- 04 Mar 21
‘Endless' was the first track Rooney recorded with Torsten Kinsella of God is an Astronaut. However, it went through a transformation before it was released, as David explains...
David Rooney's Echotal project has shared a brand new video for 'Endless', filmed and edited by Jaro Waldeck and produced by Snow Ghosts (http://www.snowghosts.net).
Rooney has been working as a visual artist for over three decades, creating editorial illustrations reflecting the great changes taking place in Ireland and abroad. More recently, Rooney has been concentrating on historical subjects for books, museums and TV documentaries.
Echotal was recorded near his home at the foot of the Sugarloaf in Co. Wicklow - produced, engineered and mastered by Torsten Kinsella of God Is An Astronaut. Rooney created the artwork for God is an Astronaut's LP Ghost Tapes #10, following which Torsten identified the gap between Rooney's art and the music. When Torsten offered to help marry the different strands of Rooney's artistic vision, the pair set about collaborating on Echotal, with Jay Wilson (pictured above right with David Rooney) acting as another key musical collaborator.
A multi-instrumentalist, Jay was among the musicians involved in David's debut album Bound Together released in 2017. He joined the Echotal project bringing his vast experience from touring and arranging with James Vincent McMorrow to the table. Further collaborations have followed with internationally acclaimed artists, including cellist and composer Jo Quail, producer Ross Tones (aka Throwing Snow) and Hannah Cartwright of Snow Ghosts.
"It was a lengthy track comprising three verses, a couple of choruses and an instrumental outro," David said of the writing and recording process behind 'Endless'.
"I had worked with the UK based indie-folk outfit Snow Ghosts producing an album cover for their dark epic 2019 album 'A Quiet Ritual’. They kindly offered to do a remix of something for me down the road. We thought a remix of ‘Endless’ would be a nice bonus on the ‘Echotal’ EP so asked would they have a look at it.
"The ‘Endless’ that came back was utterly transformed," David adds, "distilled down to only four of the original vocal lines sung by myself and Jay Wilson. All of the instrumentation had been dispensed with. When we heard it, producer Torsten's reaction was immediate. ‘This is better, this is the one to go for'. It was a lesson in the magic of collaboration. The use of a harmoniser on the vocals has opened up a range of new writing ideas and some shopping around for vocoder-like tech to try and create it in a live environment.
"Another magical element to the track, that the Snow Ghosts had no idea about, was that the four lines they chose to work with, were ones that I had embroidered into the song that were sayings my mother was fond of using in her latter days," Rooney added. "She passed away in July 2020."
The visual element is vital to the project.
"Thanks to Hannah Cartwright and Ross Tones of Snow Ghosts for their divining skills and to Jaro Waldeck for her beautiful film," David said. "The Czech cinematographer and a native of Dublin for some years was in Sweden in December and I noticed she was posting these haunting landscape photographs. I sent her the song and hoped she would sense the potential for a video. I was thrilled when she agreed. Jaro has the eye of a classic European film-maker, it’s in everything she produces. I created a hand-rendered font for the Echotal project which I think has a bit of that feel too, so that’s being used throughout, for all the videos."
The debut EP under the Echotal moniker is divided into instrumentals and songs. As with previous music projects, Rooney is collaborating with animators and film makers to create a series of videos accompanying the work, which will be integrated into future live shows. Last week, he unveiled the animated video for 'Glencoe'.
Check out the video for 'Endless' below: