This Ship Argo : Live Film Soundtrack

CQAF are delighted to present a new commission at St. Joseph’s Church in Sailortown from This Ship Argo. Funded by The Leche Trust. CQAF have commissioned the musician/ composer ‘This Ship Argo’ (Aileen McKenna) to produce a new composition for a specially edited film.  This Ship Argo will be playing live to visual material.

The performance would be presented in the historic St Joseph’s Church in an area of Belfast known as Sailor town.  The commissioned work would tie into themes of the sea and seafaring industries in a historical context. Imagery for the film, sometimes abstract and poetic, would tie in with the subtle and delicate score produced by This Ship Argo.

This Ship Argo is the moniker of Aileen McKenna; a producer, musician, composer, vocalist and remixer based in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Aileen combines synths, vocals and the occasional sample to create low-tempo electronic soundscapes that are at times both ambient and uplifting through to angry and intense, but always engaging and intriguing. The depth of layers and detail within her work rewards repeated listening, always presenting something new to pick out with each play. This is not only a reflection of her training as a classical pianist but as a guitarist, a vocalist and her experiences with auditory-visual synaesthesia. Aileen’s work is reflective of her love of multiple genres, from singer-songwriters, her love of indie-pop and riot girl through orchestral works, traditional pieces and electronica which combine to make up the palate of This Ship Argo.

A prolific producer, her first album – “Kintsugi” – was released on 22nd January 2020 with the second album – “Always the Bees: Never the Honey” – exactly one year later on 22nd January 2021, and a host of standalone singles in-between. The inclusion of her track Isomer on Hannah Peel’s All Queens Mix on the Maryanne Hobbs show shortly after release, only serves to demonstrate her artistry with Peel saying “I love the dreaminess of this track”. Her work has also been championed in multiple playlists by Daniel Avery for both Apple Music (Underground Dance) and on Spotify, and has been included in short films and multiple compilations released in 2021 with more set for release before the end of the year and into 2022.

All work is recorded, mixed, mastered and produced by her in her home studio and is the result of McKenna’s dedication to her craft and a determination to be self-reliant. This extends to the creation of all her own artwork and accompanying videos, as well as visual accompaniments for live-streams during lockdown. This work earned her a place as a finalist in the Best Album category of the Northern Irish Music Prize 2021 as well as a spot in the NI Electronic Workshop: an initiative run collaboratively between Hannah Peel, Start Together Studio, The Oh Yeah Centre, Northern Ireland Screen, Tonn Recordings and the legendary Analogue Catalogue recording studio in Northern Ireland.

Supported by Film Hub NI, part of the BFI Film Audience Network, awarding funds from National Lottery.

Neil Young – Journey Through the Past – SOLD OUT

It would’ve been easy for Neil Young to follow up his smash hit album Harvest with a crowd-pleasing concert film and a string of similarly middle-of-the-road country-rock records.

Instead, he embarked on a series of noisy, mostly uncommercial LPs, and spent a pile of money on an art movie that combines “day in the life” scenes with inscrutably freaky imagery.

Journey Through the Past intercuts intimate scenes such as Young playing with backing band The Stray Gators in his barn, jawing with Crosby, Stills, and Nash backstage, hanging with his then partner Carrie Snodgrass, and wearing a hard hat and sitting in a Nashville junkyard full of old cars, where he sips a Budweiser and rattling off anything that comes to mind.

Journey through the Past is an often bizarre, but wholly indispensable trip through the mind-set of one the greatest singer-songwriters of the 1970s.

Doors 2:45pm | Unreserved Seating

Lost In Translation – SOLD OUT

Unbelievably, 2018 marks the 15th anniversary of Lost in Translation – everybody’s favourite Tokyo hotel-based romantic-comedy-drama starring Bill Murray!

To celebrate, we’re delighted to be able to screen one of the very best movies of the 2000s in – where else? – one of the coolest hotels in Belfast.

Grab something from mini-bar and join us for an evening of cool postromance in “The Good Room” of the Bullitt Hotel, and prepare to get “Lost in Translation”.

Doors 7:45pm | Unreserved Seating

The Ballroom of Romance

Born 90 years ago this month, this perfectly rendered naturalist feature is adapted from writer William Trevor’s short story The Ballroom of Romance.

The film explores the deadening atmosphere of 1950s Ireland through the figure of the unmarried Bridie (Brenda Fricker). ‘Spinster’ Bridie goes to the country ballroom, where as a young woman she danced and dreamed of a happy marriage, to desperately try one last time to find a husband.

Respectable men prove to be thin on the ground and loneliness threatens to drive Bridie into the arms of drunken, foolish Bowser Egan (John Kavanagh).

Trevor supplied the script for this adaptation himself, with Pat O’Connor crafting it into a courageous look into the paralysed heart of rural Ireland.

Doors 12:45pm | Unreserved Seating

Go Betweens – Right Here

*Tickets available on the Door*

When Robert Forster first met Grant McLennan at the University of Queensland in the mid-70s, he knew they were going to form a band almost immediately.

Right Here charts the music and life of a band who, like The Velvet Underground before them, didn’t sell a lot of records, but everyone who heard them was irrevocably altered by their sound.

A sensitive and intimate portrayal of Brisbane’s greatest musical export, from early local success through seminal albums such as 19 Lovers Lane to the tragic, untimely death of Grant McLennan, aged just 48, in 2006.

Peppered with anecdotes and asides from former band members and famous fans, Right Here is a beautiful and fitting eulogy to the power and the poetry of The Go Betweens.

Love and thunder on film…those for whom the Go-Betweens are part of the architecture of their lives will love it. For casual watchers, it might introduce them to something special.’ – THE GUARDIAN

Doors 2:45pm | Unreserved Seating

Troubled: Films from the Archive

Second Chance Cinema and the Black Box are joining up for a series of events screening archive films from Northern Ireland made during and/or about the Troubles.

We want to showcase some of the weird, wonderful and insightful films made from the 60s to the 90s that shed some light on complicated times.

As our first event is part of CQAF we’ve selected two rarely seen films focusing on the arts.

Cross the Line made in 1980 is a profile of new wave punk band from the Shankill Road, Ruefrex. They never hit the heights of fame that some of their contemporaries did but shared their strong anti-sectarian stance.

Anything that Makes a Noise from 1990 focuses in on musician, sound sculptor and experimental instrument maker, Henry Dagg.

Doors 2:45pm | Unreserved Seating

Supported By



The Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival and Out To Lunch are annual festivals of music, comedy, theatre, art and literature which take place in January and May in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

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