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Archive for October, 2014

Remember when?

My lovely friend and mother of 3 gorgeous children recently said to me, ‘Julie, I can smell my old life’. I get a whiff every now and again but no strong sense, just yet. I had prepared myself for the imminent return to work, with a heavy heart it has to be said. Nevertheless I was, very well prepared for the earmarked 4 projects, but with 3 out of the 4 being cut for relating to funding and over spending the return was not to be. A hard hit on so many levels; professionally, financially and personally. Preparing to leave my 2 very small children required a lot of work. Having recently moved home and county, new child-minders had to be tested. Months of drip feeding in our new and wonderful nanny, felt as though it was in vain.  I have been in this game for 15 years but this hit hardest. I have somehow managed to secure other projects locally and further afield, and am looking forward to the new challenges ahead. Since these series of stressful events, I have found myself asking how I, and others like me, have managed to survive in ‘the game’ for so long? How can we, as community musicians and freelancing music educators, earn a living to justify our chosen career path? This has happened in the past, and often I would have followed the funding, just up and left; Liverpool, Belfast, Sydney, North America, Newcastle,Dublin, Galway…Limerick. So, challenges anew, and that is ok in many ways has encouraged me to look at my work from an other perspective, rethink what it is I do and why.

My husband and I got out to a gig in UCH this week, our good friends, The Henry Girls,  were opening for Clannad. We were late and Lorna spotted is. She proceeded to talk about the projects that she and I had done together over the years in Limerick and Belfast, I had almost forgotten. It was good to be reminded, my heart and confidence lifted in that moment. She then went on to tell the following story, which is true, had Lorna not been with me that day nobody would believe me! On a stunning summer’s day in 2009 Lorna and I had some community music work in Limerick city with probation services and NOMAD. That morning we went to Moyross and recorded some songs my music students had written and then onto UL where we were to collect drums for a NOMAD workshop close by. We were lucky to get parking in the Concert Hall(Foundation Building) car park.

concert hall

Not a bad place for a dip, if you can fork out the 100euro fine. Perhaps he had pull!

As we passed the gorgeous water feature, we noticed that a rather happy looking man with an excellent beard had stripped off and hopped into the far end. We had lunch keeping an eye on this guy splashing away outside! As we passed again, there was a very officious looking woman speaking to our new, free spirited friend, we guessed he was in trouble and off we went. Upon our return from the said workshop, samba drums in hand, we kept an eye out for himself and sure enough there he was but who had joined him and washing his beard for him, only the officious looking lady herself! The pair them chatting away and their arms round one another. Remember when? I do indeed, it is time to remember some more and get going on the Clare Music Generation’s Early Year’s pilot project starting next week. Hup ya boya ya!

Categories: Community Music