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You are in: Somerset > People > People > Local musician's eclectic career - on her own terms

Gaynor O'Flynn

Gaynor has worked for the Tibetan cause

Local musician's eclectic career - on her own terms

Ever since filmmaker and musician Gaynor O'Flynn dropped out of law school the day before her finals, she has led a life

Artist, filmmaker and musician Gaynor O'Flynn has had what many people would call an eclectic life.

One minute she's interviewing musicians such as Sting and this year's Glastonbury headliners The Verve, the next she's standing alone on top of a mountain in the Himalayas.

Her CV reads like a media students dream. Some of the TV shows she's worked on include the pioneering 80s show The Tube, the phenomenally popular American news show Entertainment Tonight and legendary Factory records boss Anthony Wilson's The Other Side of Midnight, a popular culture show which would feature an assortment of artists including Nirvana and Germaine Greer.

"[The Tube] was a fantastic job to do as people remember the live side but actually there was loads of films made which were filmed and edited on 16mm film so you’d turn up to work and be given a 20 man crew and be told to go and make a 30 minute film."

One such film she made was the first ever hip-hop film to be broadcast in Britain which featured current Radio 1 DJ Tim Westwood doing the voiceover. 

“I must admit I didn’t think it [hip-hop] would ever last. It was a brilliant experience as a filmmaker.

“The Tube was great because you could literally have someone like Paul McCartney or Miles Davis up with an equal footing with some of the bands you’d like which were unsigned and I think it’s a real shame as there’s nothing on TV now where it’s a total level playing field."

Gaynor then went on to work for MTV Europe where she directed the first ever film to be shown.

Some people might also say Gaynor can't

Initially did films as being a grammar school girl, music wasn’t a proper job

I love film and I do art installations. It just sort of involved and I think it was when someone said to me whatever you were doing when you were one year’s old that’s what you should be doing in life so I asked what I liked to do and someone said sing and play in mud and run around so I thought I’d best go to the festivals then.

MTV: asked her to direct so she directed the presenter films so it was the first film to be shown on MTV.

Used to work in music tv and then when she went off travelling she became involved with lonely planet.

Worked with Tony Wilson- other side of midnight- really eclectic so could come in and do whatever I wanted and of course Tony never said no so it was just this really bizarre program which got a real cult following and it was brilliant because I remember we would have on Germaine Greer and Nirvana.

Worked on a market stall in Seattle as I always liked to do that in between media jobs

And I just became aware of this great big Seattle scene and she always had an ongoing debate with Tony over rock and dance music so she managed to persuade him to book Nirvana.

Have always backpacked and have always travelled

The really important thing is to chill out and do what you love and I really believe that. A lot of my mates think of me as the resident hippie. You get different emotions and feelings and I think you’ve just got to go with it.

I was in a niche of art and travel programmes- wasn’t in the mainstream.

Also did Entertainment Tonight which is an American entertainment news show which is watched by millions. Dealing with pretty massive acts- interviewed Sting etc

Tibet- got involved with quite a while back as she witnessed a Tibetan refugee set himself on fire which was obviously a crazy thing to do and really disturbing but I was the only Westerner who witnessed this after a demonstration.
“So at the moment the thing which is disturbing me the most is that the demonstrations are becoming quite heated.
Of course the Dalai Lama is very pro-peace but at the moment there are many people of the Tibetan protest movement who are becoming

Help them create a database whereby

Flames of Freedom

So much support world wide for the Tibetan cause over 360 tibetan groups

Just been on tour with Martin Harley

Renovating a big warehouse space, 5,000 sq ft. Diy record label home- units for creative businesses and studios

Did 22 stages: broke Hawkwind’s record. Went on site with one stage and I ended up playing more. Went on Glastonbury radio so people were coming on site and heard me talking about it so we ended up playing the jazz world stage on Sunday, acapella on my own,

It was really, really good though as obviously I couldn’t drag the band around 22 stages and we finished on left field which is quite a nice big stage

Was on news 24
Went on main Glastonbury festival website
“I bumped into Michael on the Sunday and told him what I’d done which was a bit stupid as I should’ve told him before hand and he was really impressed.

Drums, double base, guitar and slide guitar and keyboards

I’m still doing film but it’s much more focussed on me, I guess.
Being Human- film in the Himalayan
And then has a project in Gallacia

National geographic music channel- world music
Like lonely planet with music. Goes out and about and meets musicians (interviews) steps outside to the mainstream
Trying to find out what’s happening which is really really exciting and a bit left of centre or traditional and good.

I really do love it all; I love music, I love making films, I love travelling, I love just going off on my own and walking up a mountain. I think we’re complex individuals. Sometimes I admire people who can do one job and really get focused but that’s not me.

I erally love Gallecia and one of the reasons I love it is because there’s no tourists there. If I had to choose one place it would be the Himalayas and Nepal. I particularly have a strong affection for Nepal.

Frome’s great- there;

Law degree: I think it literally was at career’s advice someone said what do you want to do and everyone used to say university so I said university and then they sort of said what do you like to do and I said debating. I used to be part of youth CND and I knew someone from there who went to uni I didn’t know what to do.

I think it’s much better for me to stay focused on the arts side of things rather than the politic side of things but having said that I think I first got in the paper aged six because we were running a charitable jumble sale in the back garden so I’ve always done something.

It’s nice to get people aware of you and for the music to be successful but for me it’s really got to have a meaning and a positive message and so much of the music industry is about negativity. And the people who inspire me are Annie De Franco in America- DIY artists who inspire a following and are incredibly positive
Mainstream media who like you to be a bit messed up and I don’t want to be.

Show of Hands

What’s great about the internet is you can be a DIY artist and make your own music and stay positive and build a following like that.

last updated: 20/05/2008 at 11:51
created: 01/05/2008

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