Lovesong resonates as Derry’s No. 1
A love song dedicated to a Derry woman has been selected the hit song of this year's City of Culture. Adam Leonard's haunting tribute to his wife Blathnaid has been voted ‘Best Track’ in the Nerve Centre's Resonate music project.
RESONATE in association with Blast Furnace, was funded by the National Lottery through the Arts Council of Northern Ireland to capture the musical talent, energy and spirit of Derry during the UK City of Culture 2013.
Following an online poll and judging from a panel that included Ciaran Scullion (Head of Music at the Arts Council of Northern Ireland) Stephen McCauley (Radio Foyle) and Graham Stewart (Culture Company) Leonard's 'My Love' has topped the RESONATE chart.
A software engineer from Manchester, Adam, 44, moved to Derry - his wife's hometown - in 2008 after meeting her while she studied in England. The couple who already have two children - Jude, 13, and Aoife, nine, are also celebrating a new addition to the family - six-month-old Esme.
He said: "My Love is a tribute to my wife as she is my inspiration. I think she got fed up with me writing songs for other people so I had to write one for her.
"There seems to be something magical about the track which people tend to like. I guess it is fitting that a song about a Derry woman should win best track in this competition. We are delighted to win."
Adam has been writing his own songs for the last 10 years and incorporates elements of folk, psychedelia and electronic music into his unique homemade sounds.
Jackie O'Sullivan, of the National Lottery added: "The RESONATE project has really brought to the fore the amazing musical talent in Derry ~ Londonderry, the UK City Culture 2013. Not only does the city boast a rich array of fine musicians but this competition proves it's people can provide the inspiration and imagination for some great pieces of music.
"National Lottery players can be proud to have supported such a wonderful project."
Ciaran Scullion, Head of Music at the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and one of the judges on the RESAONATE panel said:
"UK City of Culture has very much been about supporting home grown talent and staging it alongside internationally acclaimed acts. RESONATE is a wonderful example of how being given a platform can really change the direction of a career. We have been so impressed by the calibre entries, it really has been encouraging to know we have so much talent on our island."
Among the stars of the future recognised was 17-year-old Gemma Bradley, from Draperstown, winner of the ‘Best Youth/Under 18’ act.
Despite her relative youth, Gemma, a pupil at St Patrick's College Maghera, has already written more than 10 songs and appeared on stage in front of thousands of revellers at the Glasgowbury music festival twice.
Earlier this year, her collaboration with local artist Paddy Nash saw her reach the final of the IMRO Christy Hennessy Song contest in Tralee.
Her self-penned song ’Wicker Men’ - inspired by the cult film - wowed judges in the underage category.
Now Gemma is left to decide whether to pursue a full-time career in music when she leaves school or go on to university to study radiography.
She said: "The Resonate project has been great in providing the inspiration and opportunity for young musicians.
"I feel I have grown as a performer throughout the City of Culture year. And it has provided tremendous role models like SOAK who is only year older than me and has already achieved so much."
Other winners in the Resonate project include Glenn Rosborough, who can be seen on TV screens with Katy B in BBC 1's Music City and Best Boy Grip aka Eoin O'Callaghan.
Glenn, who won ‘Best Bedroom Track’, said: "The investment in the City of Culture and the likes of the Resonate project has helped so many artists in the city. There is some great talent around and it is fantastic to see them given the platform to perform and be taken seriously."
While Best Boy Grip, who is received rave reviews for his debut EP 'Barbara' and has just release another entitled 'Runaway' , produced the ‘Best Video’.
Eoin added: 'I am delighted to have been chosen as one of the winners of the Resonate Project Music Video Competition. The project has been a great success and has had a real presence on the social networking sites. Winning this category was a great way to end the fantastic year that has been City of Culture 2013."
RESONATE was one of 14 projects funded by the National Lottery through the Arts Council as part of the UK City of Culture 2013. The funding pot of over £1.3 million helped a variety of Arts and Culture projects become reality throughout the year, from Prime Cut’s large scale outdoor theatre spectacle Conquest of Happiness, to Northern Ireland’s inaugural Movement and Dance Festival from Echo Echo and Willie Doherty’s retrospective exhibition UNSEEN.