This weekend is The Beamish Cork Folk Festival and so far it has been fantastic! In the last two days alone I have seen some amazing shows including John Doyle with Karan Casey, and Paddy Keenan. I will be reporting in more detail with pictures on this event at weekends conclusion. But, today I have exciting news:
I participated this afternoon in the Cork Folk Festival’s Deaglan Tallon Tradtional Songwriter Competition. I entered not knowing what to expect, not knowing what the judges were expecting and with only a few hours notice. As well as warming up with “Little Sadie”, I played my own original song “Arthur O’Leary” which I wrote in the traditional style, based on the poem “The Lament for Arthur O’Leary” by Eileen O’Leary. Most of the other competitors were of a traditional Sean Nos style and had written witty anecdotal songs. I enjoyed the experience alone and the opportunity to participate.
Among all these gifted singers and song writers I was astounded to be awarded second place with a 150 Euro prize (and a t-shirt)! This was a remarkable honor for me as a visitor in this country and a fervent student of the traditional style, to be awarded with such a title among so many. The judge and founder of the competition commended my skill, my lyricism, my voice and my musicality and added that he would love to see me in a concert setting in the future.
This weekend has proven to be monumental every year of my life in some way or another (usually occurring in the setting of the late Sebastopol Celtic World Music Festival). I was filled with a small sorrow and doubt this year that I would not experience those doors opening to what always feels like a New Year to me. This festival, and in particular this competition has proven me wrong and that blessings come to those who pursue opportunity, with a little fear perhaps, but a with great deal of faith that life will guide you well.
I want to thank the organizor’s of the festival simply for putting on such a wonderful Fest and for creating the competition, allowing me to compete at such short notice and honoring me with such a title. It truly is a blessing!
Love and Blessings to all of you!