Sinéad O'Connor in conversation with Iarla ó Lionáird

Iarla on Sinéad O’Connor

  |   Sinéad O'Connor, Vocal Chords

Vocal Chords presenter Iarla Ó Lionáird interviews Sinéad O’Connor for the Vocal Chords and gives his opinion on one of Ireland’s greatest vocal talents.

There are many fine singers, each different, each possessed of their own unique, timbral fingerprint, their own particularised selves reaching out to us, the listeners through that extraordinary aperture, the mouth. That first part of our beings that breaks the silence, that messages emotion to the world in waves that travel quite fast through the air that surrounds us.

Yet there are few singers that we can regard or describe as truly iconic. And when I have considered that word and its application to the singing voice I have always returned to the singular talent of Sinéad O’Connor. There are few singing today that can match her. Something to do with her instantaneous and total commitment from the second she begins her song, something to do with her intensity of purpose, that sense of awesome potential that is inherent to her voice alone. Something dangerous, powerful and revelatory. Something paradoxically imbued with a strange fragility and stillness. Something mysterious.

It is only when we apply these descriptions, clumsy as they are, to others and ourselves that we may come up short but not in the case of this extraordinary singer. Every time she sings she changes the air, the moments, the listener.

Iarla Ó Lionáird

You can hear the Vocal Chords special with Sinéad O’Connor – Iarla Ó Lionáird in Conversation with Sinéad on March 13th Friday 7pm on RTÉ Lyric FM