Ryan McMullan and the Ulster Orchestra collaborate in an emotive song to honour the work of the NHS.
Commissioned by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland to write a song marking the commitment and contribution of the NHS during the Covid19 pandemic, homegrown hero Ryan McMullan collaborated with the Ulster Orchestra who provided a special arrangement, performed by its string section, to record a beautiful new piece titled If This Is The End.
Ryan, who has toured internationally with Ed Sheeran and Snow Patrol, took inspiration for the song from the incredible work of the NHS, paying a poignant tribute to those who have lost someone during 2020 and have been unable to mourn their loved ones in the usual way.
Ryan explained that when the Arts Council asked him to write a song, the story he thought of was one he had heard about a man called John Wilson.
"John’s wife got sick during full lockdown, which meant he couldn’t visit her in the hospital or hold her hand as she passed - he never got to say goodbye to the person he spent his life with."
Ryan then thought of the countless others who were going through the same heartbreak.
"Having the Ulster Orchestra arrange and perform it with me was so amazing and I’m incredibly grateful to them for being such an integral part of such a meaningful song.”
Patrick McCarthy, Ulster Orchestra’s Head of Artistic Planning and Operations said that the Orchestra was delighted to collaborate with Ryan to compose and record a string arrangement to accompany his inspiring song which honours the work of the NHS.
"I feel that the role of the Ulster Orchestra at this time is to find ways to give space to artists and to give a voice to the emotion that we’ve all been dealing with through this time. I think Ryan’s song has truly captured that emotion - it’s incredibly special.” - Patrick McCarthy
Ciaran Scullion, Head of Music, Arts Council of Northern Ireland said they are hugely proud to support this incredibly powerful tribute to the NHS and added that the song reflects our worry, isolation, loneliness, uncertainty but also hope and strength in love and connectedness for all of our futures.
"It reminds us just how essential and vital the arts are to the very fabric of society and to ourselves. It shines a light on what it means to be human and for the arts we’re all richer." - Ciaran Scullion
Ryan will be officially releasing If This Is The End on 4 December 2020.