Leitrim's own Glens Centre goes live online with a unique Open Mic event

Leitrim Observer Reporter

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Leitrim Observer Reporter

Leitrim's own Glens Centre goes live online with a unique Open Mic event

The open mic night remains available to view - see link in the article below

This time of lockdown and restricted travel is demanding new responses and The Glens Centre has been actively seeking out new opportunities with one such outcome being a new Arts Show in partnership with Ocean FM commencing in the very near future.
Another development took place recently, when the Glens Centre’s cross-border ‘Across the Lines’ programme saw The Glens Centre go live online with a unique Open Mic event, involving 30 individuals and artists from or with a connection to North Leitrim and Fermanagh.
The individual contributions of music, poetry and performance are very diverse and wide-ranging with a number celebrating people and well known places around Leitrim, Fermanagh and beyond and the event criss-crosses genres and the cultural terrain of the south and north of Ireland today.
Collectively the programme represents the emotional pulse of these challenge times we are living through presently. Some contributions are by individuals who take part in the Open Mic Manor or the spoken word events organised by The Thing Itself both partners in the delivery of this programme. Other contributions come from individuals and artists involved in other Across the Lines projects. “We were honoured a number of emerging and established artists also took part, sharing this platform alongside individuals who perform for their enjoyment.”
Ruth Gonsalves Moore, the programme producer working closely behind the scenes with tech team Cormac Carroll and Jonas Dellows, had this to say: “We were blown away by people’s generosity and spirit, for instance, the artist Cormac O'Caoimh whose performance in the Glens had to be cancelled the week before due to lockdown who got in touch and provided a previously unreleased video of “You won’t break me”, the established writer Jean Bleakney with a strong family tie to Garrison contributes three well-chosen poems, and efforts that many of the contributors went to make new recordings from home, was very encouraging”.
The programme is very much “in this moment” featuring a lot of new material, created in ‘isolation’ and in response to ‘this new normal’, and often spins new meaning on the underlying theme of ‘crossing borders’.
The event appropriately opens with a series of new short poems from her collection of ‘Cocoon Poetry’ including “Jailbreak”, “God Bless the Bees”, “Staying Safe” and “The New Vogue” all written in ‘lockdown’ by Trish Bennet, a Kilty poet living in Fermanagh, and closes with the launch of another new song developed as part of the Across the Lines cross border creative writing programme of autumn/winter 19.
The closing song ‘In Tears’ is a poem lyric written by local resident Helen Pinoff, developed into song with Jeanette Coughlin, Claire Maguire and Ronan McManus and under the guidance of the Dromahair based performer Perry Blake was recorded and mixed with Cormac Carroll at The Glens Centre.
The 3 hr long programme includes a lot of ‘gems’ all worthy of a mention including those by the youngest performers: Matthew Connolly performs a cover ‘Fast Car’ by Tracy Chapman (who also penned the lyric ‘Across the Lines’) and the trio Tarach ÓSnodaigh and Evan Gerry from the band ‘Grooveline’ who perform a version of their original ‘Final Line’ with Rossa ÓSnodaigh from the well-loved band ‘Kila’.
Reflecting on the Crossing Borders Open Mic Online showcase event, The Glens Centre Director Brendan Murray commented: “As other local groups have responded in practical and necessary ways supporting individuals, the Glens too adapted and this professionally produced event takes advantage of ‘the borderless world wide web’ to continue to socially and culturally connect people.”
It was great to witness the online comment function on YouTube work well with individual audience members shouting out where they were viewing from, and gathering the audience viewing figures after the event has been also insightful”.
The Crossing Borders programme as part of the Across the Lines programme is a celebration and showcase and importantly broadens and deepens our cultural appreciation and awareness through participation and engagement. The Glens Centre wishes to express ts gratitude to The International Fund for Ireland for their support.
The Open Mic event remains available to view on The YouTube (search The Glens Centre) – it truly is worth the watch! https://bit.ly/3cdFExe