Laurence O'Toole

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The Story

I brought my first guitar when I was fifteen and started teaching myself how to play the blessed thing and achieved a wonderful mediocrity after several years. Like many youngsters at the beginning I had notions of playing in band. I continued playing the guitar intermittently through my twenties and early thirties. It was only in my late thirties that I started playing seriously again after I had finished the Art Course. It was shortly after this time that I was inspired to start writing songs. From time to time I would jam with my friend Nick Reilly who was a very talented young guitarist, I provided the singing and basic melody, he provided the embellishments, it worked well. After moving to County Cork music took precedence over art for the first time as new compositions flourished. Locally I would take part in sessions and took to playing with Tony Adams, an excellent accordionist. Later came the sessions at the Teachallua.

After singing a few songs and helping the German contingent with their songs at the 80th Birthday Celebrations of BKS Iyengar in 1998 I received an invitation to perform at a small charity event in Germany in 2000. Subsequently I came over to teach yoga and ended up taking residence at the end of 2002 and did a gig at the Irish Pub in Bad Neuenahr. After that I felt the urge to resume painting again so the music receded into the background. In 2009 it enjoyed a brief flurry when I decided to accompany an art exhibition with a performance in the Hof with Dani Nies.

Recordings and CDs

In 2011 I had the idea to record some of the songs that had been written in the 1990’s. I had done some basic recordings years before in Ireland with my friend Simon E that were never finished. So I once again started to play regularly and began the process of setting up a home studio. It has been a steep learning curve as prototypes have come and gone. In 2013 I decided to suspend art projects and work on the music projects.

CDs

1. In Celebration of the Dream (2015) A celebration of life
2. Life in Pandora’s Box (2015) Highlights more the dualist nature of this world
3. Wonderland (2016) Predominately what I would call Faerie Songs
4. The Greatful Heart (2017) completed at the end of 2016
 

These first four CDs include all the songs written between 1993-2001. I have started recently working on new material that will be included in a later CD Aspiration. I also intend to re record some of the guitar tracks from the first two CDs now that I have better recording microphones.

The Recordings.

The recordings are free should you wish to download them. Any person or persons wishing to profit financially from these songs will be in breach of copyright. They are to be shared not exploited.

Rialt na Grcoi’

From 2014 I started to perform occasionally with other musicians and in 2015 decided such collaborations would come under the name Rialt na Gcroí.

Rialt na Gcroí translates from Irish as Star of the Heart. It originally started out as project conceived by The Ted and myself in 1996 for an Earth Education and Holistic Centre in the south west of Ireland. It was never realised. Rialt na Gcroí is now the name used for the collective energy of those who collaborate in music projects. These have included Stephan Spohner, Christiane Everling and Andrea Reinecke.

Rialt na Gcroi’ performed ‘Body Mind and Soul’ charity concerts in 2015 and 2016 in the Old Synagogue in Ahrweiler. A further concert is planned for 2018.

New Works

At the beginning of 2017 I thought I would try out some alternate tuning and opted for DADGAD which I found opened up a whole new tonal palette and has given scope to create musical textures and emotions. This has resulted in a series of instrumental pieces starting with, The Dance of the Waves and Moonlight Rhapsody. I am currently refining a more comprehensive collection of pieces entitled The Beatitudes that were inspired by reflections on the Sermon of the Mount and commentaries by Paramahansa Yogananda.

By the end of 2017 I started to work on an idea that I have had for a while to create the a series of videos bringing together the music and the art aspects of my life. Links to these videos on You Tube can be found here and will be updated as more videos are produced.

Music and Art Videos.

At the end of 2017 I started producing some music and art videos which have been subsequently uploaded onto You Tube. There are plans for further videos to be produced.

See the youtube-videos:

⊂   The Wave and the Rocks   ⊃

⊂   Moonlight Rhapsody   ⊃

⊂   The Lost Lovers Lament   ⊃

⊂   CD1 - Life’s Magic   ⊃

⊂   CD1 - Song of the River   ⊃

⊂   The Beatitudes I. The Message Of Hope   ⊃

⊂   The Beatitudes II. Seeing is Believing   ⊃

⊂   The Beatitudes III. The Light Beyond Confusion   ⊃

⊂   The Beatitudes IV. Voice In The Wilderness   ⊃

⊂   The Beatitudes V. The Land Of Milk And Honey   ⊃

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