Irish Music Magazine Interview - April 2022
PADDY MADDEN’S MUSIC IS FOR THE TIME BEING
Cork man, Paddy Madden, a prolific songwriter, recently released the first volume of his
compositions as Songs for the Time Being. Anne Marie Kennedy hears about his creative and
musically adventurous life.
"My parents were early influences, both were published poets, my father, a Librarian, also wrote plays and published history articles. Their music was mostly classical and I learned to play violin, and played for a while with the Cork School of Music Orchestra. Other influences were found in local folk clubs as well as recordings by the Beatles, Bruce Springsteen, REM and Tom Petty; also, The Incredible String Band, whose influence I’m told can be heard in some of my song structures.
“I started writing initially for the stage when I was about ten, plays for a puppet theatre I owned, inviting audiences to the garage for the performances! When I started playing regularly in bands there would always be an original song or two in the set lists, some of my early ones designed to fit the occasion, playing dance halls up and down the country. “These songs mostly got a good reaction, and some are featured on the album. Nowadays my usual method of song writing would be to sit down with a guitar and just look for melodies, chord shapes, musical phrases, some words, a thought or two just to get started. I find that it’s different each time, like starting from square one. A title
might suggest how the story or lyrics could be shaped or I might want a rocky or mid-tempo beat. I keep notebooks of phrases and ideas and I would refer to those. Some songs come easy, others take their time.
“In Songs for the Time Being I wanted the material to reflect experiences of living in the now, as well as perspectives of life and love in Cork City, who I imagine as a character, a person who is feisty, loyal, enchanting and beautiful. Slow Motion for example deals with controversy in the city about flood prevention and the options including building higher walls. The imagery here envisages the city sinking, while the Lee River flows on, lovely as ever, with atmospheric layers, a sense of disorientation, shakers, electric guitar effects and the Shandon bells. Patrick Street Incident
is a musical celebration of a popular meeting place for couples near the statue of Fr. Matthew on Patrick Street. Sometime in April began
as a lyric, the melody came later."
AMK: "You had great talent to choose from in your collaborators." Paddy: "About two years ago, I discussed with my friend Bill O’Brien
the idea of recording my songs, including some we had co-written. Bill and I had played together in bands, including Sleepy Hollow,
who were happy to come on board. Recorded at Blarney Recording Studio, with Bill O’Brien on electric guitar (lead and slide) and
harmonies. Johnny Campbell on bass guitar, Pat Crowley (now with Mary Black band) on keyboard and organ and Joe O’Callaghan on
harmonica. One of the songs on Volume 1 called Last Train to Cork City, was played live in the studio with the great Brian Calnan on
drums. “Most of the other songs feature a core group: Dave Murphy (piano and keyboard), he also co-produced, engineered and
worked with me on arrangements and instrumentation, Jason O’Driscoll (electric, rhythm and lead guitars and drums) and Dan
Murphy (bass guitar): an exciting array of musical talent, they brought my songs to life. I should also credit Pete Brennan (bass
guitar), Mick Daly (mandolin, banjo, guitar and supporting vocals), Aisling Fitzpatrick (cello), and Sheena Knepper on violin, Harry
Connolly (saxophone & flute) and Kate Murphy who sang harmonies on A Song For The Time Being. “I just kept bringing songs to be demoed, it was a mammoth project with 33 songs eventually chosen, mixed and mastered by October 2021. Covid 19 played a huge part in the process; demos
were sent online, the musicians practised their parts and when restrictions allowed, they went in to lay down their contributions. I'm proud to say Songs for the Time Being Volume 1 has been released and is available on Bandcamp.
“I'm delighted to announce that Volume 2 will be released in May
2022, at a live gig in Cork. It will be promoted on social media and
on my website www.paddymaddenmusic.com”