rachel ní chuinn - heavy summer

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Heavy Summer was produced by Rachel Ní Chuinn with Fán O'Toole on piano. It airs for the first time on Constellations.

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Rachel says

I had a baby last February. I wanted to make something that reflects some of my feelings about what that means, without necessarily too many words. Obviously being a mother is a huge change for me. Fán is 9 months old at the moment and sometimes we put her in her high chair and put her up to the piano, and she really enjoys playing and sometimes singing along. I had a recording of Fán playing the piano and singing. I also rediscovered a field recording of a lawn mower in the Botanical Gardens in Dublin that I took a couple years ago which had this compelling drone-like sound. I placed both recordings together and responded by playing the clarinet, which I've recently started playing and love for its expressiveness. 

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Inspiring Rachel both in and beyond the world of sound

I've been a huge fan of Benjamin Walker's for a long time and I am really impressed by his treatment of the real and the fake. I am generally low on sleep and inspiration these days but if it isn't too cloying to say it, watching a tiny human's reactions to sounds is ultimately what I am finding most inspiring as she parses everything with such curiosity and enthusiasm. 

There is a movement in Dublin called Take Back the City that is occupying vacant properties and standing up for families who are being evicted. Dublin is in the middle of a housing crisis and it is inspiring to see people try and tackle the problems with direct action.

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Rachel Ní Chuinn works with sound, movement, text and electronics. She produces sound works for radio, live performance, theatre and installation. Her radio features for RTÉ lyric fm include The Shape of Sounds to Come and Mean Time  — a collaborative concert with 10 sound artists for live broadcast. She has worked on exhibitions and electronic performance with sculptors Vanya Lambrecht Ward, Gillian Fitzpatrick `and Renata Pekowska and many great experimental Irish musicians. She has also recently performed her own music with clarinet and live electronics for Martin Sharry's Running + Walking in the Phoenix Park and is working on a new feature documentary for RTÉ lyric fm about a verbatim opera called The Woods & Grandma.