New Year, New Website, New Happenings
Hello dear friends, and welcome to my new webspace!
It's the first day of spring, whether it feels like it or not (I'm a February baby and I kinda love it), so it seems like as good a time as any to write a little post to say thanks for stopping by and fill you in on what's coming up.
I played my first solo gig in a couple of months at Nighthawks in Dublin last Saturday and it was quite a revelation! After last year's winter tour with Dani, I took a break from gigging for the month of December to focus on other musical projects. As I joked with the audience on the night, it's funny how quickly the idea of standing in front of a load of people and playing a bunch of songs you wrote starts to seem like not-such-a-normal thing to do when you get out of the swing of it for a while. But it was a most enjoyable night, a thoroughly gorgeous crowd to play for and always lovely to send a few people home with copies of The Roaring Girl too.
With that revelation in mind, I've been practising and prepping for SelfMade which takes place in The Third Space in Smithfield tomorrow (Fri 2nd Feb). I plan on sharing a few new songs at it as well as taking part in the panel discussions, and I've also written a piece for the Unseen Zine which will be on sale at the event. We'll be chatting about the unseen realities of being a musician - things like public expectations and perceptions, mental health challenges and the importance of community and support networks. I hope it can evolve into a wider conversation that is productive for everyone. I think there's a real need for us to get together and be open and honest with each other, especially now when so much of what we see is shrouded by the reality-altering veil of the internet.
For those of you who I won't see there, I'm hatching a plan for more touring with Dani this year. You can keep an eye on the gigs page for updates, or alternatively you can sign up to my mailing list (I promise not to spam you - I only email every couple of months). In the meantime I hope you enjoy browsing my new website! I figured if I was going to have a website at all it might as well be a genuine representation of what I do and what's important to me, so it was time for an update.
I made a commitment to write more this year - not just more songs but more writing in general - and have rediscovered the power of journalling. When I was flicking back through some of my sporadic entries from last year, I came across this little scribble: "The trees are moved by the wind. When it blows, they shake; sometimes parts of them break and fall away. But that doesn't mean they fall down or give up. The tree is a warrior. How can I expect myself to stand still when the wind blows?" It was never intended for anyone but myself to read, but I found it helpful and I'm in the spirit of sharing! And then, just today, I was flicking through a book called Waking the Tiger by the wonderful Peter Levine when I came across a little quote that totally changed the trajectory of my day. So I'm going to leave you with that.
"When a young tree is injured it grows around that injury. As the tree continues to develop, the wound becomes relatively small in proportion to the size of the tree. Gnarly burls and misshapen limbs speak of injuries and obstacles encountered through time and overcome. The way a tree grows around its past contributes to its exquisite individuality, character, and beauty."
(moral of the story: if in doubt, find or invent a tree metaphor)
Until next time,