8 Jul 2020

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Sean O'Connor


"The Real Me" is Wellington singer/songwriter Sean O'Connor's first solo album. The songs feature Sean's acoustic guitar and vocals, and make striking use of cello, flute and Amanda's harmonies as well as drums, bass and electric guitar. The style ranges from acoustic balladry to folk/pop with country and Celtic tinges, similar perhaps to Damien Rice. He and partner Amanda O'Connor have previously released five duo albums and Amanda a solo album last year.

"The Real Me" was recorded with David Ironside at Eye Inside Productions, Wellington (recent winner of the Qantas Award for television soundtrack music) and mastered with Phil Riley at Life of Riley. The musicians are Wellingtonians Bernard Wells and Frits Stitger on bass, Matt Nidek on drums, Stephen Gibbs on cello, Sean's wife Amanda on flute and vocals and Sean on guitar, piano and vocals. Alan Hartshorn and David Ironside also feature on electric guitar.

Many of these songs are about striving - about idealism and failures, depression and recovery. For example, "The Real Me" is about the struggle for self-knowledge and the attempt to express anger and pain non-violently. "Ghost of Myself" is about disconnection and how that affects me and the people around me, but it's also about courage and love.

I release this album in the hope that it can reach and maybe help people with their struggles and hopes. I want to share my story in songs and help reach people's, and perhaps particularly men's, hearts. I hope to help inspire them - and myself - to greater emotional literacy, non-violence, healing and the fulfilment of our gifts and dreams."

To this end, Sean is beginning to create a "self-realization" project called "Ararau" (The Many Paths) which integrates Non-Violent Communication, InterPlay and music. He wishes to share with people tools and inspiration for finding their "Voice" - the individual nexus of passion, talent, need and conscience. His first client is himself - and then those he connects with - on his personal journey to find his vocation and inspire others to find theirs.

He has begun liasing with community groups, schools and prisons about Ararau project and invites anyone who may be interested to contact him.

Two of the songs, "Miles Go By" and "Wildflower Fire", were written in 2005 when Sean was living in Nashville, TN. They have a country flavour and are about literal and figurative places on his and his family's travels in the US, where he played at many venues, including the iconic Bluebird Café, and did a six-week tour of the USA, performing from Tennessee to California.

At the Bluebird The O'Connors featured in both "Showcase" and "Sunday Best" nights. Host Jeff Pearson said: "I have been hosting The Bluebird for sixteen years, and I know unique when I hear it. The O'Connors' music is not just unique, it is honest, beautiful and uplifting. Their harmonies are truly moving."

Hawkes Bay today critic Alice Moult described their live show as "An extraordinary experience, a manifestation of spiritual currents and submission to powerful emotional forces, encapsulating me in a tiny bubble of happiness and serenity. No other music has done this before…crisp and clever…a spiritual wake-up call"

A photographic exhibition based on the album lyrics, entitled "Nothing More Than This", can be viewed at www.jennyoconnor.co.nz.




  • Wellington

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