He’s an Artist (not just an artist).
We went to see Declan O’Rourke, a singer/song writer, at a Christmastime concert. I was expecting a mix of old songs and possibly new songs. An “intimate” show without a theme.
It turned out to be very different: the concert was a storytelling of the Famine. He mixed songs about the Famine, with stories in between the performances. He was obviously engrossed in the subject, had deep opinions on it and was moved by it. He was accompanied by a good handful of renowned musicians. He talks movingly about that project in this interview:
He could have done yet another tour, but instead he created something new, different. As Seth Godin would say, it was something that could have failed, and that gives an indication that it’s something possibly worthwhile doing. He chose to continue to be an Artist, not just an artist.
Declan has an LP that I also heartily recommend. We bought it after that same gig. It’s called “In Full Colour”, and had what looked like a best-of list of his songs. It turned out that the album was something different again: a two-record collection of his songs, backed by an orchestra. (To be honest, this doesn’t always work for all of his songs, but again it’s a sign of exploring something different.)
I’ll leave you with one of his recordings:
Take a good look around
Someday this will all be gone
You and I’ll be gone
Everything we’ve ever known
But how unique this moment is
How rare and precious all this is
It seems we only have just this
So why hang on?
Let’s you and IDeclan O’Rourke (feat. John Prine & The Milk Spots) – Let’s Make Big Love
Not waste one breath
Not wait around
For old age and death
Let’s do this thing
Let’s take a swing
Let’s make big love