Blink has 10 songs written by me, 1 for which I've written the lyrics and 2 covers:
1. Little Song
Sara Jarosz is a wonderful Americana singer-songwriters. I saw her first on one of the BBC's Transatlantic Sessions some years back and have also seen her live twice in Belfast. Love this song.
2. First night in Granada
We visited this wonderful city in April 2013 and I write the song a little later. The melody was inspired by Albéniz's Granada piece from his Suite Española.
3. Follow the heron home
A favourite Karine Polwart song. I first heard her at the Belfast Festival at Queen's many years ago and have been lucky enough to see her live a few times since then.
Written in a burst of summer euphoria on a very sunny day in Downpatrick ... it happens.
5. Inis Oirr
I first heard the beautiful melody written by Thomas Walsh at a session in a pub in Killyleagh and later recorded an instrumental version of it with some friends on a Voices of Lecale CD (Journeys). The choir loved it so I asked Tommy if he'd mind if I wrote some lyrics for it, he kindly agreed and we recorded the song version on the choir's next CD, Voyages. And now here's my own version. I didn't actually get to visit the island until the summer of 2014. It brings back the memory of playing on the shore with our little grandson, Noo, on a gloriously sunny June day.
6. Belfast girl
My very own migrant song (although I only moved 23 miles away)
This song is dedicated to Kerry, one of our choir members. Her death came a few short weeks after her cancer diagnosis. She was so open and honest about her feelings and faced into her illness with courage and humour. Her death affected me deeply and made me determined to live each day as fully as possible.
8. Minor Key
Although I'm usually fairy upbeat I've known some periods of depression too. Keeping busy creatively helps keep the black dog at bay. When it comes it feels like the sky is pressing down on me. Thankfully it doesn't happen too often these days and I've got better at recognising the warning signs and heading it off.
Autumn is my favourite season the year - I am very affected by colour and love those crisp autumn mornings when the sky is a clear blue behind the turning trees, and then there's the misty pearl grey evenings.
10. Coming home to you
This is for Stephen - 'My gift is my song and this one's for you'.
11. Shortest Day
The older I get the more I become aware of the ebb and flow in everything. I love that we have 4 distinct seasons in Ireland. When the days get really short in December I enjoy being up in time to see the dawn come and love to be at home around dusk. I light candles every day and enjoy the retreat and slowed-up pace of the winter months - although there are some very energetic days in December when you sing in a choir!
12. Hearts & Bones
Apart from family and friends, music has been the one constant source of joy in my life. I could not live without it and feel compelled to pull people into it!