Photo: Pexels from Pixabay

Artists and writers are constantly on the search for new ways to spark creativity. Through a lifetime of reading all manner of biographies and histories, I have uncovered many new muses. In reading about the artists that inspired my own heroes, I have found sources of fresh writing, sounds, visuals, techniques, subjects — everything an open mind craves.

I am a fiend for that sort of thing — letters, correspondence, daily routines. …

The radio host epitomised all that is great about post-midnight broadcasting. Read on for an appraisal of his work and a selection of his greatest hits, a perfect soundtrack for the nocturnal hours.

Live night-time radio still holds a certain magic. Photo: Republica from Pixabay.

Listening to the radio at night is a magical thing. There is an unpredictability in the air, and a feeling that you are among a small, nocturnal brethren.

Enthusiasts will progress from local radio to more specialised areas. Shortwave radio, for example, allows one to pick up broadcasts from thousands of miles away. …

Photo: kalhh from Pixabay

The rising stars of American conservatism proclaim nationalism as their highest ideal. Breaking with classical liberal principles, they assert the primacy of national cohesion over the pursuit of autonomous desire. From cultural freedom to the free market, conservative orthodoxies have come under attack from a faction that views individualism as an ideal with a heavy price.

There are two main reasons for the break from economic and social autonomy. The first is the perception that conservatives have for too long promoted the free market even as it helped erode the values of family, community and nation the right professed to…

Music’s liberation from physical media has allowed for the unparalleled availability of songs, old and new. Photo: Wikimedia

The story of popular music in the 21st century has been that of technological impact. As the internet snaked its way into homes across the globe, it made the past accessible by liberating information from physical constraints. Music was the artform most susceptible to this change, having already made the monumental leap from live performance to recorded sound one hundred years in the past. The first revolution meant performance no longer had to be subject to the unconscious whims of performer, audience or environment, but could be crystallised in the grooves of a record for as long as the medium…

Last month’s elections to the European Parliament seemed to carry more significance than usual across the UK and Ireland. In Britain, Brexit divisions were to the fore, with some treating the exercise as an unofficial second referendum. In the north of Ireland, the electorate’s first two choices were to re-elect an Irish republican (Sinn Fein’s Martina Anderson) and a hardline unionist (the Democratic Unionist Party’s Diane Dodds), before transferred votes generated the final, headline-grabbing result. The Alliance Party of Northern Ireland’s leader Naomi Long was off to Brussels, the first MEP that party has ever sent to the parliament.

Pádraic Grant

Writer from Ireland, with an interest in politics, culture and the arts.

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