Moate artist turns her hand to music in the Bean Feasa project's new song.

Moate artist features in Bean Feasa Project's new song

Sunday, June 4 sees the release of the 4th song/video from the Bean Feasa Project, and the latest release features a well known Moate visual artist who turns her hand to music with aplomb.

The new song features Patsy Preston, who is well known to many as the creator of many of the artworks in Dún Na Sí and her work with other local artistic projects.

Her song is inspired by the seasons and the ancient traditions associated with Uisneach, Westmeath's sacred site.

The video can be viewed on Athlone Family Resource Centre’s YouTube Channel and the project has its’ own Facebook page where you can link to all the videos released so far.

"The Bean Feasa Project has been a joy to be involved in from the very beginning. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but was delighted to find a wonderful sisterhood of women from a wide range of cultures, I could hardly believe it when we created a song in our very first session," Patsy said of her experience in the group "It really felt like everyone’s voice was heard and all our contributions encouraged by Kara and Bianca."

"Once my studio session was booked I began to record little snatches of melody and a few lines of song that came to me, jotting down words in my notebook. I usually focus on the visual arts and don’t have much experience playing music, although I do like to sing.

"As the date approached I was very busy, as Art Director of the Bealtaine Fire Festival on the Hill of Uisneach, the celebration of lighting the Bealtaine Fire is very important to me and I knew that I wanted my song to reflect on these ancient traditions and my own spiritual practice, but where to start? Kara suggested we record some video footage on Uisneach, we invited the Bean Feasa Women to join us on the hill, to sing around my Goddess sculpture on the summit and at Aill na Míreann to add their voices to my song, so that was the beginning, and what a beautiful beginning it was. The idea for the song is a journey through the seasons as the year turns," Patsy Preston explained.

In the Pagan tradition, we celebrate the Wheel of the Year, this natural eight fold division is based on astronomical observance, marking the solstice’s, equinoxes and cross-quarter days of Bealtaine, Lughnasadh, Samhain and Imbolc.

"Each of the cardinal points is associated with the elements, air to the East, fire in the South, water to the West and earth in the North, all held within the realms of Land, Sea and Sky. There are many layers to this practice and by connecting to these timeless natural cycles, we align ourselves with nature and can experience a deep sense of belonging, of being truly 'Home'

"Recording the song was an amazing experience, arriving to the wonderful Birdland Studios through the glorious green countryside, filled with blooming hawthorn trees and birdsong, I felt so welcome and immediately at home. Bianca and Kara were so encouraging, I had put together a simple melody on the keyboard just the day before and finished of the words but this was totally transformed in their capable hands.

"It was so empowering playing the tune, trying different effects on the keyboard, drumming my drum and singing, Kara added some beautiful guitar and then when we added the voices recorded on Uisneach it was pure magic. I was surprised how long it took to record and then the mixing began, Blanca worked her magic and my song took wings."

At the Bean Feasa gathering the following weekend Patsy shared the song with everyone and she said it was wonderful to feel such support from the group.

"We played a live version of all the songs we had recorded so far, which was great fun, when Áine O'Regan joined in with her fiddle on my song, I loved the sound of this so we went back to the studio the following day to add it in. Such an incredible experience, I can still hardly believe it was real," Patsy concluded.

This project was funded by the Arts Council Artist in the Community Scheme, managed by Create, the national development agency for collaborative arts.