Monday, June 1, 2009

The Swell Season - Glen Hansard & Markéta Irglová

So, I’ve been anxiously waiting to do this featured artist duo and refrained from making them the first feature so I didn’t use up all my favorites right away. This week we look at Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová who form The Swell Season duo. This feature also comes with a movie recommendation, as that is how I discovered this music. Hansard and Irglová starred in the independent Irish film, Once, about struggling musicians that also features their own music. The main song, “Falling Slowly” was nominated and won Best Original Song at the Academy Awards in 2008 and if you are an American Idol fan then you heard winner Kris Allen perform this song on movie week. When they performed at the Oscars, Hansard on his beat up Takamine guitar and Irglová on the piano, I immediately perked up because this was not your typical Oscar nominee. It was so raw and natural I had to rewind and watch it several times (thank you Tivo). I hadn’t heard of or seen Once yet but I immediately went out and rented it and sat through the whole film with my hand to my chest, sighing every few minutes from pure joy. If you love music you’ll love this film! The film is a story of struggling street musicians in Dublin, which after recently visiting I can tell you that they are everywhere and they are all very talented. At the Oscars, Markéta’s acceptance speech was cut off after Glen spoke but they brought her back after the commercial to give her a chance to speak, which was so worth it. Here’s her acceptance speech:

“Hi everyone. I just want to thank you so much. This is such a big deal, not only for us, but for all other independent musicians and artists that spend most of their time struggling, and this, the fact that we’re standing here tonight, the fact that we’re able to hold this, it’s just the proof that no matter how far out your dreams are, it’s possible. And, you know, fair play to those who dare to dream and don’t give up. And this song was written from a perspective of hope, and hope at the end of the day connects us all, no matter how different we are. And so thank you so much, who helped us along way. Thank you.”

Her speech inspired me and I hope that it brought hope to so many struggling artists and musicians.

Glen Hansard was born in 1970 in Ireland and is also the lead singer of the Irish band The Frames. Markéta Irglová was born in 1988 and is a classically trained Czech pianist and vocalist. What makes this duo even more special is the real life romance between them when they started dating during the filming of Once. If I could suggest one thing for all of you, it would be to tell you to watch the film before diving in to their music, you’ll have a bigger appreciation for what they do. Check out the soundtrack for Once, or their album The Swell Season if you enjoy the music. Also, they are currently in the studio recording a new album due out later this year. I can’t wait!


Allegra said...

lady you should enter two to win the giveaway at frenchie and flea!
loving your blog :)

Beth said...

So when I heard Kris Allen sing this song I fell in LOVE. It is so awesome to read the story behind it and how it has inspired so many people.

Thanks for this Mary!

Beth said...

oooooo...and I just noticed your link the the jewelry!!! Awesome :o)