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Declan de Barra

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Declan de Barra
Solo acoustic artist originally from Waterford, performed in Australlia and fromed a band called Clann Zu; based back in Ireland since 2002

About Declan de Barra

Declan de Barra was born in Waterford, Ireland and has been working as an independent musician since the age of 18. Forced to emigrate to Australia during the bleak 80's, Declan quickly entered the Australian Music and Arts scene, touring the country for a number of years with his group "Non Intentional Lifeform" on Dutch label Roadrunner Records.

In 1999 he formed the musical group Clann Zú featuring various musicians from Melbourne's Classical, punk and electronic scenes. Clann Zú became critically acclaimed internationally, releasing two albums on Canadian political label G7 Welcoming Committee, home to writers Noam Chomsky and Howard Zinn as well as acclaimed groups Propaghandi and International Noise Conspiracy. The albums "Rua" and "Black Coats and Bandages" made the top ten critics choices in various overseas press for 2002 and 2004.

Following Declan's return to Ireland in 2002 he quickly became part of the Irish music and film scene. Continuing to perform with Clann Zú on their final tour throughout 2004 in Canada and Australia, Declan also found the time to perform as a solo artist in Ireland.

Filmmaking has always been the natural progression of Declan's musical pieces and songs. Having received numerous accolades for his animations his works have featured in numerous national and international film festivals.

Declan has just finished recording his eagerly awaited debut solo album "Song Of a Thousand Birds". It features some of the cream of Irish contemporary musicians. Rónán O'Snodaigh from Kila, Turlough Gunawardhana from The Chapters on cello, Richie Egan (AKA Jape) from Redneck Manifesto on bass, Cion O'Callaghan from Paddy Casey's band on drums and renowned fiddle player Adrian Hart.

The album was recorded in various flats, basements and abandoned rooms in Dublin by de Barra over the last year and a half while two tracks were recorded in Melbourne Australia. "It was done with what ever I could beg borrow or steal, I'd work insane hours at an animation studio and plough all me money into buying microphones and the like, food rent and sleep were secondary issues. I was fortunate that so many great musicians liked the songs and helped me out. This album is all I've eaten, drank and slept for the past few years."

De Barra's vocals are intense and passionate, with lyrical themes running from tales of love lost, to socially based themes of refugees, resistance, cultural reclamation, and survival. It is hard to pin a style on De Barra's music, from the beautiful dark melodies of the almost Sean Nós like "Leaves in the Autumn" to the intimate and sparse "Curfew", to the huge and dramatic "Blackbird Song" and "Three Days From Now". Critics have best described it as dark, beautiful and powerful.

[Source: Declan's MySpace page]

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