Big Music
The Last Town Criers 

Big Music


It’s a rare sound nowadays: the lone whistle or the solo a cappella, drifting over from a bus stop or a passerby's walk to work. The music we listen to on the street is more likely to arrive through headphones than from the movements of our own mouths or bodies. The way we travel through urban environments has become privatized, quieter, as populations grow and public space is increasingly scarce.

In this short documentary for RTE’s Big Music weekend, Ronan Kelly chases after the nearly extinct relics of a time when sound was more public, searching for people that still travel to the beat of their own drum (and hum). He finds transcendence in the philosophizing of street gospel and companionship in the chatter of talk radio. He questions our desire to accompany individual pursuits with music and sound, and also asks why our sonic journeys have become so politely protected.

With a little probing, he finds that those he meets have found new ways of interacting with sound in the individual pockets of the world they occupy--a way to make the journey a little less mono, a little more stereo.

Photo Credit: Siddharth Khajuria