Have you ever had an idea that lingered just below the surface of your consciousness, but never went away for years and years?
That’s what happened to me with The Bunratty Castle Band — a song and music video I started more than 20 years ago and completed only last week.
The song is about an imaginary band of critters that surveys humanity and all its problems from a remote Irish castle. It’s no utopia – the rascals have their own squabbles. But in the end, they sing a song of peace, urging humans to join in.
A song nearly abandoned
Beginning in 2001, I worked on both song and video in fits and starts for several years, and then gave it up for a while. Over the next 13 years I would find myself thinking about the song. I would be walking down the street, planning shots for the video in my head.
In 2016 I finally picked it up again, rerecording the song with my Postmodern Pirates friends Thom and Jeff (drums and bass). I restarted work on the video using footage of monkeys and other animals I had shot at the Philadelphia Zoo the previous summer.
Taking inspiration from cartoonist Lynda Barry’s book on creativity What It Is, I learned to animate using Adobe After Effects and Character Animator, eventually settling on a hybrid of live action and animation to tell the origin story of the Band.
My St. Patrick’s Day pledge
During each of the past five years I’ve made a pledge to release The Bunratty Castle Band on St. Patrick’s Day. And each year I’ve missed that deadline. But this year is different: The Bunratty Castle Band was released officially on Thursday March 17, 2022.
I hope you enjoy meeting The Bunratty Castle Band!