A Question of Taste with Anna Mieke

Anna Mieke recently released her debut album. Picture: James Corcoran Hodgins

Wicklow-born songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Anna Mieke recently released her debut album Idle Mind. Upcoming gigs include Doolin Folk Festival on June 14, and the Knockanstockan Festival in Co Wicklow, July 19-21.

Best recent book you’ve read:

Sapiens by Yval Noah Harari

Best recent film you’ve seen:

I genuinely haven’t sat and watched a film in so long. I need to watch more films. I have a long list to get through now that I have more time.

Best recent show or gig:

Gyda Valtysdottir, Icelandic cellist/singer, in the Unitarian Church back in February.

Best piece of music you’ve been listening to lately (new or old):

Well, there’s a lot. The first thing I put on this morning was an album by Toumani and Sidiki Diabaté, kora players from Mali.

First ever piece of music that really moved you:

The soundtrack to The Jungle Book, age 5.

The best gig or show you’ve ever seen (if you had to pick one!):

Nils Frahm in the National Concert Hall a few years ago was pretty phenomenal. That and Huun Huur Tu (a Tuvan folk group who do throat-singing) in the Triskel, Cork. I see they’re returning to Cork to play at Live at St Luke’s this July, check it out.

Tell us about your TV viewing:

I don’t tend to watch any — I didn’t grow up with a TV and didn’t get into the habit of watching series. Although, I did watch a bit of David Attenborough’s incredible Our Planet series.

Radio listening and/or podcasts:

Whenever I do listen to the radio, I usually put on Lyric FM... or random French radio stations online — good for practicing my French! Podcasts — I was pretty addicted to the West Cork podcast for a while. Mothers of

Invention (celebrating women pursuing climate justice) is also brilliant.

You can portal back to any period of human cultural history or music event — where, when, and why?

Early-mid 20th Century, North America, African-American blues and jazz. It seemed to be a very exciting time musically, as well as being politically significant.

You are curating your dream festival — which three artists are on the bill (living or dead)?

Texas Gladden, Bessie Smith, and Mountain Man.

Do you have any interesting ancestors or family?

Sure. Lots of artists. And a famous pediatric surgeon in France.

Unsung hero — individual or group you think don’t get the praise they deserve:

The many, many indigenous rights and environmental campaigners, particularly in places like Brazil and the DRC

You are queen for a day — what’s your first decree?

Ban cars, free bikes for everyone.

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