I think I’ll always remember the 9th December 2017 as one of the most extraordinary days of my life, the day I launched AM I AM into the world. It all feels quite surreal at the moment, probably because I’m still processing the whole experience: – did that really happen? Was it really me?
I’m deeply grateful to everyone who came along despite the bad weather that evening. We had a full house, bar the few who decided not to travel at the last minute because of Met Éireann’s orange weather alert. Not to be daunted, our intrepid audience came in full celebratory mode, and helped set the tone for a truly memorable occasion.
The atmosphere in the theatre was nothing short of magical. After months of anxiety, I could relax and fully appreciate the privilege of what had finally brought me home. From the moment that our Fear a’ Tí Josie Ó Cualáin welcomed the band and me onstage, a joyful sense of togetherness developed between the performers and the audience. It grew into a free-flowing connection that opened our hearts and buoyed us all up. It was as if something – the music, the spirit – reached inside us to the place where we are one. Between the songs, the chat and banter went back and forth. When the inimitable Ignite Gospel Choir rose from their seats in the balcony wings to join us in the final song, the whole audience took up their cue. With 360 people singing ‘Set My Spirit Free’, I wouldn’t have been surprised if the roof had lifted off the Town Hall Theatre. Then Doireann Ní Fhoighil, my 12-year old screen daughter from Ros na Rún, came onstage to present me with a beautiful bouquet of flowers. We were finally undone when she pronounced herself ‘so lucky to have two Mommies’. The room was full of love, and it was palpable. A standing ovation honoured the whole occasion, in which everyone had played a part. I am blessed to have been the catalyst and focus for it.
I feel immensely proud to have brought it all together and immensely grateful for the gifts that made it possible. In these last few months I’ve grown into a capacity I didn’t know I had. It was always about the process much more than the product, and about tuning into the energy that was driving me forward. I often felt overwhelmed and bewildered on the journey, but some instinct kept me trusting and following what my spirit had set out to do. God knows if this whole adventure will have any outward outcome, but I’m already seeing a number of positive internal changes that have enriched my life and others’. And that, after all, is what it’s all about.
Strangely perhaps, I feel only part ownership of these songs, even though I wrote them. Or more precisely, I made the space for them as they came to me and through me and my personal stories. The Muse spoke and I listened!
The finished arrangements are the product of a collaboration with Garry Ó Briain, my renowned producer, and the rest of the merry band of gifted musicians who grace the tracks with their immense talents. Míle buíochas to them all: Garry, Dónal Lunny, Brian Fleming, Tommy Keane, Dermot Byrne, Mary Staunton, Maureen Browne, Ciara O’Connor, Paul Johnson, Laura Lynn and Keara MacDhómhnaill.
Míle buíochas also to all those who helped bring AM I AM into the world: Louise Ní Fhiannachta; Jacinta Corbett; Helen Stott; Brian Munday; Sinéad Murphy; Samantha Connolly; Loretta, Orlaith and Aghna at LorG Media; Eoin Collins; Sarah Lally; Josie Ó Cualáin; Mícheál Ralph; Ken Ralph; Pádraic and Annie Ó Máille; Rob&Paul Web Design; Clann uilig Ros na Rún; Nollaig and Richard O’Donnell; Eílín Lavelle; The King’s Head; All at the Town Hall; Keara Rose MacDhómhnaill & the Ignite Gospel Choir; My ARTS groups; The numerous journalists who covered AM I AM; My wonderful family and friends, and all of my spiritual guides, animals, landscapes, teachers, helpers and fellow-travellers. I’d have checked out a long time ago but for you.
Here are some comments that were sent to me after the concert. Thank you to everyone for taking the time to contact me, and for your wonderful support and encouragement. Ní neart go cur le chéile.
It was without a doubt the best night I have had in years.
Thank you for a wonderful night. So much heart, wisdom and humour. A great inspiration in how to live truly and fully, following your instincts and intuition in the Search for Self.
Thank you for your generosity of spirit and your courage. Loved the music. All of it, but especially De Profundis, Rest in Me, Cá Bhfuil Tú? And Power Games! Great variety.
I enjoyed every minute; a real blessing.
Well, well, well done x 100! Just simply wonderful.
I was very impressed. I think the whole night was beautifully orchestrated. I felt a real Leonard Cohen vibe!
Wow Wow Wow. What a fantastic night. Really enjoyed ourselves. Would not have missed it for the world.
What a stupendous show last night! The evening was delightful, the lyrics were beautiful, often moving (because they came de profundis) and the melodies sublime. Thanks to you – and all the wonderful people who worked with you – for sharing your talent and your life with us.
A magical evening!
Fantastic show. Terrific quality.
What a magnificent night in every way. The songs took me to a deep place inside me. I am so glad to have the CD to reflect more on them.