Tubridy and Co big it up as RTÉ launches Music Week
RYAN TUBRIDY dressed as John Lennon, Bláthnaid Ní Chofaigh fondling a double bass and Evelyn Cusack putting in a star miming turn, as a canteen of RTÉ faces plus more than 30 separate music, dance and gymnastic groups are tracked by a single camera around the Montrose corridors . . .
It’s not, sadly, the Late Late Show on steroids, but a “one-take” promo video for RTÉ’s Big Music Week 2012.
Running from next Monday through to October 21st, the third annual Big Music Week is RTÉ’s bid to promote about 120 separate music strands across its schedules as part of one big event.
“It just seemed completely natural to do something to bring that to audiences’ attention,” says David McKenna, executive producer of cross-media. “The idea was for everyone to push the boat out.”
Among the radio highlights, RTÉ Radio 1 will broadcast a series of live performances on Today with Pat Kenny, Mercury-nominated singer Lianne La Havas will be live in studio and digital station RTÉ Gold will become a Beatles-only zone for the weekend.
Television, programmes include The Willie Clancy Sessions, the Late Concert featuring Sharon Shannon and a new series of traditional music show Come West Along the Road, while it’s all jazz hands over on RTÉ Two with showings of the musicals Cabaret and Showboat.
The RTÉ Concert Orchestra will naturally be in action, with a movie music set at the Helix on Monday. It will also join singer Jack L in a preview of the 27 Club, which features the work of musicians who died at the age of 27.
McKenna describes the week as “very much an extension of what we do all the time” and places it firmly in the context of RTÉ’s public service mission. “It very much reflects the priority that is being given to the arts,” he says.
“We’re also here to mix up the hugely popular with the less well known so that people make discoveries.”
Music at RTÉ, and on television in particular, doesn’t usually get such a song and dance made of it.
“Music on television isn’t always overtly characterised as such,” says McKenna, who previously worked as executive producer of music and arts for RTÉ Television.
“Music television is often there, but not necessarily viewed as music programming. The Late Late Show, the Saturday Night Show and The Works all have consistent music elements,” he notes.
Speech-dominated radio such as RTÉ Radio 1 also has the power to slip in “oh wow” songs amid the current affairs chatter.
“One of the things you can do on a show like Pat Kenny or John Murray is you can surprise people,” is how McKenna puts it.
RTÉ’s promo video for Big Music Week, directed by Pat Cowap and choreographed by Stuart O’Connor to the strains of the Stunning’s Brewing Up a Storm, can be viewed at rte.ie/bigmusicweek.