Monday, 13 July 2015

The Artist is Present on The Promenade

Sometimes, I have this nightmare:-

I am queuing up for Heaven. There will be 2 queues, one for Artists and one for Organisers. 

I will get to the pearly gate and the Angel will say 'Sorry, you can't come in with the Artists, you're an Event organiser, go join the other queue.'

I never meant to be an Event Organiser. It just sort of happened because if I am ever offered an opportunity to do something amazing, my first thought is always, 'How can I extend this amazing opportunity so that my fellow artists can also share this experience?' 

The trouble is, I turned out to be quite good at making amazing events happen for others to embrace and over time I almost became marginalised as an Artist at my own empowering events for others. Ironic really. 

This is something I have worked very hard to reverse. If I organise now, it must be on the personal agreement with myself that I still retain the head and heart space to 'be' who I am.

So, in this blog post, I am going to describe the wonderous and life changing artistic work that I did whilst at The Promenade Festival (and hope that the Angel at the gate is taking note)

My first 'performance' was on the Friday night.

Sean Corcoran, the festival Artistic Director, commissioned me to write a mantra for the 4 servicemen who had died during a sea rescue in Tramore. Indeed, the core aim of the festival is a celebration of their of lives' and a thank you to the emergency services.

This photograph above shows the Sculpture installation on the Promenade that serves as a monument to the men who died. It was was taken on the launch of this year's festival on the Friday night and I am sat on a little platform in the middle of all these people.

Here I am with Donal, who is leading the proceedings. Donal asked me to set up on the stage which I did, but the first speaker had not yet arrived. Donal whispered to me 'please can you fill in' while we waited. 

I have performed as a singer songwriter & presenter all my life, but I am not sat on the platform as a singer/ songwriter/ presenter. 

I am there to share a mantra to celebrate the life of 4 men. 

So, in that moment, I decided to put into practice all that I have learnt about 'being present' during my MA Drama and everything I have learnt about Sound as a healing practitioner, inviting the audience into my space instead of projecting myself into theirs'.

I took myself to my most inner place. It was not a performance, it was a sharing of my own inner peace as an artist, as a human being. I imagined the reiki light of love entering me and cascading out towards the audience. This gave me a sense of inner peace I have never experienced on stage before.

When I opened my eyes, children were sat in front of me, the crowd now gazing in silent intrigue at the middle aged woman on the little platform, sat in a trance, playing Tibetan singing bowls and singing Sanskrit mantra. 

I lost all sense of time and place, almost as if I were floating but when I looked up, I saw Sean in the crowd, who indicated with his facial expression and talking eyes that we still were not ready to bring on the speakers. He mouthed 'You OK?' I nodded, he smiled.

It was here that I fell upon the skills of engagement that have been my life. I invited children to join me and the audience sang a mantra to the Sun so that we would have a wonderfully sunny weekend. Which, off course, we did. 

Aside: (I can not take full credit for a weekend of sunshine in Tramore. Sam Collins did a 5.00 am Cherokee Sunrise Dance on the beach the next morning and doubtless the Promenade Festival Team had been praying for sun for months! I expect Mother Nature had something of a hand in it too!)

Eventually, Donal came up onto the platform and introduced the speakers from the 
Emergency Services. 

I stayed seated at their feet, and now prepared myself to sing the mantra 'We Salute You'

And then Sean came up onto the stage and introduced me and my mantra. As it finished 4 flares were released into the sky above the sea to represent the Servicemen killed and then the mood lifted with Irish dancers before we all rushed up to the Majestic Hotel for the Summer Ball, where I switched heads to help Sean put together the running order for the evening.

It was genuinely the greatest privilege, actually, it was an honour to be part of the Launch Ceremony in what transpired to be a very healing way. To be present with so many in such an intense way was life changing for me as an Artist. Let me explain why.

Knowing that I can make this level of 'present connection' to so many through my combined pratice as an Artist and Sound Healer, has helped me to find a path towards my place in the world. 

For this, I thank you Tramore, for your love, your compassion and your open arms.

The beautiful photographs in this blog post are kindly taken by Ciaran Conneely and also taken from 
the Promenade Festival Facebook Page.

1 comment:

  1. poignant sad occasion, but it seems you transformed it into an inspiring one too. Diolch/thanks... heddwch/peace.t


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