… it’s been over for a while now.
Seriously though, over the last few months, between love:live music and my Masters and other projects, I haven’t had any time whatsoever to even think about blogging. I know there’s a proliferation of blogs in Ireland, and there couldn’t possibly be enough readers to justify the amount of time spent pondering, writing and rewriting posts, but the there’s something about putting ideas down on paper (metaphorically…) with the thought that someone, somewhere might read it, that pushes you to write well for that one person. I like being pushed to write well (nerd! I know!).
Next week I take the ferry to Cherbourg and head from there to Brussels, where I plan on spending a significant amount of time for the foreseeable future. After ten years on and off living in Dublin city it’s just about time for a change. There are a number of factors in Ireland too that are pushing for a change. Work has been amazing here and I’m continuing to work on some incredible projects, but in the time I’m not working on Irish projects I want to explore Europe and see what it has to offer. I’ve already made connections with people who have a lot to offer, not just me, but Ireland too, through projects so I want to push that for the next while.
I’m also thinking a lot about where I would be best placed to start my family (I know, big words but I’m that age!!) and I honestly feel like for me, right now, Ireland is not that country. And I’ll be very honest, reading opinion and interview pieces in media over the last six months, and with all the amazing pieces of theatre and art that have been made addressing the issue of leaving Ireland, I have a rising feeling of guilt at “abandoning my country”. (I’ve found it so distracting that I’m actually going to write my thesis on the undertones of nationalism in much of the discourse surrounding contemporary Irish emigration.) But I’m going to focus on what is best for me and make the decision to head somewhere where the cost of rent or buying a house or day to day living costs or childcare isn’t crippling. And where there’s a very real opportunity to save some money, instead of just surviving from paycheck to paycheck. So many of my friends are in similar situations – just about getting from one month to the next, paying back college loans and huge rent on apartments that are insufficient for their needs. Afraid to think of what will be needed in the future because we’re nowhere near ready for what it might bring. There has to be another way to live past mere day to day survival.
So, anyway all that personal guff aside, this will be my last post on this blog. Considering it was based around plugging and attending new music events in Dublin for the main part, there’s no sense in continuing when I can’t make it to all the relevant events. There is a gap here though; one that I was trying to address with this blog but which I could never hope to fill. There is a desperate lack of a platform for preview/review/comment on any form of contemporary music in Ireland. The Journal of Music (formerly JMI) used to be the first stop for that kind of coverage, but with their international focus there’s little space for a comprehensive overview of Irish events. And while it’s great to get a global perspective on new music we’re missing the home news. I’d love to see some of the brilliant writers who have, or still do, occasionally write about new music, getting together for a more comprehensive, frequent critique of new music in Ireland, also listing upcoming events and reviewing past ones. I know that the CMC are working hard on solidifying the new music community in Ireland and perhaps one of the steps down the road is a central point for writing specifically dedicated to new music in Ireland. In the meantime there are some great existing places to go for your new music feed! The Journal of Music is still the first place to look for coverage of Ireland-related issues. And writers such as John McLachlan (for whom I have always had massive respect as a writer) and Barra O Séaghdha (my computer won’t let me put the fada on the O!) means that the journal represents some of the best writing on new music. Also, relatively new cultural journal Vulgo is also a great place to go for occasional writing on new music and I do my best to contribute to that myself but, like I said, time has not been my friend! So until there’s a catch all for new music writing in Ireland, get your fill there!
So, thank you all so much for reading when you found the time and for all the feedback I’ve received over the last few years. I’m toying with the idea of starting a Tumblr blog to map my Belgian journey in pictures, but we’ll see. Maybe I’ll scale back on online activities for a few months and see where that leaves me when Autumn rolls around. I’m not going far and will be over and back between the two countries and I promise to not be a stranger!