IRISH: Artist Eleanor McEvoy composed the song Only A Woman's Heart, title track of A Woman's Heart, the best-selling Irish album in Irish history.
IRISH: Artist Eleanor McEvoy composed the song Only A Woman's Heart, title track of A Woman's Heart, the best-selling Irish album in Irish history. Shane McCarthy

Singer's naked truth in artful live concert

NAKED Music is Irish musician Eleanor McEvoy's latest release.

The recordings were a collaboration with famed British artist Chris Gollon.

The purchase of a Chris Gollon painting, and the subsequent meeting and conversations with the artist, led to the album title.

With this focus, four canvasses were painted for the album artwork, then the Naked Music exhibition went up in Gallery Different in London.

The opening night was a special concert, with Eleanor playing Naked Music live surrounded by 24 paintings inspired by the songs and titles of the album.

Naked... Live sees this solitary exploration of the best of her catalogue in the simple engaging starkness of her own performance.

We had a chat to Eleanor McEvoy ahead of her Lismore show.

Have you ever done another 'mixed media' project like this one?

No, this is a completely new departure for me, although I've always been interested in the way one art form might influence another.

I did once write a song called Vigeland's Dream about a sculpture park in Norway, but that's the only time that a song hasn't been about real life in some shape or form.

Is it easy for you to draw inspiration from a painting (like Mr Gollon's) or was that the challenge in this project?

Well, actually, it was mostly the other way around.

Chris painted 25 paintings inspired by the songs on the album.

I then wrote some songs inspired by the paintings, so it was quite a circular process.

Drawing inspiration from the paintings was never a challenge - they are incredibly compelling and full of possibilities. You look at the characters in his works and you immediately start thinking about that person's life, loves and character.

His characters tend to be women, not in the first flush of youth - flawed individuals, often with a carafe of wine in front of them, and they usually have freakishly big hands.

For some reason I find these characters utterly fascinating. Draw what you will from that...

Is there any stories behind any of the songs in Naked Music that you could share with us?

Every song has a story to be honest. The themes are quite varied.

The Thought of You is about someone who's thinking about having an affair. They're not actually having an affair, but they keep thinking about it. They eventually decide that that spark of just thinking about it might be enough.

Deliver Me is about the extraordinary hypocrisy that can exist in large religious organisations. At home we had a massive problem with clerical child sex abuse. The cover ups and denials continue.

Dreaming of Leaving is a song I co-wrote with Loyd Cole. It's about a woman who's stuck in a relationship, unfulfilled and frustrated. She dreams of getting away.

Look Like Me is about the fashion industry dictating what you should wear. The song is encouraging people to be themselves.

What can we expect of your Australian shows?

You can expect raw, impassioned performances that will make you think about some things you might not have thought of before, and an evening of music that will leave you feeling completely uplifted.

That is my aim.

At the Star Court Theatre on Thursday, October 20.



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