Falling Slowly, Shannon Kennedy’s single from Behind Your Eyes, is an elegant and sophisticated instrumental tribute to the Oscar Award winning tune of the same name by Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová. Written for the film Once (2007), the song has since received continuous recognition through its performance in popular television programs such as The Simpsons, So You Think You Can Dance, and American Idol.
While Shannon follows the original composition closely in terms of the melody and verse structure, she produces a fresh sound by turning the originally lyric-driven duet into an instrumental work. The resulting success is largely due to her substitution of a plaintive flute line for the highly charged and emotional vocal line of the original song. Despite the fact that none of the lyrics are present in her version, the melancholic sentiment of the film remains clear. Shannon’s is not a complex arrangement, but rather of subtle beauty. Well-placed turns and controlled runs serve to engage the listener in the piece, while not detracting from the message of the melody.
Shannon’s recording of this particular work belies her deep love for both Irish folk music and cinematic music. These two themes, driving forces in her artistic ventures, are understandably a part of the inspiration of the original song, and are clearly at home in her release.
The work is arranged by Shannon and features her performing on accordion, flute, keyboards, oboe and vocals. Thomas Drayton provided the bass.