Thursday 11 May 2023

Alternative Artists at The High School

As part of our Media Studies class, we carried out an interview with two pupils in Form 6, Oscar Maguire and Jack O'Malley, who collaborated last summer on a music video for the former's song, Summer Storm’.  Here is what we learned about the multimedia project. 
Oscar was sitting in his room on a gloomy summer day and was inspired to write a song about it, picturing stormy weather, one of his first songs ever.  He describes his song writing process as like “writing a story”.  He starts off with the melody and then adds lyrics, thinking about the place and people in the story.  

Both Oscar and Jack have had experience in their fields of music and filmmaking. Oscar first started

playing music when he was in Form 5 at an Open Mic event - he enjoyed it so much that he began writing his own songs.  He feels that the Open Mic events are really great way to encourage people to perform and promote music, sometimes for the very first time.  He played piano from a young age and took up guitar in Form 4 and
composing music just came naturally - “[he] just had the knack”.   After he posted the song on SoundCloud and a few months later Jack contacted him about making a music video for it.  Jack has had experience in making music videos before for hia friends.   "This isn't my first video project", said Jack. "I used to make short films with my siblings when we were younger for fun and before Summer Storm I'd also made a few music videos for my friends Reuben and Alex. There wasn't much work experience available as I was in 4th Year during Covid but over the year I worked on a couple sets, I worked on a Spar ad and an ad for the Irish Cancer Society." 

When asked about the design concept for the video Jack said, "We chose to shoot the Summer Storm video in black and white
as we enjoy the aesthetic of old black and white photography and felt it would match the overall vibe of the song. " The two spent a day in Milltown filming the video, the same amount of time it took to create the song itself.   Jack has always been interested in movies and filmmaking for a long time and always wanted to make films. He says, "My favourite filmmaker is Paul Thomas Anderson as I've seen nearly all of his movies and have thoroughly enjoyed them all.  He's very good at creating complex and flawed characters that feel real and grounded.  These characters paired with his great cinematography makes all his movies both thought-provoking and entertaining.  He plans to do a film PLC next year and to study film at IADT after that.  Jack’s father is also a director in the film industry.  Oscar plans to take a year out next year and travel to “focus on music and work and just live life on my own” and then plans to go to Trinity to study Spanish and Sociology.  Ideally if his music career takes off, he can take a couple years to focus on that before college.  This summer Oscar plans to release an album.  He has quite a catalogue of songs ready to record but is focused on his exams at the moment.  You can watch Oscar and Jack's the completed video on You Tube here.
Saoirse Reilly and Ava O’Brien
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Wednesday 3 May 2023

National Climbing Representation

I started climbing when I was fourteen but became serious about climbing when I was sixteen and began training regularly with my friends for competitions in 2022. Most of the climbing I do is bouldering where you climb on short walls without ropes or protective equipment but with a crash pad below. I also climb outside, for example in Glendalough and the Scalp in Co Wicklow as well as Fair Head, Co Antrim. After placing third in the Irish Bouldering Championships in March 2022, I was offered a place on the Irish Youth Squad. We trained for competitions the following season starting in September. I won the Irish Youth Climbing Series and qualified for the Grand Final with the top climbers in Ireland and the UK competing against each other at Swindon. In 2023, the season started with the Irish Bouldering Championships again. I competed in the senior category so the competition was a lot tougher. I managed to place ninth on the day. I also competed in G-Force which is the biggest climbing competition in Ireland. I managed to make it so the semi-finals but am aiming for finals next season. A few weeks ago, The High School entered a team into the Irish Schools Climbing Competition. The top two teams and individuals in Dublin and Cork qualify for the finals. On the team was Jack McGinn, Oliver Davey, Max Holland, and myself. Unfortunately, our team just missed out on qualification, placing third. However, I qualified in the Individual category, so I will have the chance to represent the school on the May Bank Holiday weekend in the finals. I am also training for the Irish Lead Championships which will be held on 7 May. Lead climbing is roped climbing on higher walls, where you bring the rope up with you as you climb and clip it into the fixed carabiners on the way up. It can be difficult to find a balance between training and study with the Leaving Certificate due to start in a month. This means that I have to follow a strict plan and use all my time as efficiently as possible. Luckily, I have training facilities within half an hour of my house. Next season I intend to compete in the European Championships and the Junior category of the Youth World Cup.
Thomas Nickels