×

O’Connor in tune with ‘Albert Nobbs’

Eye on the Oscars: Song & Score

“Her voice is like an old fiddle,” says Brian Byrne of Sinead O’Connor. “There’s no other voice in the world like it.” Which is why the composer was thrilled when she agreed to sing “Lay Your Head Down,” the end-credits track for “Albert Nobbs,” whose score Byrne wrote.

The lyrics are by Glenn Close, the pic’s star as well as its co-writer and producer. Yet laying down the track was almost a disaster.

“Sinead loved the song, but she couldn’t record it in Ireland because of an Eastern European tour,” Byrne says.

As a result, a remote set-up was arranged in Bulgaria — with Byrne in Ireland and Close, connected by phone, in America. Unfortunately, the system broke down almost immediately, and Skype had to be used instead. “It’s great for a conversation but not for a multitrack recording,” Byrne notes.

On top of that, O’Connor had barely looked at the song before the session. “The first three hours did not go well at all,” Byrne recalls. “Sinead would say, ‘How does it sound?’ And I’d say, ‘I don’t really know.’ Essentially, we were rehearse-recording. Glenn finally hung up.”

Then, six and half hours in, “Sinead was rocking. She said she ‘had it in her bones,'” Byrne remembers. “She sang the song 167 times, and we found the proper performance about 120 in. It really shouldn’t have come together. I still can’t believe we actually have a song.”

Eye on the Oscars: Song & Score
Are acad rules out of synch? | ‘Muppety’ but not too ‘Flighty’ | Pinch hitter | Elizabethan notes culled from rubble | Utility player orchestrates ‘Miracle’ | Powell animated by quartet of pix | Animal, mineral mix in ‘Apes’ score | Gregson-Williams relishes the chase | Byrne scores big ‘Albert Nobbs’ | O’Connor in tune with ‘Albert Nobbs’

More Film

  • PLAYA VISTA, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 24:

    Shorts Encourage Women to STEAM Careers

    Straight Up Films created the anthology “Power/On” of five shorts focused on encouraging girls in STEAM (science, technology, engineering and math with the arts thrown in) directed by actresses Rosario Dawson, Julie Bowen, Ana Brenda Contreras, Lisa Edelstein, and Nikki Reed. With support from YouTube, the shorts premiered Wednesday at the Google campus in Playa [...]

  • Stefanie Sherk obit

    Stefanie Sherk, Actress and Wife to Demian Bichir, Dies at 43

    Canadian actress and model Stefanie Sherk died on April 20 of an apparent suicide by drowning. She was 43. The Los Angeles Medical Examiner-Coroner confirmed the ruling and cause of death. Sherk appeared in the TV show “CSI: Cyber” and the movie “Valentine’s Day.” She also starred in the show “The Bridge” alongside her husband [...]

  • Ron HowardBreakthrough Prize, Arrivals, NASA Ames

    Ron Howard Talks New Luciano Pavarotti Documentary

    If one is an anomaly, two are a coincidence and three are a trend, then Ron Howard might strictly become a music documentarian after “Pavarotti” hits theaters. The documentary about the world-famous Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti comes on the heels of Howard’s “The Beatles: Eight Days a Week” and “Made in America,” a look at [...]

  • Mary Elizabeth Winstead

    Mary Elizabeth Winstead to Star in Netflix Assassin Thriller 'Kate' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Mary Elizabeth Winstead is set to star in the Netflix actioner “Kate,” sources tell Variety. “The Huntsman: Winter’s War” director Cedric Nicolas-Troyan is helming from a script by Umair Aleem. The story revolves around a female assassin, who, after being poisoned and given less than 24 hours to live, must go on a manhunt through [...]

  • Shannon Hoon

    Blind Melon Frontman's Home Movies Captivate in Tribeca Doc 'All I Can Say'

    For a period of five years, Blind Melon frontman Shannon Hoon diligently chronicled his own life, videotaping himself with a Hi-8 video camera through every step of his musical journey — starting out in Indiana, through his meteoric rise to alt-rock icon, up to the day of his death in 1995. These captivating moments finally [...]

  • 'The Edge of Democracy' Review: A

    Film Review: 'The Edge of Democracy'

    How the hell did we get here? It’s a question that political liberals are asking themselves in many parts of the world, reeling as they are from a global tilt to the right that has yielded the tumultuous Trump presidency, the ceaseless, squabbling chaos of Brexit and, albeit less prominently in international headlines, Brazil’s submission [...]

  • Brie Larson

    Brie Larson on Diversity in the Marvel Cinematic Universe: 'We Gotta Move Faster'

    While Brie Larson is thrilled over the success of the female-led “Captain Marvel,” the actress wants more diversity in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Larson sat down with Variety’s Marc Malkin for the first episode of Variety and iHeartMedia’s new film podcast, “The Big Ticket.” “I’m happy to be on the forefront of the normalization of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content