||[Oct. 3rd, 2006|01:25 pm]
Press Release from Gregory Grene:
Kieran Ryan, longtime soundman with the Prodigals and Technical Director with the Shadowbox Theater, passed away unexpectedly on Friday, September 22. He had just turned 50 years old.
As are the best people in his twin worlds of music and theater, Kieran was passionately involved in whatever he did, intense in his work, loyal to his friends, and deeply fond of his adopted city of New York.
He was born in Dublin on September 22, 1956, to a family who included among its immediate members the then-current Archbishop of Dublin. He attended Blackrock College, but steered his own independent path away from the white-collar world, and plunged into the world of music. He worked with a number of bands on the emerging Irish folk/rock scene, among them Spud and Shantydam, who at the time were hugely successful in Ireland and the UK, as well as touring extensively with the Thompson Twins, and working on Vince Power's brand-new Fleadh.
After moving to New York he took up work as TD with the Shadowbox Theater, a project that specialized in bringing the magic of theater, puppets and music to children who might otherwise not be exposed to theater at all. A couple of years later he was, as he himself would say, lured out of band retirement to work sound for the Prodigals, and he handled front of house for the band for years across the United States and Ireland, in every kind of venue.
He was an unrepentant rocker in the best way, immersed in the music, striding about in black jeans and heavy boots, chains dangling from his belt, but with an unexpected and unhesitating empathy with the underdog. This came out not only in conversation, but in his dealings with the underprivileged children that formed a significant part of the audience at his theater.
Above all he was a man with a profound and active belief in the power of stage and song to transcend adversity, hardship or sorrow, the redemptive magic moment of theater and music.
He will be greatly missed by the wide circle of friends he amassed in New York and on the road, as he is profoundly by his adoptive families of the band and the theater.
In lieu of flowers or cards, donations are being accepted at the charity Trocaire, where his sister Eileen works; for those who wish to donate, please click on this link, https://www.trocaire.org/donate/singleDonation.php?direct=yes&fund=64, and the family and band will be notified of the donation. (The Memoriam Fund is specifically and solely Kieran's.)