When lovely things are lovely
I’ve had such a lovely time gigging lately.
Here’s a snap from Shaksfest in Charleville Castle.
Shakefest, June 2015, Photo: Stefan Waldeck
I also had a great time in Sweeney’s with the band for the Youbloom festival - even though I was down a bass player and I couldn’t play with my right hand. It was fun! And just for future reference, the conference that they organise is also really worth your time and your cash. It’s oddly encouraging to get stuck into the business stuff with like minded people! There were some lovely photos from the night taken by E17, check them out!
A few days ago I also just finished up a week of singing with The Irish Youth Choir directed by Greg Beardsell. Much to my excitement I was a soloist for Jaakko Mäntyjärvi’s sublime Canticum Calamitatus Martime and Frank Corcoran’s setting of Gabriel Rosenstock’s poem, Caoine (And speaking of Mr. Rosenstock, he has quite a collection of translation of a huge scope of different songs accross classical, popular, jazz and what have you translated into Irish on his blog. Really inspiring stuff!). Consider it implied that you need to listen to both of those pieces right now.
Such an amazing week. It’s always fantastic to work with such a great team - Helen Hassett as the Soprano tutor, Alan leech in tenors, Annie Barry with the Altos and the Bass section led by Eunan McDonald (read more about them here!). Not to mention the tiny but miraculous admin team, Dermot, Katie and Lily. It’s such an education to watch them work. In particular it was great to watch so many young singers blossom this year. One of my highlights of the week was when a bunch of younger members ran up to me just before our gig in Christchurch Cathedral and announced that they’d all gone and bought tuning forks and wasn’t I so proud of them? Yes guys, yes I was! Welcome to the republic of choral nerds, a land where manuka honey and lemons are more precious than gold, and sleep is frowned upon :D
It was also a little different for me this year in that I brought a friend - a stellar musician, dancer and the director of Discovery Gospel Choir, Aisling. She spends so much time enabling other people’s performances and sharing their skills- that’s her passion! - but it was so great to see her just get to perform during the week, and to see her unique, natural style of leadership in action within her section. She spent time making sure she knew everyone’s name, checking in with me and other people, and praising everyone’s work and generally being a light and a friend to everyone. What a hero. She also taught the soprano section a few moves of Queen Bey’s Single Ladies dance.
Special shoutouts have to be reserved for my fellow sop 2 ladies (Audrey, Ciara and Emma…thank you in particular for being so supportive when I was vocally groggy!) and my lovely housemates (Tom, David, Anna Livia, Louise and Rachel!) and OF COURSE to yoga buddy extra-ordinare, Molly (Ciara and Aisling in this category also). FYI: Doing yoga in UL in Limerick at 8am everyday is a good idea. You can hear the birds and the river and properly greet the sun. :)
So incredible that one week could be such a great platform for such a range of different people - can’t forget the fantastic Niall Kinsella who did a gorgeous job conducting the Corcoran and Chilcott’s Steal Away. Just goes to show the old addage is true: The right people are always in the room. All in all it was such a ridiculously affirming few days for me - Greg and the tutoring team gave me so much encouragement and support, as did all my new and old friends! It went far too quickly.
…I saw microphones on the night at Christchurch for the performance so I’ll be keeping an ear out for recordings! I will share if and when they materialise!
In other news, I have a gig this Saturday in Sweeney’s again, where the fantastic Tiger Cooke and the aforementioned Aisling are going to help me out. We’re going to fight Parkinson’s disease by raising some funds! Check out more details here.
Tendon updates: Not yet healed because finding rest is damn near impossible! Holding up music all week was not helpful. I spent today looking up dictation apps to help me combat some of the work I have coming up over the next few weeks. Anyone up for giving free physiotherapy massages, please form an orderly queue! XD