Limerick City of Culture 2015: that we don’t already have a national cultural policy isn’t quite as shocking as it might sound – many countries lack one.  Photograph:  Liam Burke/Press 22

‘Culture,” Brian Eno says, “is everything we don’t have to do.” It’s a pretty good definition, broad enough to be inclusive yet intriguing enough to m(...)

Brian Eno: ‘What I mean by surrender is an active choice not to take control. An active choice to be part of the flow of something.’ Photograph:  Sergio Dionisio/Getty Images

That’s it then. Over for another year. The summer started out with a referendum hailing great social change, but as it has progressed there have been (...)

Holly Herndon’s experimentation is something to behold. The Tennessee-born electronic music composer, vocalist and academic has the agility to(...)

Studio rat: Daniel Lanois. Photograph: Brad Barket/Getty/CBGB

Daniel Lanois is on the road again. He’s calling from a hotel in Seattle as his tour heads up the west coast of the United States and into his nati(...)

Bi Fujian, an anchor of China’s main state broadcaster CCTV, speaking during a news conference in Beijing on November 21st, 2013. The station said it would punish him after video footage was released  showing him poking fun at China’s founding father, chairman Mao Zedong. Photograph: Reuters

State-run broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV) said it would punish a popular TV host after video footage was released online showing him poki(...)

In 1985, Paul Simon broke the cultural boycott of Apartheid-era South Africa to make Gracelands, much to the anger of many, including Steve Van Zandt.  Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons / THE IRISH TIMES

It’s the sort of question that might come up at a particularly rarefied pub quiz (which, in its own way, sounds like something Hieronymus Bosch mig(...)

 David Lang, whose Man Made will be performed by the RTÉ NSO and So Percussion

A parakeet squawks from a cage in US composer David Lang’s Soho loft in downtown New York. His mate died recently, and Lang was concerned he would (...)

Electric Picnic in Stradbally, Co Laois, which takes place in early September. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

JANUARY Yeats 2015 All year A national celebration of the life and work of the Nobel prize-winning poet, with an extensive programm(...)

It’s human nature to change your mind, but when that mind belongs to a musician, such changes can be viewed as whimsical, petulant, capricious or phar(...)

Just after we shake hands and sit down for a chat, I make Johnny Marr a solemn promise. “Don’t worry,” I say. “I’m not going to ask you that question.(...)