BY MARTHA BRENNAN
A YOUNG cello player was caught by surprise last week when what he thought was a private performance in Baltimore went viral online after being captured by a journalist.
Michael Murphy (19) is from Cork city but has spent nearly every summer visiting West Cork, which he calls ‘the most amazing place ever.’
The keen musician has been staying at a friend’s holiday home in Baltimore for the past few weeks and took advantage of the sunshine last week to spend a morning practicing at the beach.
‘I planned on the beach being empty and just playing for the sea,’ Michael said. ‘The scenery is just so beautiful down here, I thought it would be lovely to take the opportunity to practice outside.
I had no idea anyone else was there or that I was being recorded.’
Since being posted by RTE’s Flor McCarthy on twitter, the serene video of Michael playing on the rocks by the sea, with the Baltimore beacon in the background, has been watched over 23,000 times. Michael said he got “quite a shock,” when he saw the video the next morning.
‘I was completely oblivious,’ Michael said. ‘My friends sent it to our group chat, and we were all trying to figure out if it was me.’
The cellist said that he’s shocked that it’s been viewed so many times but is glad that it was taken from afar.
‘It’s lovely because even though there was a bit of recognition, no one really knew it was me, so it hasn’t been too overwhelming.’
Music has always been a huge part of Michael’s life, playing the cello since he was just five years old. ‘It’s a constant in my life for shaky times such as these,’ he said. ‘I was able to practice during lockdown and I also started making videos during the time in quarantine.’
Michael was meant to be sitting his leaving certificate this year and plans to take a gap year next year to figure out if he wants to study music in college and to work on his skills further.
‘A lot of people are taking gap years this year because of the uncertainty, so I’m going to take the time to do auditions and performances and decide what I want to do.’
You can watch the videos Michael has created in West Cork by searching for Michael Murphy Cello on YouTube.