When Renée and I met at the Tudor Artisan Hub to talk about this project we discussed various songs that I have already recorded, or have written that I intend to record later this year, however we both thought that it would be interesting to write something completely new for this collaboration. We both liked the idea of starting from the same place, taking a creative journey together, and seeing what we both created after discussing our ideas.
I’ve known and loved Renée’s artwork for some time now, so we were able to find a starting point very quickly. I had an idea for a song based on the residents of a cemetery rising up from their graves to sing, play music and dance the night away. I thought it was something that might appeal to Renée.
As we talked we both came up many other ideas. From the poetry of Emily Dickinson, in particular ‘Because I Could Not Stop for Death’, and John Donne’s ‘Death Be Not Proud’, the films of Tim Burton, the meaning of eternity, and Victorian death mask photography grew the inspiration for a creative journey.
Out of this fertile ground was born a new song, ‘The Circus of the Night’.
The Art of Songwriting has opened my eyes to a new way of songwriting. Normally I try to create characters for my songs, and I try to imagine what they think and how they feel before I write. This time I was soaking up ideas from an artist who opened my eyes to new thoughts.
I would love to see this project develop and grow.
Thank you to the Linda Fahy at the Tudor Artisan Hub, Elizabeth Bartley from the Clancy Brothers Festival Art Trail, and Enda O’Driscoll, founder of the ‘Artists from Carrick on Suir’ facebook page, for inviting me to be a part of this great arts project.
And thank you to Renée ni Gig for sharing her thoughts with me and inspiring a new song.