ACCLAIMED COMPOSER Conor Walsh, whose career was suddenly and sadly cut short in 2016.
A documentary on the enigmatic Swinford composer and pianist Conor Walsh, who died of a heart attack in March 2016 at the age of just 36, will air on RTÉ Radio One this weekend. Part of the ongoing Doc on One series, it is scheduled to go out at 2pm this Saturday, June 20, and again on Sunday, June 21, at 7pm.
In ‘Conor Walsh – Passing Through’, Walsh’s longtime friend Eoin Butler talks to the minimalist musician’s family, friends and peers about his life and about the many kinds of influences – both musical and experiential – that shaped his incredible, haunting compositions.
“Someone once asked my friend Conor Walsh what inspired his music,” Eoin reveals. “‘The sounds of the countryside,’ he replied. ‘The sounds of water. The droney hum of milking machines and trains and engines in the distance. Wind howling through bridges and around bends in rivers.’
“Conor was a talented, self-taught piano composer. But he was most content when he was alone, fishing in the lakes and rivers of Co Mayo.”
From the outside looking in, Walsh’s self-imposed solitary kind of life might lead people to believe he was a bit of a recluse. For a time, he lived alone in his family’s abandoned hotel in Swinford, then he moved to a remote cottage on the banks of The Moy.
However, Butler is keen to tell the world that there was much more to his friend: “Sure, he was humble and sometimes reserved. But he was also affable and outgoing and one of the most loquacious people you could ever meet.”
Walsh performed his compositions to great acclaim both on tour, supporting Hozier, as well as at major showcases like Electric Picnic, Body and Soul, Another Love Story, and Other Voices in Dingle and Derry.
During his short lifetime, he officially released just four tracks, on an EP titled ‘The Front’. However, after he died, his family discovered a huge volume of tracks on his computer’s harddrive, and posthumously released his extraordinary debut album ‘The Lucid’ last year.
‘Conor Walsh – Passing Through’ . More information on Conor Walsh and his music can be found at www.conorwalshmusic.com.