College of Liberal Arts

Multimedia Performance and Lecture: Steafán Hanvey

Monday Apr 28, 2014 7:00 PM | Avaya Auditorium, POB 2.302


(Direct from N. Ireland)


Look Behind You! ™ A Father and Son's Impressions of The Troubles in Northern Ireland through Photograph and Song.

(Multimedia Performance-Lecture)


As seen on NPR's Morning Edition


On April 28, the Humanities Institute will host a "Look Behind You," multimedia performance by Steafan Hanvey, a Northern Irish musician. "Look Behind You!" tells stories of The Troubles in Northern Ireland, through songs written and performed by Steafan Hanvey, and images and edited interviews created by his father, photographer Bobbie. Hanvey first developed the performance in 2012, and has performed it in many locations across the United States.

Steafán Hanvey is a singer-songwriter from Northern Ireland who was born during one of the bloodiest years of “The Troubles”. Growing up in an artistic and unconventional household – his father is an acclaimed photographer and both of his parents were traditional Irish musicians – Steafán’s exposure to all kinds of music began in utero. Citing influences from Simon and Garfunkel to Liam Clancy, perhaps the most important of all was the home itself, where the young Steafán was often called upon for a tune or two himself.


“Steafán is thoughtful, intelligent and reflective about the culture and family that shaped him, as well as how it has influenced and defined his recent album.”





Side 1. Nuclear Family | New album. Distribution: eOne/Universal]

Mixed: Tore Johansson [Franz Ferdinand/The Cardigans] |

Mastered: Mandy Parnell [Bjork/Feist]

Featuring: Liam Ó Maonlaí (Hothouse Flowers)


Steafán’s sophomore album Nuclear Family was released in the US and Canada in 2013 where he performed in twenty-five states at colleges, music venues, cultural centres, libraries and people's living rooms. So far, this year he has performed at 70 venues including Boston College, Club Passim, The University of San Diego, The Mercury Lounge (CRAIC FEST) and Rockwood Music Centre.


Nuclear Family is an album that meditates on the constructive and destructive forces inherent in many families and relationships. “As I sifted through my memories and experiences, I caught the public and political face of Northern Ireland pressing hard against the window of my private and personal world. Making the album made me realise that although I had never written explicitly about Northern Ireland, Northern Ireland had in fact, written me.” Steafán believes that “art can bring order and logic to chaos” and says that Nuclear Family is what someone trying to make sense of such chaos sounds like.


Side 2: Look Behind You! A Father and Son's Impressions of The Troubles In Northern Ireland Through Photograph and Song 


Look Behind You!™ details how a father and son (both artists) have negotiated the personal and political landscapes of Northern Ireland. Look Behind You! promotes the Seamus Heaney notion that “The End of Art is Peace”. Bobbie Hanvey is an award-winning photographer and has been published in Paris Vogue, The Village Voice, The Melbourne Age, NPR and The Irish Times and his photographs are archived at the Burns Library, Boston College, Mass. He has also presented his own radio show under the moniker “The rambling Man” for the last 36 years.


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