Liam Brennan, Composer
That Was Then
Liam Brennan, Jack's musical half, was born with an innate desire to blow things. This manifested itself at the tender age of seven when he learnt to play the recorder with noted skill. A year later he’d moved on to the oboe, an altogether more difficult woodwind instrument to master. By 15, he’d learnt to play the piano and started composing simple ditties in a classical genre. By 18 he was studying for a music degree, became an oboe for hire for various lower league orchestras and his then more complex compositions attracted a more discerning audience. A career in serious music seemed assured. But, by 20 Liam discovered the love that dares not speak its name and, with hormones raging, his creative juices flowed in an entirely different direction. His classical career in tatters and with penury looming, he joined the civil service. That was then.
This is now
A real challenge to active expats is to find gainful occupation that doesn’t involve propping up the bar in some sad, insular dive to Blighty-bash and complain ad nauseum of all things local. I had my writing but what of Liam? An early decision was to order a Roland keyboard from Istanbul. A creative renaissance ensued. Liam's real dream is to complete the requiem he began a decade or so ago. He still hasn't. This is now.
At Jack and Liam's wedding reception Liam said it all with a song. Vocals were supplied by Sally Rivers, a top-notch singer of enormous depth with a rich, soulful voice.
Some short pieces as part of a score for a soundtrack.
Liam developed a deeper appreciation of the well-crafted three minute pop song by setting to music some lyrics written by our nephew. The result (without the words) is not a pop song perhaps, but beautiful nonetheless.
Back in the Day
In 1990, Liam won the Wales on Sunday Christmas Carol Competition with his composition Bethlehem Star. The competition was broadcast by HTV, one of the (now defunct) regional TV channels in Britain. Liam also sought satisfaction for his creative juices with the Mountain Ash and District Choral Society. Liam’s never quite forgotten those halcyon days of quavers and choirs. Imagine his pleasure and surprise when, two decades on, he discovered that they are once again performing one of his pieces, Miracle Child, at a 2011 Christmas service. It made his year. You can listen to both festive tunes below. They're a bit ropey as they've been transferred from old cassette recordings.