Derek was one in a million. He was so clever, so talented, so funny, he had absolutely no side to him.
21 years ago Derek and I set up Optophonic in a basement in Mount Street. Our strap-line was ‘New Media and Music’. Derek cleverly came up with the name and later we branded the studio part as Phonic Studios and moved to the 3rd Floor in 9a Lower Abbey Street where we built a proper recording studio.
There was literally nothing Derek could not do, from playing, scoring, writing, filming, recording, editing, web development, IT…the list is endless. We were together when 9/11 happened. We watched the Luas being built down below us on Abbey Street. Derek helped me reform In Tua Nua in 2004 and soon became our MD, playing on the 2020 version of ‘All I Wanted’ and performing with us right up to Electric Picnic in 2012. He recorded my sister Jeannette’s album Cafe Diva along with many others.
We had 15 great years in Optophonic before Derek decided he had enough of 9 to 6 (well 10 to 7) and wanted to get back to performing and to spend time with Cole and Cora. Many knew him as Jack L’s musical accomplice and MD. The story behind this is another testament to Derek’s all around talent. I asked him to go over to Martin Clancy and Jack’s studio to help sort out their studio problems..he came back as Jack’s new piano player and soon became his MD.
As I said, one in a million. Rest easy my friend.
My heartfelt condolences go out to Aoibhe, Cole, Cora and to all the Cronins and Cantwells. My heart is broken for you.