MUSIC is Donal Lunny’s world — his day, his night.
And so it naturally follows that when he speaks, his voice — like an instrument — lifts and lowers in rhythmical cadences, never missing a beat. Aged 66, this ease may have something to do with getting older and mellower.“There is less angst,” he says. Along with his exquisite ability on traditional string instruments, Lunny is a composer and record producer — Christy Moore, Bono and Mark Knopfler have all crossed his path in the recording studio.
I wouldn’t say I am 100% fit but I don’t feel too bad. I don’t smoke. And I’ve become very careful about drinking. I also ride a bike — I don’t have a car. It has its disadvantages. But when I did have a car I found myself driving it 300 yards to the shops. I decided to stop driving many years ago — part of the reason was because insurance was so high for musicians.
Do you have you any health concerns?
I had a stent inserted a couple of years back. I had a funny feeling and got myself checked out and sure enough there was a blockage. I was amazed at the speed and efficiency the whole thing was done. I was in hospital for 36 hours and that was it. I am on a regime of medication and I don’t really have concerns about my heart or whatever.What is your guiltiest pleasure?
if it was a warm sunny day I might have an ice cream. I wouldn’t go near a 99 — the ice cream freezes the chocolate. What would keep you awake at night?
Sometimes I have anxiety dreams but not so often these days. Many used to be about rushing to be at a concert on time and doors being locked, tripping over things and getting lost back stage, things preventing me getting on the stage to a waiting audience.How to you relax?
I read a fair bit. I’ve just read Iain Banks’ last book, The Quarry. I’m sure I’ve read everything he has written.What is your favourite smell?
Cowslips which are like freesias. I also love the smell of gorse flowers — there’s a hint of coconut in it.What would you like to change about your appearance?
Years ago, I’m sure I did want to be different but I outgrew it. I’ve got comfortable with myself — not that I think I am perfect. What trait do you least like in yourself?
Untidiness. I am looking around a really untidy room here, wishing I could sweep it all into a big bag.What trait you least like in others?
Egotism — I am very uncomfortable with it.Do you pray?
I am not a church person. I was when I was young. I have no doubt that things don’t end with your death, that this is a transition of some sort. I don’t know what it is — in the way that caterpillars don’t know about butterflies.What would cheer your day?
Sometimes a piece of music would put me in a really good mood.
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