Music For Writers: Donnacha Dennehy’s New Chapbook

Image - iStockphoto: Chris_OCallaghan
Image – iStockphoto: Chris_OCallaghan

A Sonic Anthology: The Abstract Gone Narrative

There’s a kind of single-composer album that’s a lot like a writer’s collection of short stories or poems.

So much of this ilk is the composer Donnacha Dennehy’s new album for RTEthat it arrives without an over-arching title of its own.

It’s simply Donnacha Dennehy: Crane/O/The Vandal/Hive.

Those slashed bits are the titles of the album’s four works — four stories, if you will.

  • “Crane” (2008-2009)
  • “O” (2001-2002)
  • “The Vandal” (2000)
  • “Hive” (2005)
Donnacha Dennehy
Donnacha Dennehy

And any author will recognize what’s happening in this artist’s work: each piece is its own world; it has a beginning, middle, and end.

Indeed, in the first piece, “Crane,” we learn from the cellist Jeffrey Zeigler whose own new album we covered here in #MusicForWriters — that Dennehy is recalling meeting a building crane operator in Dublin. The workman’s assertion that being in the very high seat of the crane made it feel as if all the world’s cares and troubles were below him stuck with the composer.

I want you to play the first cut as you read now: “Crane” — courtesy again of New York Public Radio’s Q2 Music. Listen at 7:33 on the track. Suddenly the embattled, clanging ground of this composition falls away. Ravishing tiny bells peal softly around the strings’ clouds. And you really do feel the lift, the rise, the basso-anchored power of this marvel of a machine.

Dennehy goes on to explore the reaches of such an airy incongruity of so much iron and oxygen…until the piece flutters up and up and up on woodwinds that never let it come down again. You sail right out the door on this one. Don’t miss it.

Here’s the stream for your use, free, the full album, as you read and write this week, thanks to Q2 Music’s Album of the Week series.

Read More

There’s more: Read the full story at Thought Catalog

By Porter Ander­son | @Porter_Anderson

Writing on the Ether: Music For Writers: Donnacha Dennehy’s New Chapbook 

Originally published by Thought Catalog at



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