Blogpost No 9 September 2022
I’m always stumped when faced with a blank page each month … where to begin? There’s so much going on!
A momentous decision was reached earlier this month to augment "The Children Of The Sea" project with a book filled with the stories/inspirations around each song as well as the lyrics and … to have it all accompanied with beautiful artwork, with the CD fitting neatly inside the book. Who knew? It was an intuitive thought process but once the idea formulated it seemed the most natural thing to do. The fact that I’ve never thought of such a thing before is a bit daunting but despite that, the possibility has already started to take shape.
I’ve spoken to numerous people in the know about such things and have found some of my collaborators already. A sure sign that this is in deed a good idea! My dear friend and record company collaborator over several decades David Suff, is the Lynch pin in this process for me. He has a wealth of great experience and his expertise in creating music and art books alike gives me confidence that we’ll be able to create something beautiful that compliments the music perfectly. I’m aiming to work with artists on the island and have been in touch with the local college to see if there’s a way to work with some of the animation and art students. I’m exploring all avenues - it’s fun. There’s a huge mountain of learning on my part yet to be climbed but I’m properly excited and eager to get going. Wish me luck!
Talking of The Children Of The Sea, this month’s song snippet “Dear Sister” was co-written with my delightful Australian musical partner Michael Fix who composed the music and produced this beautiful track. On top of that, as if that weren’t enough, my dear friend and wonderful singer Chris While, is an integral part of the recording. She plays my twin sister Fand - she of Goddess of Mann fame - and I am her sister Liban who is an actual and bona fide mermaid. Type casting I know! The story behind this particular song is fairly complicated and begins where a well known tale, written in the Ulster Cycle of mythical history, ends. Basically Fand has fallen in love with Cu Cuchlainn, a warrior hero human who can not live in the Other World … plus they’re both married! However when push comes to shove and they realise the error of their ways, Manannin places his cloak of invisibility between them and a potion of forgetfulness it taken by all concerned.
However, though Fand no longer has the memories of what has happened she is still filled with a deep grief that makes no sense to her. She wanders the Isle of Man tormented by these powerful feelings, in a daze, not knowing why she feels so desperately sad. Her sister, Liban, feels her grief from a distance and comes to be with her till she feels more at ease with herself again. That’s the basis of the song. Have a listen and see what you think:
Mum was offered a week at the local Hospice here on the Island which meant from Tuesday afternoon through to the following Monday morning we were awarded space and time to ourselves. After two and a half years caring for mum - during many lock downs etc it was a minor miracle for Bob and I. For mum it was a special experience where she was given extra attention in luxurious surroundings with lots of kind, friendly people. We totally relaxed and found joy in the simple things … walking, hanging out with friends, going out for meals. We are now refreshed and filled with compassion and calm once more. Mum, bless her, has no recall of the experience at all. We are deeply grateful for the privilege. We can’t thank the Hospice and the Admiral Nurse service who connected us enough.
This month as an added bonus I’ve created a video of a song I demoed for a friend in LA - 6 years ago? “Come Back To Me" is taken from the hugely successful musical The Soldier Of Orange which is written by my good friends Tom Harriman and Pamela Phillips Oland. The song is a duet between Queen Wilhelmina of Holland and the love interest of the soldier of Orange, Erik Hazelhoff. They each sing of their love and concern as he sets off in secret to cross enemy lines bringing the Queen’s orders to her generals … and hopefully return with news directly from them. The musical is already a huge success in Holland and these demos were created in English in the hope a new production would be just as successful in the UK. Unfortunately Covid put paid to the work started to build a purpose-built theatre in London’s Docklands area. I truly hope that in the not-too-distant future that work will be completed. It’s such an exciting show! I sing the Queen’s part and Tom’s wonderfully talented daughter Julia Harriman sings the other. I sometimes keep incredibly brilliant company!
Here’s a little something I enjoyed immensely recently: Neil Oliver’s Love Letters To The British Isles on YT. This week he waxed lyrical about the Isle Of Man! See for yourself:
We’ve had spectacular weather this last month … real warmth and stillness punctuated by a fair few rainy days which means that the potatoes I planted in August are already flowering. It looks like we’ll have a fabulous crop in about a month. The cucumbers have finally given up and some of the tomato plants have done all they can. There are still a number of hard working vines ripening up nicely but the single French bean plant is no more, though its sisters in the grow bag along the shelf, are still producing a handful of beans every couple of days. The courgettes are amazing … they just keep giving. And the numerous peppers I planted from seeds I took from store-bought organic peppers look wonderful, though none of them have ripened yet. I’m not keen on green peppers … they repeat on me. I said … they repeat on me. 😝
I’ve enjoyed dipping early morning at Fenella Beach with mermaid friends weekdays and Sweep loves his walks up the hill or along the beach barking at the waves. All in all I feel incredibly blessed and deeply grateful. I wish the same for you.
As always thanks so much for taking the time to read my wee Blogpost it really matters. See you next month 🙏
Stay well and keep rising above the turbulence.
PS: I’m thinking I might do another FB Live next month … maybe.