The music of North Circular is crucial to the film.
From the very start, the film was conceived as a documentary musical, not a music documentary. So what's the difference?
A music documentary is a non-fiction film about music or musicians, but a documentary musical like North Circular uses the songs themselves to tell the stories of the film. The songs are storytelling devices to propel the narratives - Ian Lynch sings Banks Of The Nile from the perspective of a solider's wife in the section about the army, John Francis Flynn's take on Ewan McColl's The Lag's Song about the interior psychological life of a prisoner during the Mountjoy section, or Jerry O'Reilly's rendition of the traditional ballad Van Diemen's Land about deportation during the Grangegorman chapter.
We were extremely lucky to have such amazing singers and musicians partake in the film, they have enriched the project enormously.
The following artists appeared in the film, performing the following songs and tunes.
ANNIE HUGHES - THE BLACKBIRD OF AVONDALE
CIAN MURRAY & SEAMUS PEADAR ONG - JOHNNY MCDONALD'S JIG
IAN LYNCH - BANKS OF THE NILE
ANTO BYRNE & THE IUNVA PIPERS - THE SCOTTISH SOLDIER
FIACHRA MEEK & RYAN MACAULEY - OLD BANGUM
EOGHAN Ó CEANNABHÁIN - DARK HORSE ON THE WIND
SEÁN Ó TUAMA - AN CUALANN
JERRY O’REILLY - VAN DIEMEN'S LAND
BARRY “BOHS” LENIHAN & THE JODI STAND - WE ARE BOHS
JOHN FRANCIS FLYNN - THE LAG'S SONG
ADRIAN, DINAR & MANIX ȘERBAN - HEY ROMANI
THE CROKE PARK STADIUM - AMHRÁN NA BHFIANN
JULIE KAVANAGH - SIÚIL A RÚN
LISA O’NEILL - ROCK THE MACHINE
GEMMA DUNLEAVY (feat LOUIS YOUNGE, DYLAN LYNCH, ANTOINETTE DUNLEAVY, ROISÍN BERKLEY) - UP DE FLATS
The musicians who appear in North Circular can all regularly be found playing music and sings in the city of Dublin. Ian Lynch, who appears in the film singing Banks of the Nile, has devoted an special episode of his folk music podcast Fire Draw Near to the music of the show: https://soundcloud.com/firedrawnear/north-circular
We have not released the soundtrack of the film yet, but we intend to do something of this kind in late 2023 - please watch this space.
The film's incidental music is by Kevin Murphy and Thomas Haugh, and is mostly drawn the two albums as the post-rock duo Seti The First. We also used some pieces from Kevin's new project Blind Stitch. The vocal quartet, Landless, who are also from the area, contributed two songs to the film's incidental music as well.
We have made some short videos featuring artists from the film talking about the songs that they sing in the film.