Pubs and Singing Circles

Research for my solo performance included nightly pub sessions and singing circles. If I lived in Dublin, you’d find me at  An Góilín Traditional Singers’ Club every Friday night at the Teachers Club. The club’s dedication to the unaccompanied human voice and the quality of deep listening and honoring of each singer makes it a welcoming and deeply moving experience to sing and hear everyone sing.

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Walk to Dalkey 2014

Summer 2014 was my first pilgrimage to Ireland to immerse in landscape, music and culture in preparation for creating my solo performance piece, a theatrical concert with songs, tunes, stories and an ensemble of musicians.claudiawithwhistleonwalktodalkey_edited-3

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The Meeting

Just like the book said secluded
He was famous for not wanting to be famous
But I wanted to meet him


Coming up on this cabin
Down the end of a dirt road in the mountains
The only building in the town


When you’re changed by someone’s words
The words go inside you and make you different
You can’t be afraid


He didn’t offer anything but he let me come inside
I shook his hand but I held back
Didn’t want to be one of his phonies


Anything he says he says in his books he says
Don’t ever tell anybody anything
If you want to know the truth


What a nightmare to be famous
Fame has its price
The phonies never let you alone


I was cool about it but I never will forget
When in the light of his darkness
My soul has courage


When a person changes your life
You naturally want to meet him
Want to just have that soul to soul


A red book with yellow lettering
Everyone knows the book
It changed your life when you read it


Gave you language for your youth
Gave you a reason to search for yourself
For your own way of expressing yourself


For a way to begin to define the world on your terms
Even if it was dark
Youth can be dark


The voice gets in your head
On the verge of adulthood
When suddenly you know your parents don’t know everything


That no one is who you thought they were
Who you hoped they were
When you let go of the notion that the world is safe and good
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