Christy Moore

Interview by Alfredo De Pietra

Christy, why this box set at this point of your career? I mean, not the usual "Greatest Hits"...What is the importance of these tracks for you?

I decided 8 years ago to make use of all the music that was lying around my workroom causing confusion in my life. The project was not finished until this year and that is why it was released in 2004. I also knew that many listeners were as interested in these old recordings as I was and should have the opportunity to hear them.

Why the use of colours for the CDs? Are the songs put there casually, or there is a "common thread" in each one of the CDs?

I use the different colours that are taken from the song "Yellow Triangle". They have a significence to me but I do not wish to share that.

The box set covers 40 years ... how has your music changed in these years? And what do you think has changed in the Irish music scene?

Forty years ago, my life in music was substantially different to today. I went out every night with my guitar seeking a place to sing, a floor on which to lie, some love, some food, a lot of wine. There was no business, no gigs, no questions, no P.R., recording, life was simpler, I was poor and young and hungry. Today I am a lot more focused on The Song.

Irish music or Celtic music? ;-)

Irish or Celtic is all shite. I sing beneath no flag.

The live dimension ... listening to these tracks, it seems that the "live" dimension is very important in your music ... an opinion?

The live work is of the utmost importance. The songs really come to life in the presence of an audience. We glimpse the pictures momentarily and each perrformance has its own unique colour and atmosphere.

I think of you mainly as a (wonderful) "cantastorie" – in English, that would be "storyteller". Do you agree? If so, which are the common features in the "stories" that you like to sing?

The old travelling singers used to carry the news in their songs, and I like that job description.

Going instead to the Planxty reunion: it's been a huge success. What moved you to re-build Planxty? Did you expect such a success? It means that the lovers of Irish music love Planxty today as before...

Planxty came together this year after a 22-year siesta. We used to meet each year and talk about playing music and this year we played it. It sounded good to us so we are doing some gigs. All 4 of us were still involved in playing and touring so it was easy for Planxty to play. we all knew where our instruments were!

Christy Moore and Italy ... any particular memory of some concerts here? Any hope to have you soon here, solo or with Planxty?

My memories of Italy are hazy but very good. I recall the audiences being very receptive and friendly. There seemed to be a lot of chaos but the gig always happened! I have no definite plans to gig in Italy, but anything is possible. Does anyone remember when Planxty played in Mussolini's garden? That was a good night.

Author: Alfredo De Pietra