Christmas at the Airport
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Rarely has a record release touched on such strong emotions – and especially for the writer and musician behind the single ‘Christmas at the Airport’.
It’s a story of heartbreak, loss and personal sacrifice; it’s a song that will resonate with anyone who has said goodbye to a loved one.
Belfast based Dubliner, Kyron Bourke, a piano player, band leader and actor, had just started to record the song when he was a faced with what would be a life changing decision.
Kyron takes up the story. “In 2008 my younger brother Brendan informed the family that his kidneys had failed to such an extent that he would ultimately need a new kidney and of course, a suitable donor. Brendan, had suffered from Crohn's Disease and then Amyloidosis, which had adversely affected his kidneys over the years.
“I was the obvious match and of course I offered to donate mine. I think I had no idea just how difficult the recovery would be. So much was going on in my personal life then. I had been composing songs with a view to releasing an album. Also my wife Fleur and I were planning to open a Restaurant. All of that went on hold.
The operation to donate the kidney was a success; then in June 2010 Fleur and Kyron opened their theatrical Restaurant, Teatro, on Botanic Avenue, Belfast.
Kyron returned to the question of recording his new songs.
“Sadly, Brendan died just after Christmas 2012,” said Kyron. “Bren picked me up at Connolly Station on Christmas Eve. I remember him telling me that he had a cold and he couldn't seem to shake it off. That turned flu-like and he then developed pneumonia. Ironically the medication which was stopping his kidney from rejecting was also suppressing his immune system. He didn't stand a chance against pneumonia.
It was a huge blow to the Bourke family. Christmas would forever be associated with Brendan's death.
Kyron went back to what he did best and continued to write and record at the new Belfast studio of legendary producer Mudd Wallace, who was, as it transpired, struggling with his own health. Mudd needed dialysis three times a week as the kidney he had received nine years previously had failed.
“We did manage to finish the album. Mudd put a huge amount of effort into the final production and we did launch it at the Crescent Arts Centre a year later, complete with an art installation of my work. But that was really all that happened.”
In a cruel twist of fate, Mudd Wallace died at Christmas 2015. Following his death, the rights of Kyron’s songs reverted back to him.
“All the songs, apart from some lyrics I had culled from some previous efforts had been written in the time leading up to the operation or during the recovery period and seemed to be emotionally linked to this great sense of loss.
“People were always asking about the album – what happened to it? Eventually I had some interest from a new digital record company who thought I should look at the album again, especially the song ‘Christmas at the Airport’. So I thought, ‘Well why not’. It just sort of took off from there!”
‘Christmas at the Airport’, a jazz and blues tinged recording is released this week by PRISM Digital.
It is available from all popular download sites from October 18.
Notes about the single:
Kyron Bourke's record ‘Christmas at the Airport’ includes some of the most talented players in Irish Soul/Jazz & Country.
It is produced by the late Mudd Wallace.
Bourke is a true outsider, a Dubliner living and working in Belfast, he's the broken city's minstrel, his songs of guilt and experience delivered with a wry smile.
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