In 2007, Glen Hansard, singer/guitarist for the Irish group The Frames, and Markéta Irglová, a then-teenaged classical pianist from the Czech Republic, starred in a small independent film about a busker (like Hansard himself) and an immigrant flower seller on the streets of Dublin. Director John Carney made the film, titled Once, for just $160,000. Hansard and Irglová (who were also briefly a romantic couple) wrote all the songs for the soundtrack. The film became a surprise hit. Hansard and Irglová won a 2007 Academy Award for Best Original Song—the hauntingly beautiful "Falling Slowly"—released another album, and toured as the Swell Season.
When Swell Season came to Oakland's Paramount Theater in 2009, I had the opportunity to interview Irglová and Hansard for the above Boing Boing video—a collaboration with the fine filmmakers at Remedy Editorial. I found Glen and Markéta to be refreshingly grounded, humble, and incredibly gracious. They're the kind of people you want to invite home for dinner. I was thrilled they agreed to perform several songs for our cameras, including an unreleased new song they wrote while on the road.
Not long after that album cycle, Glen and Mar launched on separate trajectories to pursue their own solo careers and raise families. This year though marks the 15th anniversary of Once and, to celebrate, Glen and Markéta are reuniting for a US tour. This is going to be very, very special.
Tour dates here: The Swell Season
Boing Boing had a number of people to thank for the magnificent quality of this 2009 video, starting with our dear friends Scott Compton at Remedy Editorial and Bart Nagel. Bart and Chris Valente joined Scott in shooting it. The masterful Phil Perkins recorded the audio. Chris edited at Remedy with assistance from Jeffrey Boyette.