With The Guitar In The Driver Seat
I always loved to sing. But the time came when this was not enough for me any more. The sound of a guitar had always had a hypnotic hook on me. I longed to be able to have the control to produce such a sound, and when I was 16 I bought my first guitar with my saved up pocket money.
My dad played in a traditional brass band, and their guitarist got me a guitar at a discount. The brass band practiced every Friday night, and I remember that Saturday morning when I came downstairs before anyone else was up.
There it was, lying on the kitchen table. My guitar!
With awe I moved my hands along its golden brown, smooth surface. I strummed it, and I loved it!
Well, I couldn’t play it but I put an immediate plan to action. I knew that one of my friends at school was taking guitar lessons. I just about waited for a reasonable time to call to her house. When I arrived at her doorstep she was very supportive, gave me some sheets of music for beginners, and explained a few things.
I could not wait to go home and get started. On the same day I learned to play the basic chords and sing a whole song from the sheet. With a few more days of practice I began to try and play my favorite Bob Dylan and Donovan songs. Soon I got asked to play at friends’ gatherings.
Mind you I didn’t become a brilliant guitarist. But I always got by. And hey, did I love playing my guitar!
When I was 14 I had my first go at writing a song, but judged myself so harshly on it that I lost the courage to improve it or even write one again. But thirty years later mustn’t have been too late for a new start as I had seemingly gained some self-esteem. Not quite surprising after having been a client of psychotherapy for years, and gotten a degree in that field.
When I recognized my passion for creating songs I realized I wanted to sort and release some of my emotional stuff. I also knew I wanted my songs to be comforting, inspiring, and life-affirming because that’s what I needed for myself.The experience of writing the tracks for my debut EP “Caress Your Soul” was amazing because I just sat down and did it. But it was my daughter’s friend who encouraged and helped me.
Co-writing with Gerry Simpson who had a significant part in the Irish contribution to the Euro-vision Song Contest in 2000 greatly enhanced the song-writing for my second EP “Summer Sun”. He recorded and produced both my two first EPs. It was pure chance how we met in the first place, again instigated by my daughter’s friend Clare Cunningham, the brilliant lead singer of Swedish rock band Thundermother. How proud can you be! 🙂
Ever since my first time recording in the studio I have been hooked on that wonderfully clear amplification of all the sounds going through the system. Recording the vocals feels like becoming one with the hypersensitive microphone while savoring the words that roll just right off the tongue.
I so appreciate the fabulous producers and musicians in the studio, especially the guitarists who sound more than perfect to me, and who save me from making a balls when it comes to refined playing. I feel ecstatic every time, when yet another song has been elated to the highest possible level we can perceive at the time.
But perhaps even more importantly than all of that is YOU, the listener, who makes all of it matter.
I am currently creating an album of more uplifting, meaningful and catchy songs with producer James Quinn, the perfect co-creator in my new musical venture. Here’s to hope you are part of that journey, too.
Thank you for being a listener and for making it all matter.
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