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Giants Causeway Storybook

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 A colourful illustrated re-telling, with a very local feel.
Releasing the New 21st Anniversary Edition
1996-2017.

Keeping the faith with his original intentions, Randall Stephen Hall
has just announced the 21st Year Anniversary Edition of his entertaining
illustrated re-telling of the Giant’s Causeway legend.

Website Here!

“In 1995, on a holiday with my wife and young daughters, in Ballinrobe, Lough Mask, Co. Mayo I began the first character sketches of what Finn MacCool and Benandonner might look like.
One fair and one dark. One big and one bigger. Both giant’s, ready to fight the bit out on a stone causeway between Ireland and Scotland .”

Stephen continues, “The first edition of the book was published on the 26th of July 1996 and I still remember the excitement of opening up the book and then the satisfaction of delivering some copies to Frank Holden, the then manager of the Moyle Giant’s Causeway visitor’s Centre. I used the way people speak up there with their words. North Antrim is where some of my ancestors come from. Boghill, Coleraine, Kilraughts, Ballymoney. Of course I had no idea what would happen next or where the book would take me . . .”

Over the next few years Stephen was asked to go into schools and tell this one story. A door had opened in Stephen’s experience that made him more curious about the complete Celtic cultural compass on the Island of Ireland, be it storytelling, art, poetry or music. All the elements that can be found in Stephen’s work today.

“It’s natural,” said Stephen. “Natural, for any artist to not feel boxed in or limited by seeing himself/herself as just one thing. Just being “an artist” should give you enough permission to be curious and to follow that line of enquiry towards a broader horizon.”

Twenty one years later a 17 minute animated version of the story now exists in English, Irish, Ulster Scots and Scots Gaelic, including many other new legends. All illustrated. All in colour. 2005.
(It would take too long to explain the time and effort that went into this, the struggles, set backs, the folk who helped, the friends made and the boundaries jumped.)

Web Link English: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RnN5HQe1Fvk
Web Link Irish: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KOCjt6uxF6s

An enjoyable and intelligent activity book followed in 2006. Along with a Ballycastle based re-telling of the Ugly Duckling, just called “The Duck.” But during all this time a very interesting journey had begun, bringing Stephen into schools to work with children as a storyteller and out to work with adults as a songwriter, mainly performing locally, being given a lot of support from Gerry Anderson on his Radio Foyle/BBC Radio Ulster Show, appearing four times in the one year 2010-2011. Quite an accolade from a man, so admired by his listeners.

“I called him The Medicine Man.” said Stephen.

Here’s one of Stephen’s songs called Dancing on the Red Road. A song based on some of his travels in Canada 2000-2001. Web Link:
Stephen has told the Giant’s Causeway story all over Ireland, in Manchester, Bologna, Gothenburg, Sweden and as far West as Sioux Valley Native American Reserve, not far from the university town of Brandon, in Manitoba, Canada.

So by honouring the Giant’s Causeway story, to focus on an ancient bridge between people
Stephen, in a sense, has taken the bridge over and onto a new road, far less travelled. Twenty one years of publishing this small book with a big story, has taken Stephen on a number of adventures
both on the island of Ireland and abroad.

In recent years he has worked with his eldest daughter, to create a little company called “Rufty-Roo-Hah” www.ruftyroohah.com They produce very individual books, cards, T-Shirts, tea towels, Buff Books, canvases and more with a weekend stall at St. George’s Market in the heart of Belfast, Northern Ireland. As Stephen likes to draw he sits at their stall and is happy to talk about his work or just pass the time of day with locals or visitors alike. He feels lucky for the opportunity and has been known to give away the odd free gift.

Stephen continues to practice as an artist, storyteller, poet and musician.

 

 

Tickets Just Released for Daniel O'Donnell in Concert October 26, 2017 at Irish American Heritage Center, Chicago. Click picture for ticket link!

Daniel will be honored as the iBAM! 2017 Musician of the Year on Friday, October 27, 2017 at the iBAM! Gala Awards Dinner held at the Irish American Heritage Center. www.ibamchicago.com

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