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26 Jan 2022

Drumming duo from opposite sides strike a beat of hope on Derry's Walls in new film

Drumming duo from opposite sides strike a beat of hope on Derry's Walls in new film

Richard Campbell with his Lambeg drum (right) with Rónán Ó Snodaigh from Dublin folk band Kila on his Bodhrán strike up a beat on Derry's walls.

A Derry Lambeg maestro has forged an alliance with a Dublin folk music star to produce a new film that shows how communities can be brought together via drumming.

Richard Campbell from Newbuildings teamed up with Rónán Ó Snodaigh who is the lead singer and Bodhrán player for the band, Kila for a Myles O'Reilly short film called, “A Gardener Now”.

The two meet up in Derry and exchange stories of how music – and drumming in particular – has help shaped their lives.

Not to forget the duo drum up a beat or two on their respective Lambeg and Bodhrán drums.

The film itself is a message of growth and nurture, peace, reconciliation, and hope through rhythm.

Richard said: “Although I'm pro British it doesn't mean we can't unite musically.

“We can create something that pushes the boundaries while respecting each other at the same time.

“I was involved in a project called 'Different Drums' which brought communities together.

“It was ground breaking but having done this with Rónán is next level up, it brings the whole island together.”

In reply, Rónán added: “It's very exciting for me as a Gael and a Bodhrán player to get a chance to play and learn from a Lambeg Drummer.

“Richard has been kind enough to accept me as myself and open enough to play along with me as we both delve into each other's stories and rhythms.

“It's not often these two traditions get to converge, even though we often live within drumming distance of each other.

“It seems to me that our two traditions have lived alongside each other here on this Island for hundreds of years with very little communication.

“There have been historic reasons for us to be separated and to keep our traditions apart but I'm hoping that now is the right time to be meeting, greeting and listening to each other's drums.

“Richard represents his community well. He's strong, true to his word, kind and open to meeting me and listening to my drum.”

Film-maker, Myles O'Reilly was delighted to get the pair together and hoped the film sends out the message that whatever differences people have, music can bring them together.

He said: “On learning of Richard and his Lambeg, a traditional instrument for the Orangemen of Ulster, the filmmaker in me kicked in.

“Two drums from such different traditions, representing two communities that live side by side but don't often communicate with each other. I was quick to suggest we try and film the two of them playing together.

“I hope I’ve bottled the significance of these two formidable drummers from different sides of the fence, making the effort to meet, listen and learn from each other. Both enthusiastically reaching out to understand each other.

“This meeting sends such a strong message of peace, reconciliation and hope where words have so often failed.”

The film, “A Gardener Now” is available to watch by clicking on the clip below:

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