Free Your Voice! Free Your Writing!

Valerie Whitworth writes:

 Together One Voice are starting the New Year with a challenge to free your natural voice and increase your singing skills!

This term we will be focusing on releasing the voice,  vocal development, singing skills, confidence building with some small group work on pitch,  and harmony work.  Many people come to my classes with stories of how they were told not to sing by a parent or teacher, or not allowed to join the choir.
The truth is – if you can speak you can sing.

Room, Room, Room for Mummers’ Rhymes

The start button on the vintage cassette player makes a loud clunk. The tape hisses and crackles, then my father’s voice fills the room with with a tumbling run of words:

Room, Room, my gallant room, give me room to rhyme
I’II show you some activity about this Christmastime
The active youth, the active age
Our act was never acted on the stage….

Continue reading “Room, Room, Room for Mummers’ Rhymes”

The Brick – a Prequel

In the summer of 2001 I decided to build a low red brick wall around the back garden of my house in Enniskillen. Being a money-canny Ulsterman I looked for the cheapest cheapest bargain bricks I could find.

Those are all the seconds, the yard-man at Acheson and Glovers brickworks informed me, Their colours vary too much so they don’t match our best bricks.

They are all rejects I pointed out, and haggled a deal. Continue reading “The Brick – a Prequel”

The Vanburgh Quartet

The Vanbrugh Quartet (Gregory Ellis, Keith Pascoe, violins; Simon Aspell, viola; Christopher Marwood, cello) has enjoyed a successful international career throughout Europe, the Americas and the Far East. Based in Cork since 1986, it has brought string quartet music to audiences throughout Ireland and has given more than one thousand concerts in venues ranging from small country schools to the major city halls.

Continue reading “The Vanburgh Quartet”

New Beginnings?

I have seen it all before. Wars and rumours of… but let me not be too cynical. As one who has lived through the 1960s and seen the fall of the Soviet Union and the Iron Curtain, the Trump/Brexit/Refugees thing seems quite mild by comparison.

2016 reminds me of the 1960’s, when all that had been certain seemed under attack from all directions. At first the sights and sounds were distant: Kennedy – the first Catholic President in the White House, Civil Rights in America, Joan Baez and Bob Dylan, the Vietnam War. Continue reading “New Beginnings?”

Annie Proulx in Leitrim

The inaugural Iron Mountain Literature Festival, based in Carrick-on-Shannon, was held on Friday evening October 7th and Saturday 8th, 2016, replacing the John McGahern Seminar which had run for eight years (2007 – 2014). The programme was loosely themed around ideas such as the language of landscape, place and memory in writings. An archaeologist, geographer and architect were part of the talks and discussions. Continue reading “Annie Proulx in Leitrim”