According to its web page:
"The Strand first opened its doors as a movie theatre in 1935 occupying a prominent corner site in East Belfast. It is now the oldest cinema in Northern Ireland and is also unique in its distinctive architectural and interior style which merges Art Deco with shipyard influences taken from its close proximity to the dockland (such as curved walls and porthole doors and lighting)."
The purpose of the evening was to communicate to young artists how to best navigate the music industry, and to educate them about the pitfalls it contained. Choorpy.com is dedicated to help indie musicians in Ireland. Patrick Cutliff was the evening's host.
For the better part of an hour, Patrick and Peter chatted about music, and what artists experience from the music industry. The two also explored alternatives and ideas that can better serve the young indie artist starting out in the profession.
A few bits of anecdotes and advice he provided (rephrased in my own words!):
- Until he visited Nashville, Tennessee, Peter did not see music as a full time "serious" profession.
- Peter encouraged young artist not to think so much about the intellectual side of writing and performing, but the emotional. The key should be to entertain and communicate. (He followed this discussion by playing "Closer to the Start."
- Another point that discussed - the importance of working with people you trust. Having someone who can focus on the business side of things with the artist's interest in mind is critical.
- Patrick asked Peter to recount highlights of his experiences. What followed was a fascinating, detailed account of the development of Peter's artistry and career as a musician. I found it most interesting to learn about his attendance at the 2008 "Oscar Wilde -Honoring The Irish in Film." (See Flickr for more pictures.)
- My notes are sketchy, but there were a few things he stressed. Being around people, being open and trying things a bit out of your comfort level often makes for good art. Realize that you are an artist! Add to what's come before. In that way, art is like science. Advances are made in increments...
- Peter also shared a bit about his experience with record labels, PledgeMusic projects, and other major endeavors such as Mother Courage, Hector Mann, Huckleberry Finn, as well as others....
Duke Special played a few more songs during the event at the Strand - Wanda, and Salvation Tambourine...
Discussion Between Duke Special and Andrew Doyle at the Lyric Theatre (Gulliver's Travels)
And Just Recently...
It was basically a conversation between Peter and the writer, Andrew Doyle, talking about the forthcoming production of Gulliver's Travels in front of audience I'd estimate at around 50. They were later joined by the director.
Peter performed four new songs on the piano and a further two were played over the PA system. We were only given titles to two of them.
Up first was what, I believe, will be the opener when the play hits the stage - a dark, foreboding song with a nautical feel and stormy overtones.
Next up was a song that will appear in Act Two. Again, no title was offered, but if I remember correctly the line "If I can leave myself behind" was prominent.
As I said two songs were played over the PA system, both demos and both very electronic in nature and both in relation to the island of Laputa from the novel - the first of which had a chorus containing the line "there's a new way of life on the isle of Laputa".
After another period of conversation Peter returned to the piano to perform a song which touched on the evangelical/religious aspects of the book - again no title but 'Blasphemy' seemed to the subject of the chorus.
The second electronic demo was then played and this time we were given a title, "Without Within" with Laputa again the focus.
At the end of the evening Peter invited the small audience up onto the stage to surround the piano as he played the last song, "100 Hearts" or maybe it could be written as "One Hundred Hearts".
It was stated that Peter won't be actually performing in the production (unlike Mother Courage) so it's unclear whether or not these songs will ever see the light of the day.
I certainly hope they do. I'm notoriously slow at taking to new material but I really enjoyed what I heard last night and they certainly wouldn't be out of place released in their own right. I'd love to hear them again.
(Apologies to Peter if I've misrepresented the songs!!!!)