Friday, 3 May 2013

Sharing shells with Gealach Gorm Song Writing Festival





So, there I am, at the beach in New Quay where I retreat to write, and I think ...



' Oooo ... a Mermaid Scale.'

and then I put it down ...

'Don’t need these now that the Dragon Tree funding is over.' I think to myself ...
 
but then I think ...
 
'Hang on ... NO!
The funding maybe over
but the journey continues.'
 
I pick up the mermaid scale. ...
And then many others and I put them in
a huge jar in my van.


Then, when I was over in Ireland performing at The Gealach Gorm Song writing Festival just 2 weeks back, I took a box of shells with me and half way through my set
I offered them to the audience.
 
 
I told them how I carry shells in my pocket so that when I am inland I can rub them without anyone knowing and it takes me back to the beach ...
 
 
or when I am feeling stressed I hold them in my pocket to remind me of the waves and imagine my feet in the wet sand.
 
After the gig at the merchandise table people came and took a shell home with them ... I love the idea that a little bit of my coastline, picked up on the beach by me & my puppy, Maisy, is now in the pockets of my new Irish friends.

It was quite a festival, I can tell you.
Everyone was stunning but the highlights for me, other than obviously having the opportunity to perform myself & meeting musicians from different continents, were ...

Caitlin Marie Bell from Georgia, living in New York, doing her version of 'Lay me down a pallet' an old traditional blues song.
 


Sitting next to festival organiser Anthony Mulchay in the pub afterwards and feeling him sing for the circle of people gathered to share into the wee hours. I could literally feel the emotion coming from him .. it was so moving indeed. When do we ever as grown ups, sit shoulder to shoulder with someone when they are singing.
 


Mark Geary's set was absolutely mind blowing for me!!! The level of musicianship in his 3 piece was outstanding and Grainee Hunt, who does his backing vocals, well, when she sang I swear that the world stopped spinning to listen.


Everyone was so warm and friendly
and full of love.
 
I sold nearly 100 Euro's of merchandise which I will be putting into my kitty for my trip back to Belarus as a volunteer musician in residence at Zhodina Orphanage with
Leaves of Hope this August.

Thank you Angela Mulchay, Anthony Mulcahy and everyone who made it such a special festival.

Thanks also to Coracle who funded my trip to Ireland last October. I met Angela on that trip and would not have been invited to perform without that meeting.
 
Coracle funded Celtic Womenfest to visit Ireland in 2012.
Far left: Angela Mulchay: Festival Co-Director

I did have to fund the trip myself this time as I couldn't get funding ... and I also had to go on my own, which I'm so chuffed I did!

That was quite an achievement for me.

I was seriously ill about 8 years ago and it has been ongoing, with my last hospital stay being less than 2 years ago! So, I have only recently started travelling again in this last year or so .. and this is the first trip I have made over the water on
my jack jones!

It was great though, cos it gave me time to think and I met new people to chat with. I spent most of the 4 hour ferry ride writing, designing new logo's or running through my set on the uke!
 


Anyways, here are some more snaps from the festival ... next blog I'll tell you about my amazing visit to The Art Hand whilst I was in Ireland this time, visiting Sean & Miranda Corcoran, in their beautiful place on the coast.
 
 
 Chez on the Radio with Donal O Flynn ...
 





 




 

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