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An Evening with Glen Hansard

Tuesday, June 4, 2019, 1:30 AM


It is July 2017, and Glen Hansard is sick and wandering the streets of Paris. It's been a long spell on the road. Barely two weeks have passed since he wrapped up a support tour for Pearl Jam front man Eddie Vedder, and more than five years have gone by since there was a month when he wasn't on stage. Not to mention the albums: Rhythm and Repose (2012), the Grammy-nominated Didn't He Ramble (2015), and a soon to be released Between Two Shores (2018); a bevy of EPs; and to top it off, a five week "Camino by sea" in a traditional Irish naomhg, a journey which was captured on film and released as the full-length The Camino Voyage (2018).He has earned both his exhaustion and now his respite: a month in one place. Taking a residency at the Centre Culturel Irlandais, Hansard has come to France to put shape to a new album. The intention is to create "an acoustic record with sparse accompaniment" in concert with long-time friends and collaborators Joe Doyle (bass), ROMY (piano, string arrangements, and vocals), and Javier Mas (Spanish guitar, lad).Paris, however, has other plans. One night at dinner, friend, author, and classical singer Judith Mok introduces Hansard to the Khoshravesh brothers, who studied classical and traditional music in their native Iran before relocating to Paris. The simple meal quickly turns into a session. Hansard recalls working through one song particularly. "The Khoshravesh brothers joined me and I was transported. The song took on a new depth: I heard it differently, and new possibilities emerged. The ease by which they followed their own melodic line while being sympathetic to mine was intoxicating." By the end of the night, the brothers agreed to join Hansard in Black Box studios, where he will be working with producer David Odlum, and what was to be a straightforward album begins to take an interesting turn.The roster of musicians quickly increases. Along with Joe Doyle, Romy, and the Khoshravesh brothers, Hansard invites Dublin electronic musicians Dunk Murphy (Sunken Foal) and Deasy to participate in the sessions, eager to see what might spark from the diverse range of musical traditions. Each day is unwritten, defined by an openness, a willingness to follow the spirit of the moment wherever it may lead. "When you surround yourself with great musicians and do your best to keep up, stay loose, give little direction, and allow everyone to bring what they bring, something transformative may happen," Hansard says.Over the next few months, more musicians cycle in: Graham Hopkins and Earl Harvin (drums, percussion), Michael Buckley (saxophone, horns and flute), Breanndn Beaglaoich (accordion), Rosie McKenzie (violin), Aida Shahghasemi (Iranian singer and daf player), Eamon O'Leary (banjo, bouzouki, and mandolin), Anna Roberts-Gevalt, (fiddle), Bran Mac Gloinn (Ye Vagabonds, fiddle), Markta Irglov (vocals), and Rob Moose (strings arrangements). They work with no agenda, no preconceived notion of what the sessions will turn into. But by April, it's clear that an album has emerged from this group exercise. "Sometimes," says Hansard, "when you take a small musical fragment and you care for it, follow it and build it up slowly, it can become a thing of wonder."The resulting album, This Wild Willing (April 12, ANTI- Records), is indeed a collection of wondrous things.Those who have followed Hansard's career since his Academy Award winning turn in the film Once will have witnessed one artistic arc: the journey of a Dublin busker who cut his teeth on the greats -- Dylan, Van Morrison, Leonard Cohen -- and followed the path of the troubadour, the singer-songwriter to great effect.But there is another thread running through Glen Hansard's musicianship. In his decades as lead singer of Irish stalwarts The Frames, rock and folk ambitions coexist with moments of strangeness, intimacy, and stillness: love songs drowning in the last fevers of the Spanish Flu ("Santa Maria"), protagonists who ponder throwing it all away

Cost: $56.00
Tickets: http://www.ticketnetwork.com/tix/tickets-3899047.aspx

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