Well that was some weekend! The third HearSay took place last week (29th Sept-1st Oct). As the festival organisers put it themselves, this year's event was made up of "90 incredible events in 19 venues around one village in a joyful gathering of audio adventurers from 28 countries."
I can't tell you how lucky I feel to have been part of the three years of this festival. It's a very hard thing to describe, as it is not quite like anything else I've experienced in my years working in sound and attending talks and conferences. Its unique setting in a lesser-known, rural Irish mountain village and its laid back local charm make for a very special experience as a contributor and as an attendee. It's the kind of weekend where you might meet a total stranger as you queue at the deli counter in Centra or on the street traveling to and from one of the festival's venues, and you have a brilliant conversation about what you seen or heard, or what you are on your way to see and hear, and you make a friend who's podcast or other work you have been/will be a fan of for years!
This year, as with the previous 3 events, the festival was a great mixture of sound work, performances, workshops and talks with sound professionals from all over the world. I had the pleasure of doing two scheduled talks with Douglas Murray, who had traveled from Los Angeles. Our venue was the convent church, which is exactly what it sounds like! Thank you to everyone that attended, listened, asked questions and made it a really rewarding experience for Doug and I. We also got to do a more under the radar talk at a venue called 'Diarmuid's House', which took place in the living room of the home of a local family; there was homemade bread, tea, coffee and all sorts of other tasty delights that everyone in attendance could enjoy. It really was quite the treat; huge thanks to Diarmuid O'Leary and his family for hosting us and to everyone that came along and chatted with us about our work!
As much as I enjoyed being part of the festival, one of the real pleasures of it is getting to chat to people in and around the village, getting to meet fellow soundies and getting to hear them talk about and play their work. There were too many highlights to list here, as you can see from the festival programme. A huge thank you to everyone I met and got to engage with; it was very inspiring on a creative level, but also so uplifting on a human level.
A huge, heartfelt thank you to Diarmuid McIntyre and the entire HearSay crew for such a special weekend!
Roll on 2019's festival, which has been announced for 4th-7th April; save the dates!