The Quiet Land (Phil Kieran version)



Antrim, Antrim Coast, Armagh, Belleek, Boa Island, Carnlough, Castleward, Castlewellan, Co.Down, Cregagh Glen, Cultra, Dunluce Castle, Fermanagh, Giant's Causeway, Glenariff, Glens of Antrim, Lough Erne, Lough Melvin, Mourne Mountains, Mournes, North Coast, Northern Ireland, Portglenone, Strabane, Strangford Lough, Waterfoot, White Island, White Park Bay





23min 18sec







Digitised as part of the BFI's Unlocking Film Heritage project


Phil Kieran, Robert Blair, The Strand Arts Centre

Rights Holder

Phil Kieran, Rights are managed by National Museums Northern Ireland on behalf of Tourism NI

It is illegal to download, copy, print or otherwise utilise in any other form this material, without written consent from the copyright holder.


Phil Kieran has created a new and original score for ‘The Quiet Land’ (1974) as part of the 2022 NI Mental Health Arts Festival. He was invited to dig into the archives by Johanna Leech (Strand Arts Centre). 

"I chose The Quiet Land because I loved the story behind its existence as much as the visuals within. Its filmed in 1974 during the height of the Troubles to promote tourism. Escalating conflict led to pressure to close the NI Tourist Board but resilient staff adapted to find ways and places where they could responsibly encourage tourists to visit. I imagine they used the title ‘The Quiet Land’ as an antidote to all the violence and noise emanating from the news at home and worldwide about Northern Ireland.

I watched the film several times with no audio, imagining and planning how to create a completely new score, to use music and natural found sounds and foley to narrate the story rather than dialogue. I created tracks that captured the essence of the images, trying to imagine certain moods or pictures I’d have in my mind if I were living inside the film.

Throughout the process I pretended to be an eccentric 1970’s musician trying to create a futuristic sound to an alternate reality with only the instruments and techniques available to me during that era. The word ‘escape’ kept popping into my mind and became a theme. I see most music as a form of escapism, like dance music and nightclubs are used by people as a fast eject from everyday life. During the Troubles, people who stayed in Northern Ireland needed a mental escape as they couldn’t always physically avoid conflict and violence. Some of those ways of escaping were destructive to their being and our society is still paying the price of generational trauma, I wanted to create an imagining of a utopian Northern Ireland with an otherworldly soundscape to match the stunning landscapes in the visuals.

I’ve tried to create music that mimics the shape of the image it portrays. In some scenes of the sea I’ve made cyclical waves of ebbing and flowing music but I’ve also blended in literal sounds of the sea recorded at a modern-day Dundrum Bay during a trip to a car-boot sale. I hope the music and sound I’ve created immerses viewers into the film and enhances their sense of connection and harmony with the scenes on screen. I want viewers to experience it as a 23 minute mini-retreat from their modern day stresses and to escape into The Quiet Land."

Phil Kieran, May 2022.


You can watch the original version of The Quiet Land to hear the soundtrack created for the Northern Ireland Tourist Board.


Phil Kieran is a music producer and DJ who works extensively worldwide. During his 23 year career he has contributed to the Arts through 5 studio albums, 75 single/Ep releases. He has appeared on 162 albums and has been credited on 286 individual works including remixes for Depeche Mode. 

Phil's music appears on film and TV (Killing Eve, Rough, Oliver Jeffers BBC, Damages, Hollyoaks) and commercial campaigns (Gucci, Belfast City Council). His first original soundtrack to a feature film was for Netflix’s Nightride which is also available as a soundtrack album. Phil Kieran's album “Life Cycling” is shortlisted for “best album” for the Northern Ireland Music Prize 2020. His last album was featured in the Irish Times, Guardian and BBC NI.


Original music and sound design by Phil Kieran 2022

Produced by Johanna Leech and Sinéad Bhreathnach Cashell 

The Quiet Land, an RhR production 1974

Directed by Joe Mendoza

Photography by Maurice Picot and Ron Granville

Editing Sheila Wilson

Musical Contributions by The Boys of the Lough



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