Sometimes, being away from home, you miss out on things, I don’t mean just birthdays or events. I mean, art projects, pop ups things that make a city scene, not just a art scene vibrant and alive.
Alas, I must hold my hands up as Hally’s ‘In a City’ passed me by.
I hadn’t heard of Irish singer songwriter, Hally in a few years, probably as I wasn’t on the ground on the Irish music scene. Hally has always been such a talented guy. When I saw ‘In a City”, I had to share it with you.
“In A City” was part of a project Hally undertook in 2017 called “Peeling Onions”. Hally gave himself a task of writing, recording and producing a song and music video every week for the entire year. (Man, when did you sleep?)
The music and videos were recorded and produced in his studio just outside Dublin and digitally released every Sunday night at 8pm via a Facebook Live introduction video, Youtube and Soundcloud.
The music has previously been described as a “wildly diverse collection with Jazztastic Sympathies, Electronic Sprinklings, Verbal Ramblings… a poet and singer songwriter laid bear through the honesty and rawness of his words, music and visuals”.
“In A City” was the release for week 19 and a collaboration between Hally and other artists. The lyrics and acoustic guitar track were provided by Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Yes thee JGL) , Megan Kate performed the narration, Nico Finke – Tenor Saxophone, Gary O’ Reilly – Moog Synth, Electric Guitar – Ian Smith, Upright Bass – Ashley John Long, Kevin Brady (long time no see) – Percussion & Snare. Hally was responsible for Piano, Sound design, foley, bass, vocals, production, mixing and mastering.
I asked Hally how he got involved in the project. “I’m a member of an artist community that he currates called hitrecord.org… its a platform where multidisciplinary artists come together to work on projects which then get published, released, licensed, etc through the hitrecord.org production company. I worked on various projects where Gordon has contributed or conceived.”
The cinematography is a mixture of footage & stills shot in different cities, Brian Swift filmed the inner workings of Dublin City, Brian Cregan shared some of his still images. Hally also collected a lot of footage from different cities which he edited into the video. Additional footage was provided by ‘The Film Artist’, Philip Bloom & Adam Weinberg.
Hally set himself a some tough rules for “In A City “. He only wanted to use analogue sounds or those of organic origin, so digital whatsoever. He recorded on one inch tape and then mixed tape to tape.. (I have experience of recording this way myself and it is totally exhilarating and makes your brain work in a different way).
Hally explains, ” I felt this would bring a warmth and breath to the feel and texture of the piece, I wanted the whole piece to allude to the sense of the mayhem in a city but viewed and listened to from a safe and comfortable place, maybe looking out a window or from a balcony.”
“In A City” does exactly this. This is a really interesting collaborative project. Amazing discipline, drive and determination to keep doing the ‘Peeling Onions’ project for 52 weeks. And having to come up with new ideas every week, not just musically but visually too. Bravo, hats off!
Hallymusic will be releasing a curated 12 track Double Vinyl compilation from the “Peeling Onions” project later this year. A UK and Ireland tour with his band ‘The Hymns’ will follow the albums release.
Find Hally’s own favourite Songs from the “Peeling Onions” project here.
You can find the entire Peeling Onions playlist here: