Walls Talk is a dance-music-theatre piece for solo dancer, Breandán de Gallaí, and singer, Gina Boreham.
The title comes from the expression ‘If these walls could talk’.

The work considers the notion of memory being recorded in the material world around us: all our actions, our feelings and thoughts, frozen in matter and energy, every material akin to magnetic recording tape, the disturbances we create remaining there for eternity.

Source material included Sheldrake’s Morphic Resonance Theory, ‘The Stone Tapes’, Dossey’s ‘One Mind’, & Brené Brown’s ‘Connections Curriculum’. Key themes include species-wide consciousness / quantum theory / genetic memory.

The performers are supported by pre-recorded original music arrangements by Fiachra Ó Corragáin (Kinsale), Paddy Mulcahy (Limerick), Joe Csibi (Dublin) & Zac Gvi (London).

Whilst the movement is rooted in traditional Irish step dance, de Gallaí also draws from his ‘Habitus’ – what he likes to refer to as the ‘shadows that remain from seminal experience’ – trauma, fear, violence, pleasure, etc. – physical memory that imprints itself on the body.

The danced sections will be linked by passages of text – some from the English literary canon, others written especially for the piece. Text based excepts include, but are not limited to:

  • Brian Friel
  • John Millington Synge
  • Seamús Heaney
  • Anton Chekov
  • Patrick Kavanagh
  • Emily Dickinson

The original piece of prose is motivated by the memory of a traumatic exchange I had as a teenager.

The work will be in chapters, with each chapter being a poem of mourning (Elegy, Dirge, Lament, etc.), flanked by a Prologue and Epilogue. Each chapter is underpinned by a song from the jazz golden era, and each song will represent a different musical genre. The setting of the selection of songs will be based on Liederkreis structure.

Songs and genres arrangements examples:

  •  ‘Seems Like Old Times’ (a cappella)
  •  ‘I’m Fool to Want You’ (Ambient Jazz-tronica)
  • ‘Koop Island Blues’ (Techno remix)
  • ‘I’ll be seeing you’ (Cinematic/Ambient)
  • ‘Gloomy Sunday’ (Carnivale)
  •  ‘For All We Know’ (Double Bass)
  • ‘Demon’ (Contemporary Classical) – original song by Gina
  •  ‘The Flower of Magherally’ (Jazz arrangement) – traditional Irish ballad
  •  ‘Deep Song’ (Jazz harp)
  • ‘Whiskey Didn’t Kill the Pain’ (Traditional Irish)
  • ‘Blue Alert’ (Tango)

The work is an abstract assemblage of fragments. The various fragments, be they the musical, singing and dance styles; the short segments from plays and poems; newly composed prose; the visual art elements in the form of projection, set, props; may not, on paper, seem to belong together, but performed in its totality, the ‘chaotic cacophony’ will be unexpectedly and inevitable harmonious bedfellows.

Songs – Original Composers

  • ‘Seems Like Old Times’ – Carmen Lombardo & John Jacob Loeb made famous by Diane Keaton in Annie Hall
  • ‘I’m Fool to Want You’ – Frank Sinatra, Jack Wolf, &Joel Herron made famous by Billie Holiday and others
  • ‘Koop Island Blues’ – Oscar Simonsson, Magnus Gustaf Zingmark & Ane Brun sung by Koop
  • ‘I’ll be seeing you’ – Sammy Fain & Irving Kahal made famous by Billie Holiday and others
  • ‘Gloomy Sunday’ – Rezső Seress made famous by Billie Holiday and others
  • ‘For All We Know’ – J. Fred Coots & Sam Lewis made famous by Billie Holiday and others
  • ‘Demon’ – original song by Gina Boreham
  • ‘The Flower of Magherally’ – Traditional Irish ballad
  • ‘Deep Song’ – George Cory & Douglas Cross made famous by Billie Holiday and others
  • ‘Whiskey Didn’t Kill the Pain’ – Johnny Duhan & Mary Coughlan
  • ‘Blue Alert’  – Leonard Cohen