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Documentary on Newstalk

Strings

Documentary on Newstalk
Documentary on Newstalk

In 2020, a few weeks after Ireland entered one of the longest COVID lockdowns in the world, Patrick Dexter began uploading videos online of him playing the cello outside his cottage in County Mayo. In a matter of weeks, his life had changed forever.

Producer Hugh Hick and Documentary on Newstalk bring you an intimately-told story of music and landscapes – and the part both play in our lives, sometimes without us realising it.

Born and raised in Dublin, Patrick Dexter spent most of his twenties abroad, living for long stretches in Vietnam and the Netherlands. It was only after all this that Patrick and his partner Jan decided to try for a different type of existence. One as far away from the crowded city life they had always known as you could imagine. And so they moved to a tiny cottage outside Westport in Co. Mayo, determined to live an isolated and monkish lifestyle.

Then, in 2020, that all changed.

With COVID-19 spreading uncertainty into our lives and lockdowns confining us, Patrick began sharing videos of his own way of passing the days – sat outside in his garden, playing cello, the stunning landscape of the locality his background. What started as something to send to his friends quickly caught fire through Twitter and Instagram and within months was being viewed regularly by hundreds of thousands of people worldwide.

This documentary tells Patrick’s story through his own words as well as those of his family and friends, including producer Hugh Hick, who has known Patrick since they were teenagers.

But it’s not just Patrick’s story – it’s the story of a unique place in Ireland that continues to capture the hearts and minds of so many. And it’s the story of all of us, and why, at that most uniquely dark and incomprehensible of moments, something about a man playing cello to us through our screens compelled us and gave us something to latch onto.

‘Strings’ was made with the support of Comisúin na Meán with the television licence fee.

Documentary on Newstalk
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