Monthly Archives: November 2014

Songs and Stories in Sitges

There is a church that looks over the sea in Sitges. I took a walk following the incline of the streets down towards the shore. By the time I got there the sun was only a reflection in the clouds. The sea always turns a page in my mind and refreshes my feeling and renews my relationship with life – the greater picture.

As long, that is, as I get in. I did. The moment of immersion is a mini loss of thought and always, for me, brings a deeper smile. A green smile.

Desi Wilkinson is here. I haven’t seen him in years. Ten years. The last time was in Washington DC…the Kennedy Center. I couldn’t get over the natural power of that area then. I got the sense that people would have gathered here way before the Europeans chose it as a place of power.

Desi is a flute player and an explorer of sound and tradition. He is playful and recognizes the importance of staying on and seeing the funny side of things and with that seeing the beauty and the point. This reunion comes through the inspired vision of Caroline Wynne who spends holidays here in Sitges. This is her third Irish Catalonian Arts Festival and my first. I am honoured to have been invited to such a beautiful town to recreate something that is a deep part of my human heritage – spontaneous song and the wonder of companionship and laughter.

Peadar Lamb enjoyed my father’s company and indeed my mother’s as well! His presence at this festival ensured the unaffected nature that is a part of what a true festival is – the willingness to stand and sing. To silence a room with the beauty of an honest tone. This is what my art is based upon.

My friend Colm reminded me that we are not city people. This culture was imposed upon us. Our nature dies with the seasons and rises with the seasons, again. Our dwellings made of wood rotted and disappeared back into the land. We don’t need great monuments of glass and stone to reassure ourselves of our intelligence and civilization. All we need is each other, the songs and stories that remind us of those who went before us and the songs and stories we tell so our memory and our accumulated wisdom will carry our children and our children’s children.