Sean nós singer and songwriter Iarla Ó’Lionáird is Helen Shaw’s guest in The Family of Things. Iarla is the voice of the acclaimed Irish ensemble The Gloaming. He grew up in Cúil Aodha in Co. Cork in an Irish speaking community in what he calls ‘ a hive of song’ . As a child, along with his ten brothers he sang in Seán Ó Riada’s choir.
He talks about his relationship with his voice, his language and his creative journey from singing the cows back home to releasing his work through Peter Gabriel’s label Real World Records. Today he performs across the world not just with The Gloaming but also with operatic work by Irish composer Donnacha Dennehy.
Helen Shaw’s guest is Hans Zomer, who was Director of Dóchas, a development network at the time of the conversation. He now leads Global Action Plan.
Hans talks about being shaped by his Dutch presbyterian roots, his family’s experience during World War 2 and his childhood in Cameroon. He speaks five languages but says he now feels Irish and dreams in English. 2015 is an action year for world development with two landmark UN events aiming to secure a new set of development goals and a global agreement on the environment and climate change.
Host Helen Shaw talks to Trinity based physicist Dr. Shane Bergin. Shane says people often think science is ugly but necessary, while he thinks it is beautiful and essential. Shane talks of his passion to communicate science to the world and to inspire the next generation of scientists through his teaching work at TCD. Since this conversation Shane has moved to UCD and focusses education.
Shane is behind the award winning project ‘Dart of Physics’ and in this interview he describes nano-science and its future. As a scientist, researcher and teacher Shane is often in the public ear and eye through his work but he shares his love of music, his delight in cooking and baking (every weekend!) and talks about the people he admires including Irish President Michael D. Higgins and Nobel poet Seamas Heaney.
While Shane unpacks the world of science and education he also brought his favourite instrument along – the ukulele!
Helen Shaw speaks to writer Denise Deegan, author of the hugely popular Butterfly Novels for teenagers. More recently Denise has adopted the pen name ‘Aimee Alexander’ for her adult fiction novels.
Helen talks to Denise about her self publishing and where the idea for Aimee Alexander came from as well as taking it right back to the beginning to ask Denise when she started writing.
Denise, who has previously worked as a nurse, a checkout girl and a china restorer among other things, shares readings from her books, her approach to writing her novels and how her life experiences have been reflected in her stories and visa versa.
The full podcast is available now to download via the link below, and for now, here’s a preview of the episode where Denise tells a funny story of when someone from her neighbourhood has mistaken her for a famous figure (and not for the first time!)
In this first episode of ‘The Family of Things’ series presenter Helen Shaw talks to Irish poet Nessa O’Mahony about her life, her poetry, and what inspires her.
Nessa O’Mahony was one of the first writers in Ireland to complete a PhD in Creative and Critical Writing in 2007. She is a published writer having released poetry collections and verse novels such as ‘Bar Talk’ (1999), Trapping a Ghost (2005), In Sight of Home (2009) and more recently ‘Her Father’s Daughter’ (2014)
Nessa tells Helen how she first began writing and the inspiration behind her poems and gives us an insight into her personal life by sharing tales from her childhood memories with her father and what her family really think of her writing.