The CLUAS Archive: 1998 - 2011


CLUAS fires some questions at Adrian Crowley, creator of the Choice Music Prize nominated Season of the Sparks.

Adrian Crowley

Tell us about the album - its conception, creation, response... Is there anything you'd go back and change about it now?
I had already begun writing songs for Season Of The Sparks by the time Long Distance Swimmer was released. I recorded it over the course of fourteen days in Dublin. I'd head over to the studio on the 121 bus with a plan for the day ahead. It seemed to come together easily and I had a clear vision of how I wanted it to sound. I try and develop the songs as much as I can outside the studio so when it came to recording the songs they were down in pretty much one take. The response has been great with reviews and general good will coming from previously unexplored territories thanks to a new record deal with an amazing label. I'm still proud of the album and can't say there's anything about it I would alter. I'll soon be thinking of album number six though.

Award nominations aside, were you happy with the response the album received?
Yes. In fact the response is continuing so I'm still in the thick of it. It's been an amazing few months since the album was released worldwide in November, we're getting feedback from Canada, France, Japan.. it seems the initial reaction has been that the album has struck a chord with certain people across the map.

How relevant do you think music awards really are to musicians and music fans?
They have a relevance of course. From the point of view of the music maker: well, I would say that anyone who places all their chips on getting a nomination for a music award needs to ask themself some serious questions on why they're in the game in the first place. I had been making albums for almost nine years before I was nominated for anything so you need your own impetus to keep going. It's important to be proud of what you're doing anyway and it's important to acknowledge the praise of others when they come forward with a gesture of acknowledgement. It would be ungracious to think otherwise. When I got the call about this nomination I was totally flattered. There's no denying the sense of encouragement that brings. From the point of view of music fans, sure I imagine they/we are likely to make new discoveries as a result.

Do you think the idea of the album is relevant and capable of holding its own in a world of digital downloading and plummeting CD sales?
I seem to remember having a conversation about this before. Well from my personal point of view I'm hardly going to alter how I write music just because of a changing format out there in the wider world. I'm still going to dedicate sections of my creative life to a collection of musical narratives. That's how I work. More relevantly though, I think the concept of an album will continue to last. I can't see people getting excited about a new release by an artist unless it's presented as a collection of new works.

Do you feel the Irish music scene is in a healthy state at the moment?
I would say yes, most definitely. It's rich with hidden gemstones and and people doing things for themselves and others without their eye on the conventional barometer. In my eyes that's what constitutes a healthy scene.

Any artists who weren't nominated for the Choice Award, who you feel should have been?
I don't really think about it in that way. When you think about how many albums were released this year and the ten slots to be filled on the shortlist it's anyone's guess really. I feel more inclined to congratulate the others on the shortlist then begrudge anyone of their place there.

Your favourite album from those also nominated for the Prize?
Probably Slow Dynamo!

Best gig you went to in 2009?
Probably Gareth Dickson from Glasgow, Upstairs in Whelans at Homelights Festival in November. That was magnificent.

Plans for 2010?
Writing and touring in both familiar and unfamiliar places and spending time with my family.

Check out the CLUAS interviews with these other artists who were also nominated for the 2009 Choice Music Prize:

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