- 01 Apr 21
The 'Echotal' Project – the newest musical venture from David Rooney –was recorded near his home at the foot of the Sugarloaf in Co. Wicklow - and was produced, engineered and mastered by Torsten Kinsella of God Is An Astronaut.
KCLR 96FM's Martin Bridgeman will be airing Echotal's latest track 'Hiding' on his show tonight, following his hour-long interview with David Rooney conducted today.
The Echotal project combines the creative talents of Torsten Kinsella of God Is An Astronaut and Rooney, with Jay Wilson acting as another key musical collaborator.
Rooney created the artwork for God is an Astronaut's LP Ghost Tapes #10. It was following this collaboration that Torsten identified the gap between Rooney's art and the music. Why the dual artistic personality and identity? Torsten offered to help marry the different strands of Rooney's artistic vision – and the pair then set about collaborating on Echotal, crafting a four-track EP.
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 to accompany the work. The visuals from the videos will be integrated into future live shows. He previously unveiled the animated videos for 'Glencoe' and 'Endless'.
A multi-instrumentalist, Jay Wilson 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.
Speaking to Martin Bridgeman earlier today, Rooney talked about his childhood years in an all-girls school, his foray into the art world and the impact of black-and-white cinema on his illustrations, along the way delving into his work for Hot Press and hinto how and why he joined forces with Torsten Kinsella in Wicklow.
"I really needed the investment from him and also the consistency," David told Martin Bridgeman. "Torsten mainly works on his own work, but he has the capacity to be a phenomenal producer. The choice of people to work with comes through the artwork of the EP, which sees the visuals feeding directly into the music.
"'Endless' is shot by Jaro Waldeck - a wonderful Czech cinematographer who now lives in Ireland," David added. "She was in Sweden in December and posted some stills, and I asked her if I could send her songs for the video because it made itself essentially.
"I also needed close-up shots of smoke and mist to tell the story. I'd seen another post of Glen Hansard at Mount Etna, and I asked if he could film smoke, on his phone, up close for me, and he did! It was brilliant."
Talking to Martin Bridgeman, David also discussed his collaboration with the celebrated cellist and composer, Jo Quail.
"The next video that's coming out is for the song 'Melting Ice'. As a response to the song, Torsten suggested asking Jo Quail to work with us. From the post-rock world of God Is An Astronaut, Kinsella knows how powerful contrast is. A sole woman with a cello coming on stage after a rock band can blow everyone away."
"His band are loud, and there's this consciously competitive element of 'who's on next?'. It's a macho, male environment, but Quail comes on and is just incredible," Rooney adds.
"Hardly a week after asking her, she came back with 16 tracks and we used them all. We just had to drop them into the grid and there they were. She's an amazing woman."
Check out the full KCLR96FM interview between Martin Bridgeman and David Rooney below:
• KCLR Ceol Anocht with Martin Bridgeman is on Tuesday/Thursday 10pm- 1am. Also available on KCLR Radioplayer /App, TuneIn.