The Running Muse

       a cultural gymnasium for the curious runner

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World premiere of Laura Sheeran's 'Run'

By The Running Muse, Mar 21 2015 01:32PM

To celebrate today's launch, The Running Muse is excited to present the world premiere of singer-songwriter Laura Sheeran's 'Run', the first of our annual commissions of original works of art with a running theme. The very word 'music' comes from the Greek muses who inspired literature, science, dance and music, and The Running Muse is the latest addition to that pantheon!

We had asked Laura more in hope than expectation whether she would be interested in responding musically to any aspect of the running experience, and she came back to us with this beautiful running track, recorded with three of the most talented performers in Ireland. She threw a bit of behind-the-scenes chat in for good measure, and even helped design our logo for us.

This work is nothing like those running tracks you may be used to listening to while out jogging, the main goal of which seems to be to mimic the rhythms of a runner's footfall or to motivate you lyrically. This is music about running, but not necessarily music for running to. It's very different to the pounding soundtrack of Run Lola Run, for instance, although both works could be classed as electronica (see Film page).

Conversely, the more measured electronic rhythms of the film, Chariots of Fire, accompany slow-motion scenes of group running.....and now 'Run' seems to move even further away from the need to suggest the cadences of footfall, summoning up instead the rhythms of breathing, heartbeat and blood flow, as different parts of the body accommodate to the demands being placed on them.

From the beginning, this particular listener also hears the wind mingling with his own breathing from the start, as he laces up his shoes and contemplates a run through the hills. For some, there is a monastic aspect to running, a runner alone in nature but not lonely, an on-your-own stillness moving through the world, but Laura zooms even further out with her lyric here: 'Run free through spacetime....'. As the body warms up and adjusts its own tempo and harmonies, so does she, and an inner rhythm emerges at the heart of all those moving limbs.

Her lyric also links to a fascinating ancient running conundrum, Zeno's Paradox, which continues to shed light on our understanding of reality, no less (see Philosophy and Language page).

Anyway, see how you respond to it, maybe close your eyes and imagine yourself at the beginning of a run through a particular landscape.........

And here's a video clip of Laura herself, chatting a little about the piece....her experience of running is limited to running to and from work as a teenager, but she has nevertheless created a wonderful running soundscape here.

Laura Sheeran is an Irish musician, a singer and songwriter who will be releasing her new multimedia album, 'Spellbook', in 2015 on the Flaming June record label. She describes her music as 'gothic dream pop', and also performs as Glitterface in 'alien synth-pop act' Nanu Nanu, along with Marc Aubele.

Their album, 'Neptune', is also released this year, so look out for them on this summer's festival circuit, and their Live at Unit 1 Studios video series highlights some of the best independent music coming out of Ireland......and maybe you've heard of Laura's famous cousin, Jenny Pasquill, who ran 20 marathons in 20 days in 2011, then an unofficial women's world record.

' Run' was written and arranged by Laura Sheeran

Vocals: Laura Sheeran, Linda Buckley

Cello: Kate Ellis

5-string violin, acoustic viola: Cora Venus Lunny

Processed strings: Marc Aubele

Maschine MK2 programming: Laura Sheeran

Mixed and mastered by Marc Aubele in at Unit 1 Studios, Dublin

© Laura Sheeran 2015

Cora Venus Lunny showreel

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Any other runners out there who think there is much more to running than physical exertion?


Well, you're not alone - ever since the earliest cave paintings, the meaning and pleasure of the running experience has been explored by writers, painters and composers, by philosophers, film-makers and dramatists.


Comedians have laughed at it, scientists have analysed it, and historians have chronicled its cultural resonance. The Running Muse will be nourishing your runner's soul with stories from all of them.


Even the sweatiest of ancient Greek gyms were also places of intellectual endeavour, so welcome to a new blog for the thinking runner, a miscellany of musings on running in culture that will be navigating the existential wonders of putting one foot in front of the other.


Painting and sculpture 

 Picasso's 'Running on the Beach (The Race)'

 'Once, the fastest runner was a woman....'

 'It's like a jungle sometimes....'


 Run Lola Run

 The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner

Philosophy and Language

 'This is "motion towards", isn't it, boy?....'

 Running in Language (Part 1)

 Running in Language (Part 2)

 The Philosophers' 10k


 Dictating the Pace

 Fast Times on the Ocean of Storms

 Five Unlikely Runners

 Runner, I married him

Music and Theatre

 It Ain't Over 'Til the Fit Lady Sings

 World Premiere of Laura Sheeran's 'Run'

 'Rift' by Natalie McGrath

 Jokers in the Pack


 Waugh Games

 Running through Hell

 Running Food


Current posts (this page):

 Joyce Carol Oates' short story, 'Running'

 It's raining - do you run or walk?

 Picasso's running minotaur

 W.H. Auden's 'Runner'

 O sinnerman, where you gonna run to?


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