Glen Hansard planning autumn OKC concert
Glen Hansard, an Oscar-winning Irish songwriter, actor and vocalist, will bring his “This Wild Willing Tour” to OKC for an autumn show Sept. 16 at the Tower Theatre, 425 NW 23.
Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday for the all-ages show. Ticket prices range from $40 to $57. For tickets and information, go to www.towertheatreokc.com.
The star of the films “Once” and “The Commitments” is partnering with PLUS1 so that $1 from every ticket sold will go towards safeguarding people experiencing homelessness and ending the cycle of homelessness and poverty, according to a news release. For more information, go to www.plus1.org.
Hansard is touring in 2019 in support of his upcoming album “This Wild Willing,” due out April 12 on ANTI- Records. The album has an interesting origin story, chronicled in the press materials:
It is July 2017, and Hansard is sick and wandering the streets of Paris. It's been a long spell on the road. Barely two weeks have passed since he wrapped up a support tour for Pearl Jam front man Eddie Vedder, and more than five years have gone by since there was a month when he wasn't on stage. Plus, he had released multiple albums - “Rhythm and Repose” (2012), the Grammy-nominated “Didn't He Ramble” (2015) and the then-forthcoming “Between Two Shores” (2018), along with a bevy of EPs - and to top it off, a five-week "Camino by sea" in a traditional Irish naomhóg, a journey which was captured on film and released as the full-length “The Camino Voyage” (2018).
Taking a residency at the Centre Culturel Irlandais, Hansard has come to France to spend a month in one place and put shape to a new album. The intention is to create "an acoustic record with sparse accompaniment" in concert with longtime friends and collaborators Joe Doyle (bass), ROMY (piano, string arrangements, and vocals), and Javier Mas (Spanish guitar, laúd).
Paris, however, has other plans. One night at dinner, friend, author and classical singer Judith Mok introduces Hansard to the Khoshravesh brothers, who studied classical and traditional music in their native Iran before relocating to Paris. The simple meal quickly turns into a session. Hansard recalls working through one song particularly: "The Khoshravesh brothers joined me and I was transported. The song took on a new depth: I heard it differently, and new possibilities emerged. The ease by which they followed their own melodic line while being sympathetic to mine was intoxicating."
By the end of the night, the brothers agreed to join Hansard in Black Box studios, where he will be working with producer David Odlum, and what was to be a straightforward album begins to take an interesting turn.
The roster of musicians quickly increases. Along with Doyle, ROMY and the Khoshravesh brothers, Hansard invites Dublin electronic musicians Dunk Murphy (Sunken Foal) and Deasy to participate in the sessions, eager to see what might spark from the diverse range of musical traditions. Each day is unwritten, defined by an openness, a willingness to follow the spirit of the moment wherever it may lead.
"When you surround yourself with great musicians and do your best to keep up, stay loose, give little direction, and allow everyone to bring what they bring, something transformative may happen," Hansard says.
Over the next few months, more musicians cycle in: Graham Hopkins and Earl Harvin (drums, percussion), Michael Buckley (saxophone, horns and flute), Breanndán Ó Beaglaoich (accordion), Rosie McKenzie (violin), Aida Shahghasemi (Iranian singer and daf player), Eamon O'Leary (banjo, bouzouki, and mandolin), Anna Roberts-Gevalt, (fiddle), Brían Mac Gloinn (Ye Vagabonds, fiddle), Markéta Irglová (vocals), and Rob Moose (strings arrangements). They work with no agenda, no preconceived notion of what the sessions will turn into. But by April, it's clear that an album has emerged from this group exercise.
"Sometimes," says Hansard, "when you take a small musical fragment and you care for it, follow it and build it up slowly, it can become a thing of wonder."
Those who have followed Hansard's career since his Academy Award-winning turn in the film “Once” – which spun off the acclaimed folk-rock duo of Hansard and his co-star, Czech singer-songwriter, musician and actress Markéta Irglová - will have witnessed one intriguing artistic arc: the journey of a Dublin busker who cut his teeth on the greats – Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Leonard Cohen - and followed the path of the troubadour, the singer-songwriter, to great effect.
But there is another thread running through Hansard's musicianship. In his decades as lead singer of Irish stalwarts The Frames, rock and folk ambitions coexist with moments of strangeness, intimacy, and stillness: love songs drowning in the last fevers of the Spanish Flu ("Santa Maria"), protagonists who ponder throwing it all away and disappearing in a fugue state ("Keepsake"). And above all, the band, veering from silence to cacophony, ready to underpin soaring emotional and dynamic shifts.
“This Wild Willing” is billed as an inflection point in his career, a turning where he marries the sonic inventiveness of the best of his work in The Frames to the discipline he's found as a lyricist in his solo career.