17.1 C
Byron Shire
May 13, 2021

Interview with Susan O’Neil AKA, SON

Latest News

Remembering Bentley

Saturday 15 May is the seventh anniversary of Victory Day at the historic Bentley Blockade, just west of Lismore.

Other News

A grubby business

Cr Cate Coorey, Byron Shire Council Among the reasons Simon Richardson gave for his retirement from the mayoralty was the...

‘Natural’ cruelty

Richard Swinton, Clunes While I agree with Desmond Bellamy’s concerns about animal cruelty, the issue of ‘natural’ cruelty if the...

Assange’s father to beg Biden for son’s freedom

John Shipton, father of detained WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, says he’ll return to the United States to ask President Joe Biden to drop legal action against his son.

Honouring midwives on their International day

Many of us have a midwife to thank for our safe arrival from the womb, these specialised 'catching' hands are a blessing to both mum and bub in hospitals and in the home.

Exotic and hybrid

Dailan Pugh, Byron Bay I was shocked to see the abundant exotic and hybrid plantings at Byron’s new bus interchange. As...

Linnaeus Estate DA raises concerns for residents

Community concern over the current development application (DA: 10.2021.170.1) for Linnaeus Estate in Broken Head has led to detailed analysis of the DA.

SON at Mullum Ex-Services on Friday

She’s the Good SON

Mullum Ex-Services | Friday 22 March | 8pm | $20

SON (Susan O’Neil) with her phenomenal husky voice and brilliant looping wowed Australian audiences last year, and the incredible Irish singer/songwriter and performer is coming back.

You’re from Ireland, can you tell us more? Where in Ireland do you call home and where do you feel most connection to?

I am indeed from Ireland, my life has been divided between Clare, Waterford and Dublin. I feel this is a beautiful mix of West and East/South East. I have the pleasure of travelling around country and it all feels like home to me now. When someone asks me where I am from, I often reply ‘from Earth, on a good day’.

What did your early experience with music look and sound like? Did you grow up in a musical family? Or is it more external influences that set your interest into motion?

A bit of both. My parents were always into music. Dad played the tuba, mam played the accordion, and knowing the importance of music they enrolled me into to a brass band and so I began my first big musical journey at about 12 with the Ennis Brass Band where they taught me to play the cornet.

I remember feeling so much power and wonder within the sounds, mountains of emotions and sensations experienced from the collection of tones and textures within music. It seemed to communicate on a much deeper level than words ever did.  I was hooked. Singing was something I always did, it was a first nature. Then at 16, I found myself in a gospel choir and it was there that I experienced new freedom within the voice. A new version of self expression.

Has your music always been similar to the kind you play today or did you spend some time as a punk-rocker or classical pianist, or something else, for a while until you found your way to your current artistic expression?

I did classical examinations and grades on the trumpet in school, also for a brief time in college did a little bit of classical training on vocals. I realised quickly it was not where my passion was. One of the many beauties of music is the vessel it can be to allowing self expression. I was drawn to the idea of improvisation, to changeable songs, interpretation and limitless possibilities within the freedom to play on something. There is very little room for that within classical. I quickly moved my focus and attention onto jazz, rock and pop. I always turn to classical radio stations when driving, however, and have never lost the deep love I have for the sound of classical and romantic eras.

You’re coming back to play in Mullumbimby in March after a beautiful and intimate performance with Áine Tyrell last year at the Brunswick Picture House. Can you tell us a little about what your fans here could expect from your show this time around?

First of all can I say how glad I am to be returning to Mullumbimby! Áine was amazing and showed me some beautiful places, beautiful people, we had lots of fun over the few days. After our gig at Brunswick we took a midnight swim under the moon, one of the coolest ways to celebrate after a gig. I am so very fond of that memory.

In the last few months I have been working on some new songs and hope to bring them with me to Mullumbimby on this tour.

Susan O’Neill, aka SON, plays Mullumbimby Ex-Services on Friday 22 March, 8pm $20.

Buy tickets here.

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Travelling at the speed of lies

When Tim Berners-Lee and others created the architectural foundations of the world wide web, they did so with the vision of openness, idea sharing, and trust. Human nature has a way of making things more complicated, of course.

Save Broken Head

Jan Barham, Broken Head Broken Head is precious but fragile. Again, it’s under threat and it’s urgent to act now. This time it’s an ecotourism...

Editorial: The vulnerable at risk

Most of us would hope that the taxes we pay go towards key areas such as health, education and to supporting the most vulnerable in our community.

Developers push swamp boundaries – will council push back?

It has once again been left to residents to raise serious issues in relation to a development application (DA) that is pushing to overdevelop at 6 Keats Street, Byron Bay at the expense of the environment, in particular the Cumbebin Swamp.