Four years in the making, The Speech Project is ground-breaking collection of new musical works by Gerry Diver inspired by and incorporating recordings of the spoken word of seminal Irish folk musicians including Shane MacGowan, Christy Moore, Damien Dempsey, Joe Cooley, Danny Meehan and more.
A live performance of music from the album begins a nationwide Irish tour with a show in County Leitrim at The Dock, Carrick on Shannon, this Thursday, October 11 at 8.30pm.
Gerry Diver, a musician, composer and producer, born into an Irish family in Manchester and relocated to Ireland in his teens. Former member of Irish world music group Sin é and Shane McGowan’s The Popes, as well as guest musician with among others Van Morrison and uber-rock producer Youth, Gerry has more recently begun to focus more of production and composing, working out of his studio in South London.
In 2007 he produced the Mojo Folk Album of the Year and BBC Folk Award nominated album ‘Wild And Undaunted’ by Lisa Knapp, but had already begun work of The Speech Project, travelling to Ireland to make face-to-face recordings with Christy Moore and to trawl the archives and back catalogues for spoken word recordings of older musicians, including Kerry accordionist Joe Cooley (1924-1973).
Taking this all back to his Tooting studio he extracted key phrases from the recordings, and taking the rhythm, pitch and phrasing as inspiration, he began to compose a series of works that are uniquely Irish, ground-breaking in concept and stunningly beautiful. Between production work for artists including Alasdair Roberts, Sam Lee and ex-Beautiful South’s Paul Heaton, Gerry completed the collection of works which he has called The Speech Project.
The show features Gerry Diver – fiddle; Colman Connolly - uillean pipes/whistles; Jonathan Hennessey-Brown – cello; Gaz Wilkins – keys; Lisa Knapp - dulcimer/fiddle/voice and Declan Daly - fiddle.