Archive for the ‘Random Musings’ Category

Funding fun

Posted: March 7, 2015 in Random Musings

It’s that time of year. Funding applications. Music Bursary Awards, Artist in the Community Awards, Artist in Residence Awards….there’s certainly no shortage of Arts funding in this country, it just takes a very particular type of personality to sit down and craft a successful application  – and no matter how many times I do it I’m always taken aback by how time consuming the process is. Sometimes it feels it wouldn’t be worth the time that goes into each application even if you were guaranteed you’d get the funding, let alone in the almost certain knowledge that you won’t.

But a happy side-effect can be that it can give some focus to your ideas – nothing like having to describe a project on paper for making you think about what you’d actually like to accomplish! And funding opportunities can steer you in directions you may not otherwise have thought of; last year I applied for and got funding to participate in a project called Connecting through Creativity without really knowing what it was, and was initially somewhat dismayed to discover that the emphasis was on Visual Arts. But there can be something liberating about participating in an arts discipline other than your own, and it allowed me to learn a lot about creative processes, possibly more than I might have had the project been built around a music framework. Plus it was fun to hang out with visual artists for a bit….spending too much time with musicians is probably not good for one’s health.

Advice to anyone else currently working on funding applications: however long you think it will take, add a day.


What a week. I’m used to running around a lot but these past few days were extreme even for me. Teaching, gigging, rehearsing Portmarnock Singers, The Gospel Project, Sandymount Gospel Choir, squeezing in a few committee meetings in between and, sadly, singing at a funeral on Thursday morning. And travelling from one of those things to the other. (The thing nobody warns you about when it comes to being self-employed is how much time you will spend just getting from one professional appointment to another – in Dublin traffic this is no joke! I sometimes envy people who go to work in the same place every day. Especially when I’m on the way to weddings in hard-to-find country churches……)

Highlights of the week for me:

1). Being introduced to a cracking Karl Jenkins piece, Adiemus,  which I’m going to be doing with Portmarnock Singers:


Can’t wait to get stuck in to this in rehearsal on Monday.


2). A very positive rehearsal on Tuesday with Sandymount Gospel Choir. As with many other areas of life, September is the time when choirs kick off again after the summer and new people often come on board – happily we’ve got a good few new choir members and, more importantly, they’re fitting in well and bringing new energy to the ensemble.

3). I discovered the existence of this organisation – the Wedding Band Association.  This is a long overdue initiative proposing a kind of Code of Practice for the wedding band industry in Ireland. I take my hat off to these guys; musicians tend not to be too wonderful about organising ourselves but this is a positive exception. Self-regulation. A great opportunity for honest, hard-working wedding bands.

2 things i have learned today:
1). Playing the drums while wearing sandals is quite awkward. I’m sure there are many people to whom this is not news.

2). You can’t install the GigPress Plugin with, only with To many people this is not news either, but if like me you have fussed and fretted, and even believed yourself to be profoundly stupid whilst attempting to perform this apparently quite simple task, take comfort from knowing that it’s impossible. In short, it’s not you.