Walls Talk brings together solo dancer, Breandán de Gallaí, and singer, Gina Boreham in this deeply moving work.
The title comes from the expression ‘If these walls could talk’.
The work explores the notion of memory being captured, or recorded, in the material world around us: all our actions, our feelings and thoughts, frozen in matter and energy for eternity. The dance is supported by Blues and Jazz Classics sung by Boreham.
De Gallaí describes the show as an ‘abstract assemblage of fragments’ – from the music, song and dance representing many different genres, to the text and the mise-en-scène – diverse and contrasting – yet ‘this chaotic cacophony make unexpectedly harmonious bedfellows.’
Why Sad Songs Say So Much – Essay by Breandán de Gallaí on RTÉ Culture
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 are linked by passages of text – some from the English literary canon, others written especially for the piece.
Text based excepts include:
- Brian Friel: Philadelphia, Here I Come
- John Millington Synge: Playboy of the Western World
- Wendy Cope: After the Lunch
The work is in chapters underpinned by a song. Each song’s arrangement comes from different musical genres.
- Réamhdhréacht – Prologue
- Tuireadh – Dirge ‘Seems Like Old Times’ (a cappella)
- Caoineadh – Lament ‘I’m Fool to Want You’ (Ambient Jazz-tronica)
- Iomann – Hymn ‘Koop Island Blues’ (Techno remix)
- Marbhna – Elegy ‘Gloomy Sunday’ (Ambient experimental electronica)
- Cogar – Whisper ‘Whiskey Didn’t Kill the Pain’ (Traditional Irish)
- Éagnairc – Requiem ‘Deep Song’ (Duet – Voice and Harp)
- Tréadach – Pastoral ‘Blue Alert’ (Tango)
- Paidir – Prayer ‘The Flower of Magherally’ (Jazz arrangement)
- Amhrán – Song ‘For All We Know’ (Duet – Voice and Bass)
- Coda / Coda ‘Demon’ (Contemporary Classical)
- Goltraí – Keen ‘I’ll be seeing you’ (Cinematic/Ambient)
- Iardhréacht – Epilogue
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 set and props; may not, on paper, seem to belong together, but performed in its totality, the ‘chaotic cacophony’ will be unexpectedly and inevitable harmonious bedfellows.
Source material includes Sheldrake’s Morphic Resonance Theory, ‘The Stone Tapes’, Dossey’s ‘One Mind’, & Brené Brown’s ‘Connections Curriculum’, and key themes include species-wide consciousness, quantum theory, genetic memory.
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
- ‘Gloomy Sunday’ – Rezső Seress made famous by Billie Holiday and others
- ‘Whiskey Didn’t Kill the Pain’ – Johnny Duhan & Mary Coughlan
- ‘Deep Song’ – George Cory & Douglas Cross made famous by Billie Holiday and others
- ‘Blue Alert’ – Leonard Cohen
- ‘The Flower of Magherally’ – Traditional Irish ballad
- ‘For All We Know’ – J. Fred Coots & Sam Lewis made famous by Billie Holiday and others
- ‘Demon’ – original song by Gina Boreham
- ‘I’ll be seeing you’ – Sammy Fain & Irving Kahal made famous by Billie Holiday and others