Episodes

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20190530

How does the Irish border shape the art of the musicians who live on either side? Eamon Murray of internationally renowned Irish folk band Beoga meets fellow performers along the divide.

These uncertain times have fuelled a creative surge and Eamon also wonders how possible changes to the border might affect his own musical future. Beoga's lyrics lament Westminster's perceived indifference to the plight of his community: "I feel betrayed by those fools, who are dictating the rules".

Eoin O'Callaghan, who goes under the name of Elma Orkestra, and electronica producer Ryan Vail have collaborated on a project called Borders. They've flown drones high over the island filming the natural beauty that spills throughout the land. They looked for lines on the ground which they used to represent the division between two worlds - water and rock, trees and scrubland. With the help of collaborators such as folk singer Moya Brennan, they debuted their powerful work at the Guildhall in Derry, a show that brought many of its audience to tears.

To explore Irish folk music's complex and troubled history, Eamon meets Tommy Sands, writer of the iconic folk song There Were Roses. One of his first memories was seeing toes tapping in time to music regardless of a person's allegiances. That moment spurred him on to create his own music as a way of unifying people. Sands has long been regarded as one of the most innovative campaigners for peace and understanding in Northern Ireland. He is still writing and performing now, creating music for a verbatim play called Blood Red Lines that uses words from survivors of The Troubles - an experiment that has led to surprising new friendships.

However, the contradiction between north and south is something that self-professed Queer Indie Pop artist Susie Blue notes, as body autonomy and marriage equality laws have been passed in the Republic and in Great Britain, but have yet to be carried across to Northern Ireland. She speaks of the frustration she feels and how she now expresses that in her music.

Producer: Henrietta Rowlatt

A 7digital production for BBC Radio 4

How does the Irish border shape the art of the musicians who live on either side?

How does the Irish border shape the art of the musicians who live on either side? Eamon Murray of internationally renowned Irish folk band Beoga meets fellow performers along the divide.

These uncertain times have fuelled a creative surge and Eamon also wonders how possible changes to the border might affect his own musical future. Beoga's lyrics lament Westminster's perceived indifference to the plight of his community: "I feel betrayed by those fools, who are dictating the rules".

Eoin O'Callaghan, who goes under the name of Elma Orkestra, and electronica producer Ryan Vail have collaborated on a project called Borders. They've flown drones high over the island filming the natural beauty that spills throughout the land. They looked for lines on the ground which they used to represent the division between two worlds - water and rock, trees and scrubland. With the help of collaborators such as folk singer Moya Brennan, they debuted their powerful work at the Guildhall in Derry, a show that brought many of its audience to tears.

To explore Irish folk music's complex and troubled history, Eamon meets Tommy Sands, writer of the iconic folk song There Were Roses. One of his first memories was seeing toes tapping in time to music regardless of a person's allegiances. That moment spurred him on to create his own music as a way of unifying people. Sands has long been regarded as one of the most innovative campaigners for peace and understanding in Northern Ireland. He is still writing and performing now, creating music for a verbatim play called Blood Red Lines that uses words from survivors of The Troubles - an experiment that has led to surprising new friendships.

However, the contradiction between north and south is something that self-professed Queer Indie Pop artist Susie Blue notes, as body autonomy and marriage equality laws have been passed in the Republic and in Great Britain, but have yet to be carried across to Northern Ireland. She speaks of the frustration she feels and how she now expresses that in her music.

Producer: Henrietta Rowlatt

A 7digital production for BBC Radio 4

How does the Irish border shape the art of the musicians who live on either side?