Evening Echo 2013-11-14

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Ronan Leonard spoke with Adrian Crowley, the winner of The Choice Music Prize in 2010 with his album, ‘Season of the Sparks’, who returns to Cork after an 18 month absence to play The Triskel Christchurch on Friday 22 November.

Adrian recorded his first album at the age of 25, after stints in the fields of architecture and photography, “I waited until my late twenties, or to put a finer point on it, I didn’t really ‘wait’ at all, it just happened and I never really considered recording before then. So it wasn’t a case of procrastination, I suppose I’ve always done things by instinct. I value the act of learning from a teacher but at the same time I have a lot of faith in going with the thing that burns within me. So much has to do with people and going out into the world, I get a lot from other people. Things have taken time but I feel that I am still just getting started and clearer with my voice, my vision, my ways of relating things.”

Adrian is very humble about winning the Choice Music Prize, he speaks warmly of the experience, “it has been great. That was the first time I won anything in my entire life, I mean not even a medal for the egg and spoon race on sports day at school, not a sausage! It was a huge compliment to win – the feeling of good will was wonderful and that has recurred since. I have always just got on with just making music so it was a surprise to me.”

Since that win he has continued with making music, “I’ve recently done a score for a short horror movie called ‘The Gloaming’ and have plans to collaborate with a new writer/director on another film in 2014. I love music in combination with moving image, it’s another world entirely, I have a passion for film anyway. There is also a collaboration with James Yorkton seeing the light of day next month in the form of a mini album in tribute to Daniel Johnston. It’s totally made up of home and field recordings. I do need to feel like there is no one set way of presenting something.”

His concert in Cork however will not be a collaborative affair as in recent times Adrian has been performing his material in the most stripped back way, “I will be playing totally solo. It’s something I have been doing a lot of recently, I have played truckloads of gigs this year…more than any other year I would say. Ever since my last album, ‘I See Three Birds Flying’, came out I’ve been hitting the road every few weeks to play around Europe. 98% of those shows I’ve been totally on my own…my own tour manager, merch guy, morale booster etc and I haven’t really taken exception to my own company yet! I’ve been all over, France, Germany, Spain, The Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, and UK… and some of those places I’ve been back to three or four times since last December. I’m very fortunate to have been taken into the ranks of a wonderful European booking agency. They have extended their hand to me and have lead me through the world this past year.”

Adrian’s most recent visit to Cork was in June 2012 during the Cork Midsummer Festival when he curated a series of concerts, “I absolutely love Triskel Christchurch. It’s better than any venue in Dublin at the moment, in my unbiased opinion! and the sound is exceptional. The last time I played there was for ‘Bowerbird’, a weekend festival I had a part in, we had Martin Carthy, Serafina Steer, Andy Irvine, Sam Amidon, Bill Wells and Aidan Moffat. I love playing with others. Some great friendships have been born from music and I think when that happens it brings some special spirit to the music. It was truly special, but it was the people who came along that really made it, it’s all about people.”

Adrian also handpicked his opening act for Friday’s concert, “my special guest is we/or/me (or Bahhaj Taherzadeh as he was known in school). We haven’t met yet in person and I’m very much looking forward to seeing him play live. He released a record, ‘the Walking Hour’ earlier this year, he has something special, I think.”

And a final reason to come to the concert on Friday, “I don’t plan to play in Ireland again for ages so unless anyone prefers to take a plane to see me play I would advise that they reconsider their carbon foot print and just walk up to the front door of the Triskel Christchurch.”

Adrian Crowley plays The Triskel Christchurch on Fri 22 November. Tickets are available at http://www.triskelartscentre.ie

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