It seems a fair assertion to make that there is no equivalent in Dublin — or, indeed, in Ireland — to eight-piece Nova Collective, with their gorgeously breezy bossa nova melodies and the smooth-as-honey combined vocals of Luana Matos and Dónal Kearney. The brainchild of pianist and composer Louis Ryan, the group’s initial incarnation was back in 2013 — “I was just out of college and there was this group of musicians I knew from Trinity […] and I suppose at that time I was listening to a lot of bossa nova,” Ryan explains. “The idea was that we’d start a project and maybe play in that sort of style, or at least be influenced by it.”
For most people, awards season is a time to discuss things like Amal Clooney’s white gloves, Benedict’s Cumber-baby and whether or not Emma Stone is really as down to earth as she seems. Spare a thought, though, for drummer-composer Antonio Sanchez, who won’t be enjoying Oscar-time frivolity after his widely-lauded, Golden Globe-nominated score for Birdman was disqualified by the Academy. This was due to the intermittent use of pre-existing classical music that interspersed Sanchez’s own compositions, seen in the Academy’s eyes as undermining his original, captivating percussive work. This raises a lot of questions about the nature of music composed for a soundtrack and whether the film industry needs to re-think its somewhat archaic rules surrounding such scores.