Author: Press Officer

15% Off Recording at Beardfire Studio for IMRO members until April 2022

Beardfire Music Production Studio is offering 15% off recordings and mixing up until April 1st 2022 exclusively for IMRO members. In order to avail of the deal sessions must be booked in and secured with a deposit before January 1st 2022. When booking please mention this offer.

Beardfire is a music production studio and record label recording and producing professional, critically acclaimed music by the likes of All The Queen’s Horses (Winner International Songwriting Competition 2021, RTE Playlisted), Patricia Lalor (Atlantic Records), Leila Jane, William Franklyn Miller, RUNAH (Bonfire Records), Lauren Ann, Steph Sandor, Jordana Lilly, Lauran Beth, Michael T, Moylan, KTG, Kate Dineen, Chris Short, Denise Brennan, Rowlette, Ciaran Moran, Donal Clancy, Dori Freeman, Zoe Clarke, Kayli Sousa, Waters Edge (Katie & Aoife), Sam Hardiman, Gretchen Peters, Rachel Baiman, Weekend Special, Hera, CC Cooper, Leslie Dowdall (In Tua Nua), David Virgin and more.

Beardfire’s music production has featured in major Spotify playlists including New Music Friday (UK, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan), Dark and Stormy, Deep Dark Indie, Friday Crate Diggers, A New Eire, Breath of Fresh Eire, An Alternative Eire. Major national and international radio airplay across hundreds of stations worldwide including the likes of RTE Radio 1, RTE 2fm, Spin, Today FM and multiple BBC stations.

Based in Dublin Ireland, Beardfire Music collectively possess over 5 decades of booking, touring, producing and performing experience in Ireland, Australia and across continental Europe.

To book, or for more info contact Rohan at or call 0873349633

Visit the links below for samples of Beardfire’s work and more information:

Beardfire Spotify Playlist:

Beardfire Website:

Beardfire on Instagram:

Beardfire on Facebook:

Minding Creative Minds | Providing Vital Support for the Creative Sector in Ireland

Minding Creative Minds is Ireland’s first 24/7 wellbeing support programme for the entire Irish creative sector.

Over the 17 months since its launch in 2020, Minding Creative Minds has facilitated in the region of 1,000 hours of support across three areas;

1. In the moment support;

2. Service sessions advice (legal, financial, career etc.) and

3. Support counselling sessions.

“The music business has never been an easy path to follow, but the last 19 months have been more challenging than any of us could ever have imagined. The stresses and strains of Covid 19 have been acutely felt by the arts sector who are still not fully back to work. Throughout this time Minding Creative Minds has been providing an invaluable resource, providing support 24 hours a day 7 days a week to the entire arts community. They are there to lend a listening ear no matter how big or small the problem.” – Eleanor McEvoy, IMRO Chairperson

The initiative, which had been in planning since 2018 by Choice Music Prize co-founder, artist manager and psychotherapy graduate Dave Reid, was launched during the summer of 2020.  Initially, Minding Creative Minds services were open to the music sector only; including artists, artist managers, support staff and live music events staff, however, as a direct result of additional funding within six months the organisation’s services were opened up to the entire creative sector; almost one year ahead of schedule.

“I was delighted to provide funding to support the valuable work of Minding Creative Minds in 2021.  Given the difficulties faced by the arts and culture sectors during the pandemic this initiative has been an important intervention to support wellbeing in the creative community.   Throughout 2021 Minding Creative Minds have continued to develop and expand their support for the Irish Creative Sector both home and abroad and I would like to congratulate them on the valuable services they provide. Covid continues to present a major challenge to the arts and culture sector and this uncertainty is very difficult to deal with and Minding Creative Minds is a key support for creatives at this challenging time.”  The Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sports and Media, Catherine Martin T.D. 

“Our message is simple, with a few key guide markers; 1. Minding Creative Minds was established specifically for our creative sector, for its people, for our needs.  Regardless of your job in the sector; whether you are a stage performer or if you work in a support role; you are in the Irish Creative sector and our services are available to you.  2. We offer a wide range of support services from mental health support and counselling to advice on practical issues (legal, financial, life coaching, career advice, administrative questions around your business if you are self-employed and much more); our focus is to support the entire individual.  3. It is hugely important to us that our colleagues and peers in our sector truly believe no issue is too trivialYou do not need to be in a crisis situation to contact us. You will hear us say and write this quite a lot!  If you have anything on your mind whatsoever, contact us and let us help you. Our services are free to the user and confidential.  So, if you have considered contacting us, but didn’t please follow through. We want to help.” Minding Creative Minds founder, Dave Reid 

Minding Creative Minds’ counselling services (in association with Spectrum Life) include: a 24/7 Dedicated Phone Line; Short-term intervention, telephone Counselling, secure video counselling and comprehensive web portal and app enabling live chat function with a counsellor.

Who is contacting us? (Q3 2021)
Music Sector (Musicians, Live Event Crew etc.) 31.58%
Visual Art & Street Art: (visual artists / photographers etc.) 24.56%
Film (Actors / writers / designers & film crew) 21.05%
Literature / writers / poets / spoken word / comedians 7.02%
Arts Centre Employees & Arts Venues 5.26%
Theatre (Actors / producers / writers / designers / arts admin) 3.51%
Performance Artists / Circus Performers 3.51%
Journalists / TV Personnel covering the arts 1.75%
Dance (artists & arts administrators) 1.75%

“Whatever it is you are dealing with, you can contact the service and speak with one of our case managers and if you need to be referred on to counselling, you will be referred to counselling. It doesn’t need to be a crisis. You don’t have to be at breaking point for you to need to contact us.  It’s really about you; something has changed in my life.  I’m having to deal with things differently. I became a parent, I had a promotion in my job. When change happens, our brains are wired to experience stress, so this can be the time in which you contact us.  We know that once somebody contacts the service, it’s life changing. It’s incredibly life changing for that person, for that person’s family, for that person’s friends” –  Dr. Emelina Ellis, Clinical Excellence Lead

Since its launch just over twelve months ago, Minding Creative Minds has consistently invited feedback on its service offering while also encouraging suggestions for new services and events.  The Irish Creative Sector employs some 55,000 people across the country and we want our users; our creative sector peers and colleagues to help us set our agenda and our objectives of the future.  This ongoing feedback is helping us perfect our current services.  It is our service, we help shape it.  The core Minding Creative Minds team is a small team, so we openly ask our friends, colleagues and peers within our creative sector to help spread our word, this being; our services exists for all of us, we are here and want to help; our services are confidential and free to use.  No issue is too trivial, so let us help you.




CRISS CROSS EUROPE hits Dublin with an unforgettable night of improvised jazz music in the art deco surroundings of Freemasons’ Hall 

Improvised Music Company (IMC) hosts the Irish leg of pan-European collaboration Criss Cross Europe on Thursday, 9th December 2021. Led by renowned American drummer Jim Black, a band of Europe’s finest burgeoning jazz stars (including acclaimed Irish guitarist, Chris Guilfoyle), will create a unique night of improvised music. The evening juxtaposes ancient and modern, with fresh contemporary European jazz against the historic backdrop of the Freemasons’ Hall.

Date: Thursday, December 9th
Venue: Freemasons’ Hall, 16 Molesworth Street, Dublin 2
Doors: 8:00pm
Tickets: 18 /15

Criss Cross Europe is a pan-European musical laboratory in collaboration with 6 European countries. This partnership with Improvised Music Company brings together 6 leading jazz musicians from these 6 European countries to collaborate as a sort of new super-group. Following a residency period in Tallinn in autumn 2021 – collectively shaped and mentored by drummer Jim Black – these musicians are currently on a European tour with a one-night-only Dublin outing on December 9th.

This year’s Criss Cross mentor – Berlin-based American drummer Jim Black – is one of the most influential voices in contemporary jazz. The Wire referred to Black as a ‘’complete musician and wonderfully fertile composer”.  Black is internationally acknowledged for his virtuosic but highly personal approach to contemporary jazz. He stands at the forefront of a new generation of jazz innovators through projects like Human Feel, Tim Berne’s Bloodcount, Ellery Eskelin’s trio, Pachora, and Dave Douglas’ Tiny Bell Trio. “Wickedly inventive… A revelation.” CMJ 

Estonian saxophone, Belgian trombone, Irish guitar, Scottish bass, Dutch vocals and Luxembourgish drums fuse with Black’s signature flair to create an unmissable night of dynamic new music.  

The star young musicians chosen for this year’s cross-cultural experiment are:

Chris Guilfoyle (guitar) IRELAND

Nabou Claerhout  (trombone) BRUXELLES

Sanne Rambags (vocals) THE NETHERLANDS

David Bowden (bass) SCOTLAND

Aleksander Paal (alto sax) ESTONIA

Michel Meis (drums) LUXEMBOURG


IMRO Number 1 Award Presented to Mick Flannery

We recently caught up with Mick Flannery before a two night run in Whelans to retrospectively present him with an IMRO Number 1 Award for the chart topping 2020 release Alive- Cork Opera House.

The IMRO Number 1 Award was introduced to acknowledge IMRO members who reach number 1 in the album charts in Ireland. The award-winning, double-platinum selling artist has released six studio albums, three of which reaching No. 1 status. Alive – Cork Opera House peaked at number 1 in the Irish album charts upon it’s release in July 2020, proceeds of which were evenly split among his band and engineers affected by COVID work restrictions.

Since then Flannery has gone on to release studio album ‘In the game‘ in September 2021 with story-telling partner Susan O’Neill to widespread critical acclaim. His current 29 date tour takes him and Susan across Ireland, UK and Europe details of which can be found at –

Brendan Graham to be awarded Cong Hands of Fame Award

Songwriter and novelist Brendan Graham is the first songwriter to be presented with the Cong Hands of Fame Award. Along with those of television’s,  Mary Kennedy, a cast of the hands that shaped such classic songs as Rock ‘n’ Roll Kids, The Voice, Isle of Hope, Isle of Tears and You Raise Me Up, will be unveiled in the historic village of Cong on 14th Nov.

Graham writes his songs in splendid isolation from behind the half-door of his home in Mayo’s mountains. As the songwriter himself says ‘songs always travel hopefully…and sometimes, they arrive’. Indeed – and his songs can be heard from London’s Albert Hall to Sydney’s Opera House, New York’s Radio City, Superbowl, Olympic Games,  White House, Nobel Peace Prize…the list goes on…and in more than fifty languages across the world.

His 1994 Winning Eurovision Song Rock ‘n’ Roll Kids, has consistently been voted Ireland’s favourite Eurovision song ever, while The Voice, his winning song from 1996 was, earlier this year, announced by Prince Charles to be one of his all-time favourite songs.

His You Raise Me Up has become one of the most successful songs ever written. Last month it was performed in the United Nations General Assembly Hall, as part of United Nations Day. In September it was featured in significant 9/11 Commemorations across America.

At Dubai’s Expo 2021, as part of ‘’You Raise Me Up – Ireland’s Gift of Song to the World’’,  Graham’s inspirational anthem will be performed by the Expo World Choir, conducted by David Brophy and comprised of singers from other participating countries at Expo.

Earlier this year his Lullaby for the World, in support of climate change, was a centre-piece song for Earth Day, 2021 and was streamed to every corner of the world. His songs like Isle of Hope, Isle of Tears, Crucán na bPáiste, Orphan Girl and Ochón an Gorta Mór, have all been used in National Great Famine Commemorations both in Ireland and abroad. This led to the Irish Heritage Trust/Strokestown National Famine Museum and Quinnipiac University, to create two video documentaries around his songs of events in Irish history – Songs of the Great Hunger and Songs of the Irish American and Irish Canadian Diaspora.

’Musical Midas”Irish Times:

“Touched by genius”Evening HeraldCon Houlihan.

‘’One of the greatest and most acclaimed Irish songwriters…a towering figure in modern music’’ – Hot Press.

‘‘Outstanding services to the Irish Music Industry’.’  Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, TD.

His best-selling ‘documentary novel’ on Ireland’s Great Famine, The Whitest Flower (Harper Collins) was translated into a number of languages and listed as support fiction for Ireland’s Leaving Cert History Syllabus – as well as being the subject of study at Boston’s MIT.

‘Important addition to Ireland’s National Story’ – Sunday Times, Canberra

Currently, Dervish’s Cathy Jordan is completing a solo album of his songs for release in early 2022, while former ANUNA singer/Decca recording artiste, Róisín O’Reilly will release a newly-written song Hush Be Still as a Christmas single.

Photo Credit: Michael McLaughlin 

Brendan Graham Honoured in Australian Spectacular

In Brisbane on Saturday, Nov 6th the Queensland Pops Orchestra and Choir honoured the work of former IMRO Chairman and founder member, Brendan Graham. The QPO included six of Graham’s works, including two world premieres, in its annual Celtic Spectacular Concerts at the 1,600-seater, Queensland Performing Arts Centre.

Under the direction of Patrick Pickett the QPO with soloists Sarah Calderwood and Gregory Moore performed the Irish songwriter’s works including Orphan Girl – Graham’s tribute to the Irish Orphan Girls shipped to Australia under the Earl Grey scheme during Ireland’s Great Famine.

The Fair, Fair Land – Graham’s anthem for RTÉ’s BIG MUSIC WEEK, based on the traditional melody Mor Chluana (1852) attributed to Scottish piper, Lewis O’Brien – an ancestor of the songwriter’s wife Mary O’Brien – was also performed, in an arrangement by RTECO’s, Joe Csibi.

The Sky and the Dawn and the Sun (Graham/Downes) and You Raise Me Up (Graham Lovland) also featured in Saturday’s Spectacular.

Word Premiere Performances

The Watchman (Graham/Quinn) the single from Eimear Quinn’s ERIÙ album with the RTÉCO, and arranged by Gavin Murphy, received its World Premiere Live Performance, while Alana’s Waltz – an instrumental piece written by Graham for his daughter, also received its World Premiere in a specially commissioned arrangement by Australian, Graham Lloyd.

The Irish songwriter’s work continues to reverberate around the world, with You Raise Me Up part of  September 11 commemorations as in the documentary from the  Mormon Tabernacle Choir ‘’9/11 – Coming Together 20th Anniversary Special’’ and the streamed  USA/Canadian, International Association of Fire Fighters Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial Service.

Last month at New York’s 11th Annual Tibetan Fund Gala Dinner, co-chaired by Richard Gere, Kenbem/You Raise Me Up was performed by Haitian/American singer and actor, Malou Beauvoir, in a bilingual version of her native Creole…and English.

You Raise Me Up was also recently performed by opera star Youngmi Kim, with the Goyang Philharmonic Orchestra in the UN General Assembly Hall,  to mark United Nations Day, 2021.


Other Voices Returns to Dingle this November to Celebrate its Twentieth Year

South Wind Blows brings Other Voices all the way back home to Dingle this November. The four-day event will feature live concerts in the Church of St James as well as a number of performances from the IMRO Other Room.

Fontaines D.C., John Grant, Kay Young, Houseplants and Gemma Dunleavy are among the first acts who will make their way to Dingle for Other Voices’ twentieth anniversary celebrations, with many more Irish and International artists to be confirmed. These performances will all be available to watch worldwide online.

Other Voices will introduce ‘Other Voices Presents’; ten live shows across the weekend at An Díseart and The Hillgrove, with three artists performing at each show. The first wave of acts will include Tebi Rex, Elaine Mai + guests, Dani Larkin, Our Krypton Son, David Kitt, Loah, Bricknasty with many more to be confirmed.

‘Other Voices Presents’ will be run at a limited capacity, across the weekend with full details coming soon.

All of the performances at the Church of St James and the IMRO Other room will be streamed live to venues throughout Dingle and will also be available to view free of charge on the Other Voices’ YouTube.

‘Other Voices Presents’ tickets will go on sale on Monday 8th November at 12pm exclusively via Patreon followed by general release on Tuesday 9th November at 12pm via Eventbrite.

Ticket prices will range from €25 – €30 plus booking fee per show. Fans can join the Other Voices Patreon here to avail of early access to tickets on Monday at one ticket per patron.

Ireland’s Edge and Banter will also be returning to Dingle as part of Other Voices. The Ireland’s Edge Live event is sold out however two special online broadcasts will air on Tuesday the 30th November + Wednesday the 1st December at 7pm.

You can also now shop a range of Other Voices twentieth anniversary merch here.

We’re thrilled to welcome live audiences back to Dingle, that uplifting engagement between audience and artists is really at the heart of the live experience. We have some of the most brilliant musicians in the world making the pilgrimage to West Kerry and we have a gathering up of the new voices and artists who have written the emotional soundtrack to the Ireland of 2021. The artists and the crews that make them audible and visible are the heart of the matter and it’s a delight to celebrate their creativity and commitment. It’s going to be great.” – Other Voices founder Philip King

Other Voices Twenty is made possible with the support of the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, RTÉ, Kerry County Council, Tourism Ireland, IMRO and Jones Engineering Group.


Minding Creative Minds’ (MCM) Online Meet and Greet Session | 17th November

Minding Creative Minds’ (MCM)in association with The Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, EPIC Working Group, Irish Music Rights Organisation (IMRO), Irish Recorded Music Association (IRMA), MCD Productions & The Cowshed will hold its eleventh online Meet and Greet Session for Ireland’s creative community and  Irish creators based overseas on Monday November 15th at 7pm. These monthly Meet and Greet Sessions are free of charge to attend, but you do need to register to access the event.

Register here >>

“We do not need to underline just how challenging the last 19 months have been for all involved in the Irish creative sector and it is great to finally see things slowly starting to get back on track. We must, however, remember for many there is still a challenging road ahead.

As you all navigate the return to your work environment over the coming weeks and months, it is important you know that you are not alone; Minding Creative Minds FREE 24/7 wellness, counselling, financial and legal advice services are available to help you and provide you with support.

The monthly online Meet & Greet Sessions have also been proving to be a much-needed connection and support for many; and it is heart-warming to see what colleagues have been getting from them. Therefore, if you work in the Irish creative industry, or know someone who does and who has not yet come along to a monthly online Meet and Greet, we would strongly encourage them to join us on Nov 15th at 7pm. The monthly Meet and Greet online sessions are very friendly and relaxed and you will get an opportunity to learn more about the services together with chatting with other colleagues from the industry in our breakout rooms.

As an industry, we have shown huge resilience over the last 19 months and everyone should be very proud of this. We at Minding Creative minds will be continuing to offer our support to you as you transition back into your roles within the industry over the coming weeks, months and beyond. We are here for you.” Kim O Callaghan, MCD Project Manager & Deputy Event Controller, Minding Creative Minds Director

New Release from The Grey Merchant

Cork based recording collaborative, The Grey Merchant, return with details of a new single release, ‘Mondegreen Blue’ which goes on release November 24 2021 on Spotify, iTunes, and the usual digital platforms.

‘Mondegreen Blue’ is their latest single taken from a forthcoming EP due for release in early 2022. It is a rousing dynamic track about  recovery and realising how far one has come from, moving on from a cinereal place


 ‘a rousing first look at what to expect from the Grey Merchant… …It’ll get the juices flowing and the blood boiling’ –

‘Once you let yourself succumb to the crisp edgy sting and moody undertone you become swallowed and consumed in the tireless relentless onslaught of the meandering entwining coil of The Grey Merchant’s unique and fantastic masterpiece.’

‘the group takes a vivid and spellbinding rhythm section and gives it a raw and human energy that’s hard to resist.’

‘a wonderfully powerful tune and if this is the taste of things to come then The Grey Merchant will be worth looking out for in 2017’ -Bobby Green

‘Artfully encompassing elements of rock, post-punk and grunge’–

CISAC Global Collections Report shows creators’ royalties down by € 1 billion in 2020

Worldwide royalty collections for creators of music, audiovisual, art, drama and literary works fell by 9.9% in 2020, with losses amounting to more than €1 billion as a result of the global pandemic.

Total collections fell to €9.32 billion as lockdown measures saw live and public performance revenue nearly halve across the world, according to the latest annual Global Collections Report published by CISAC (International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers).

The decline was partly mitigated by a strong rise in digital royalties, reflecting the sharp increase in audio and video streaming consumption worldwide and strong licensing activity by many of CISAC’s member societies around the world.

Key trends reported include:

  • Live and public performance fell 45% to €1.6 billion, with live concert revenue down by an estimated 55%
  • Digital collections rose 16.6% to €2.4 billion
  • TV and radio broadcast, creators’ largest income source, fell 4.3% to €3.7 billion
  • Music collections, comprising 88% of the total, declined 10.7% to €8.19 billion

Download the full Report



CISAC President Björn Ulvaeus: “Today, creators work in an inequitable eco-system. If we accept that the song – or the creative work of any repertoire – is the foundation of our creative industries, why do we then accept the near-invisibility of the creator in the commercial value chain? When I took on the presidency of CISAC in May 2020, the subjugation of the creator was already a massive issue. Then COVID struck, highlighting two things. First, that streaming is fast heading towards being the most important source of creators’ earnings in the future. And second, that streaming revenues, however fast they grow, are currently simply not providing a fair reward when shared across millions of individual recipients”.

CISAC Director General Gadi Oron: After many years of steady growth, COVID has sent collections sliding downwards. Both mature and developing markets that are dependent on traditional income streams such as concerts, festivals, and exhibitions, suffered significant declines in 2020 that continue well into 2021. Increased digital collections have mitigated the fall in other income sources in many countries, and this is a tribute to the efforts of CISAC societies to change strategy, shift resources and step up digital licensing activity.  Without a doubt, the pandemic has been a catalyst for change, accelerating a transition to digital that will not be reversed”.

Barcella, singer/songwriter (France): “This is not a momentary crisis – it has carried on for nearly two years, and the journey to recovery for most is not quick and easy. Venues face an uncertain future and many are unsure if they can survive. For the experienced artists, mid-career, it is bad; but for the young artist starting out, deprived of an audience, it is far, far worse”.

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