- 31 Aug 20
As part of our celebrations for Van Morrison's 75th birthday, President Michael D. Higgins performs 'Rave On, John Donne' with Bill Whelan, and shares his reflections on Van's music and legacy.
As Van Morrison celebrates his Big Day, we're kicking off the party with a special performance from the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins – performing 'Rave On, John Donne', from Van's 1983 album Inarticulate Speech of the Heart. In a unique collaboration, the music for the stunning reading is provided by composer and producer Bill Whelan, the creator of the phenomenally successful stage musical, Riverdance. The performance also features Tara Howley (low whistle and vocals), Derek ‘Doc' O’Connor (saxophone) and Mal O’Brien (guitar). The music was recorded and engineered by Brian Whelan.
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"Van Morrison is one of the outstanding songwriters and performers of the past 60 years and has been a powerful inspiration to successive generations of musicians and artists all over the island of Ireland, and abroad. It is a great privilege to be part of this extraordinary celebration of Van’s work, on the occasion of his 75th birthday. Long may he continue. Rave on, Van Morrison.”
Watch President Michael D. Higgins perform 'Rave On, John Donne' with Bill Whelan below:
Video edit by One Productions.
See the action-packed programme for Van's Big Day on Monday, August 31, below:
• President Michael D. Higgins with Bill Whelan – ‘Rave On, John Donne’ (7pm)
• Bob Geldof – ‘I'm Tired Joey Boy’ (7.15pm)
• Moya Brennan (Clannad) – ‘The Beauty Of The Days Gone By’ (7.30pm)
• Paul Casey & Friends feat. Terri Hooley – ‘In The Days Before Rock ’n’ Roll’ (7.45pm)
• Brian Kennedy – ‘Days Like This’ (8pm)
• Mary Coughlan – ‘Warm Love’ (8.15pm)
• John Spillane – ‘Cleaning Windows’ (8.30pm)
• Altan – ‘Whenever God Shines His Light’ (8.45pm)
• Malaki – ‘Someone Like You’ (9pm)
• Glen Hansard – ‘Astral Weeks’ (9.15pm)
• Hozier – ‘Caravan’ (9.30pm)
Hot Press is also publishing a Van Morrison Special Issue, to coincide with ‘Rave On, Van Morrison’, featuring written contributions from the legendary likes of Hozier, Sinéad O’Connor, Gary Lightbody, Damien Rice, Imelda May and Damien Rice, as well as special homages from international artists Brandon Flowers, Steve Van Zandt and Matt Berninger. In addition, you'll find the highlights of our recent exclusive interview with Van – who discusses the Belfast he grew up in, ‘Gloria’, Jim Morrison, Lenny Bruce, the real inspiration for Astral Weeks and his extraordinary work as a songwriter.
This historic publication is a must-have for Van Morrison fans all over the world, and is available to order now.