quinta-feira, novembro 24, 2011

Once (2006)



A few years ago (can't really remember when exactly), I was sitting in my living room watching The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. If I recall correctly, the show wasn't being that entertaining but something made me watch it until the very end.

When approaching it's final minutes, it came down to the "usual" guest musical act...

Already on stage, a duo that was unknown to me at the time, would instantly grow to be a major revelation!
After Leno introduced both  man and woman, who's names I did not memorize,  they started to play their music making use of a piano and acoustic guitar. Soon I realized that enduring that specific episode, without having a clear reason to do so, actually paid off!

As the first keys of the piano made their presence felt, the guitar gave it the right pace and rhythm, and we were off in a musical trip, floating through this enchanting and at the same time, suffering voice, of a middle-age Irish man!

The song is all about experiencing love in all of it's forms and dimensions, in my opinion, avoiding the clichés (even though it's highly commercial).


With the end of the show, I did my homework on finding out who they were and how could I get my hands on that Leno episode. Unfortunately there wasn't anything available on YouTube, due to NBC's copyright policy, however, I was able to get a copy of that show, under means that I will not disclose.
Meanwhile, while everything was looking great for me to advertise this particular musical piece, my hard disk managed to get damaged... and the way that I got the file in the first place, wasn't available any more. So, years went by and I never saw that specific performance again!

That doesn't mean I stopped doing some research and listening to some of their work...





Turns out Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova (those are their names) are known as The Swell Season, a musical project that gained more attention after the Irish and Czech collaborated in a movie called Once (2006).

With the movie "came" their most famous single, Falling Slowly (an Oscar winner for best song), Hansard's creation with another group called The Frames, that was reinstituted to The Swell Season under new and improved arrangements, going mostly over changes which gave prominence to Irglova's piano and backing vocals. It was only then when that track started to win a great deal of popularity...

Unfortunately there is not much more that I can say, due to little information available online, but let that no stop you of getting to learn more about them and especially on getting acquainted with the movie, which is a wonderful piece of indie musical art. Even thought the leads are not professional actors, they managed to convince audiences worldwide of their passion for music and their love for each other, bringing out the most sincere and warm-felt emotions.

You actually get involved with both characters, who struggle to achieve their goal on pursuing a career in music.

From it's opening scene, to the first time the leads share the same scene together, to its very end... everything looks like it was made with a lot of heart and depth!

I tell you...When the introduction generic showed up with the name of the feature and Glen Hansard was pouring out his soul with such passion - almost looking like rage and despair - it was a sign that I was in for something great!


With an award-winning soundtrack, Once will go beyond it's musical offers, and indulge in a story about friendship, sacrifice and going after your dreams.

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