The creative process of putting the moments shared and the feelings felt, into the music.


So here we are approaching the end of September! Can you believe it! What a year we have had. What a journey we have been on. Through the ups and the downs and the learning to adapt and become more resilient, we are here.


I wanted to write a letter to each one of you reading this because the words of support and love that you have shown to me over the last few months has shaped me into the artist that I have always dreamed of being. The feeling of being truly myself and speaking and singing about topics and things that are important to me, is the most freeing feeling of all.


Your kindness has made a safe space for me to do that. I feel very lucky for the community that we have built online and through this music. I’m so glad I documented the writing of the songs, and performing them for the first time online, and the behind the scenes in the studio, because these are special moments that make this album what it is and I wanted you all to be as much a part of that process as we are.


It was like a breath of fresh air going back into studio after months of working from our homes. I have never been so thankful to once again feel that feeling you get in the studio. The slight feeling of nerves mixed with lots of excitement and the wonderful anticipation of how the songs will develop after singing them.


We have recently been recording the vocals for the album in Gavin Murphy’s studio. Before we started the recording we would rehearse through the songs live with just myself and Gavin to really get the feel for it. We filmed some of these performances, you may have seen some clips online and I will share more with you soon. Before each song I introduced it and gave the back story to it. What I really noticed was that every single song has a story that I can feel with every word that I sing. Each song captures a moment in my life that will now be kept in the time capsule that is the music of this album. I love that!


Someone asked me recently why are you doing this? I was taken off guard with the question. They said are you doing this album to be successful and make money? My answer would have nothing to do with the success or money but it really made me think. I wake up in the morning and I think about music, and the last thing going around and around in my mind before bed is music. I am making this album because it’s the most honest expression of who I am, what I stand for and my intentions for the world that we live in. I sing to heal and it heals me too. It is the purest form of emotion that I have ever experienced, so I want that in my life every day. To be able to sing my own songs is like winning the lottery. It lifts my body and mind to a new place where I feel most like me. It’s the greatest privilege to be able to make music, and something that I want to do for the rest of my life.


For many of the songs Gavin and I collaborated remotely, during the lockdown. This is something I never knew was possible. But we did it and I’m so proud of the music that has been made since April 2020.

Here is a short clip of some of the songs that will appear on the album, filmed as we were rehearsing before recording them. Lots of you have asked me questions about the songs so I wanted to give you a little back story to some of these songs.



Seas Suas - An original Irish song that I wrote when I was away touring. I missed home and my family and husband so much at the time. I wanted to write a love song to all of those who were at home and I wanted them to know that although they were physically far away, they were never far from my heart. They were with me in every thought and every note. I love this song because it really is who I am and my love for the Irish language and our tradition.


Wildflowers - is a song that will forever remind me of the women in my family. Particularly my grandmother. I am so close to her and as a child she would show me dried flowers that were so delicately kept between two sheets of grease proof paper in an old book. They were so beautiful. She told me that she found them years after her mother had passed away. Her mother, my great grandmother would tell the story of the wild flowers and I loved hearing about how they ended up in this book. I love that the flowers represent the passing of time, the beauty of nature, the love between mother and daughter, and proof that stories keep memories alive for all time.


Heartbeats - this song was written during the lockdown. With so many news stories covering stories about inequality, discrimination and fear, it really upset me to see how people can be so cruel to one another.

I wanted to write a song that we can all relate to. No matter who you are, where you are from, what you believe in, what colour your skin is, who you love, who you identify as. No matter what you may believe is right of wrong, we are all just heartbeats. No two people are the same, but we all have a beating heart and that unites us all. We are just the heartbeats of our time and my hope is that one day we can live peacefully without prejudice, injustice and discrimination. Know that no matter what you stand for, love is the only universal language. And I will forever stand for love and equality.


In The Quiet - A song of reflection. A moment of quiet and leave for anyone who has lost someone or something close to them. In a world that is so fast paced, I wanted to write lyrics that made a safe space to reminisce and remember all of the special moments that life offers us every day.


I hope to fill you in on some more very soon.


We are still busy recording for the album and I it is so exciting to see all of the pieces of the puzzle coming together.


If you want to receive up to date information on the album and process of making it, you can subscribe in the ‘contact’ section of my website.


Grá Mór

Éabha

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Welcome back to my second blog.


Many of you wrote to me about the process of writing and creating. In the first blog I wrote about the temperamental nature of my creativity and how it comes in waves. That seemed to resonate with a lot of you which gave me great comfort to know that this is not uncommon.

We are all energy. It is only natural that we react to the energy that is in our company at any given time. I have found that in recent years, the feeling of being in tune with others, has really elevated and I am far more aware of it. Certain environments will lead to a very creative mindset, whereas other environments, will do the opposite.

So when lockdown started, I felt nervous because I had been in a really productive and creative mindset. Or so I thought. I was embarking on this new adventure and the world was my oyster. Then, all of a sudden, the world seemed to stop and felt a little upside down.

I think we can all relate to this feeling. The new normal. What is that? What will it look like? It took me a few weeks to settle into a lockdown routine. It had been all go, go, go. Even the songs I had been writing were upbeat and high energy. Which looking back now, really represented where I was at in my head. In recent weeks, I have started to write again. But this time it’s from a new place. For the first time in years, it’s from a place of reflection, space and inner peace. I never didn’t feel at peace, but having this time to just be, has made me realize that it’s something that I haven’t given enough respect to in recent years.

I feel that my relationship with my health, my family, my friends, nature and my time here, have all been nourished in this lockdown time, even though I haven’t been able to physically see anyone. And this is showing up a lot in my writing.

I am thankful for that. I’m thankful for small things now, like a swim in the sea and feeling the waves crashing over my head first thing in the morning as I’m still half asleep. And that feeling of the wind stinging my face as I run to get my towel. I’m thankful for phone calls with my friends and family and to have the time to actually ask how they are doing.

I have started to call my Grandmother every single night since lockdown began, and it’s so special. She tells me about her day and the robin that comes to see her every morning. One day we got off the phone and five minutes later I wrote seven verses about her beautiful friendship with this robin.

‘Each day after that, the robin passed by

Her quiet protector, a friend from the sky.’

Her ability to notice him and give him her attention was so beautiful. Another day she told me how her late mother had a great love for roses. She would pick roses from the garden and dry and press them in a book that she loved. She told me that when her mother passed, she found all of these beautiful dried roses, inside the pages of these books that she had hidden away. This story is so incredible to me, and it inspired me to write a song called ‘Wildflower’ which will definitely be on my album.

‘She found the wildflowers, beside them a note

A poem from her Mother, and on it she wrote.’

The detail in the little things, is something that I can personally say, I had been overlooking for the last few years. Always too busy and preoccupied to take the time to ask or to notice or maybe even to feel.

I have found that writing down what inspires me has been a game changer. I will get up in the morning and go for a swim, have a coffee and some breakfast and then go to a space in my home that I have dedicated to writing. It has all of the things that I love hung on the walls and the poetry books that inspire me on the shelves. This has been so helpful as it gives me a place and a purpose every day.

I know from speaking to others that this can be a hard time to write because we have lost an element of control that we had before. But I honestly feel like, surrendering to the tough days and feeling that hardship face on, can unlock some of the most creative parts of our being.

I have also been so inspired by other artists who have been so honest about what this period of time has been like for them. I watched a live interview with Michael Mc Glynn, who is the founder and composer of Anúna, and also my cousin. He spoke so honestly about the uncertainty of this time we are living in, but finding beauty in the uncertainty. His words have always inspired me. My time in Anúna was pure magic. Being part of that body of sound was a feeling I will never be able to put into words. But as a fifteen year old girl, I remember feeling like it was an outer body experience. Almost as if I was in the water and the waves of the music were keeping me afloat. I always go back to Michael’s music if ever I lose my way.


I feel so deeply saddened by the recent events in the the world and especially saddened that it has taken a man being murdered on camera, to highlight to many, the pain, the injustice, the suffering and torture that has been going on for so many years. It must be so raw for anyone that has been fighting this fight all their lives. The fight of inequality. The exhaustion of the daily battle because of the colour of their skin, or where they grew up. It saddens me so much.

I had the privilege earlier this year to work as a vocal coach on the play ‘The Linen Room’ which was directed by Tina Noonan and opened in the Abbey Theatre, in Dublin, back in February. The play depicted the day to day struggles of being an asylum seeker in Ireland today. It highlighted the misconceptions, inequality and racism that people living in Direct Provision experience, every day.

The actors and actresses, were all living in one of the Direct Provision centres at the time. The play was very real and unbelievably emotional and eye opening. In the lead up to the play I learnt so much that I did not know before. The people I met were remarkable in every way. Some of their journeys getting to Ireland were unimaginable. I would not have coped had they been the cards I was dealt. I have become a lot more aware of racism. It lives in every town and it is our duty to call it out and shut it down, every time.


As a privileged white person it is difficult to know how much or how little to say on the topic of racism. I will never understand what it feels like to not get a head start in the race, but I have learnt that I can be an ally. We all can.

We are just the heartbeats of our time in this life. What we do with that time is what will change how things are. Staying quiet and keeping your head down will only fuel the fire of inequality. If you have not suffered, then listen and learn from those who have. Stand with them. Relentlessly. Even if those around you, who got a head start, do not agree. Stand up, speak out, if you say the wrong thing while trying to do the right thing, then learn from that and keep going. I will never understand, but I will stand and be an ally, in any way I can, to change the inequality that I see, hear and witness every day.


Thank you for all of the love and support and for sharing, streaming and downloading ‘ One More Day’. If I’m really honest, knowing that it has helped some of you through some of the tougher days, is the reason I do it, and will keep writing and creating. You are my greatest inspiration. So thank you.


I hope you keep you all updated as the weeks go on. I’ll keep sharing the process with you all.

Until next time stay safe and stay well. x



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Hello and welcome to my first ever blog. In case you are stumbling upon this blog, or me, for the first time, my name is Eabha Mc Mahon. I’m a singer/songwriter from Ireland. Eabha is an Irish language name that is pronounced a-va. As much as my heritage language is dear to my heart, I have decided to make it easy for as many people as possible and use the name AVA for my upcoming music releases.


I am passionate about music, human rights, the sea, my home, animals and creativity. I love collaboration and I love people. I love observing them, listening to them and most of all I love what being around people does for me.


I wanted to create a space where I could write about this next chapter in my life. Somewhere that I could document my thoughts and ideas as I write and record my new album and where that takes me. In a perfect instagram-able world, we don’t often get to experience the real behind the scenes of creating. It is said that ‘a picture says a thousand words’, but I believe that words can convey far more meaning and depth to inform, inspire, enlighten and entertain.


I want to fill this space with subjects that inspire me and topics that I am passionate about, as well as writing about the process behind creating and what that looks like. I am excited to see what 2020 has in store and would love to bring you along on this journey with me. I want to share my hopes and thoughts and bumps in the road with you all so that when you hear my music you will know the context, and what it stands for and understand where it came from and the person behind it.


Recording my own album has been my plan for as long as I can remember but, I have been fortunate you could say, to have been kept very busy for years touring the world as a part of other musical groups.


The prospect of now creating something that represents exactly who I am is very liberating and exciting. I have always found the beginning of any creative project magical. I love the idea that anything can happen. There are no limits to what can be created. I love learning more about my voice as I enter this new chapter in my life. I can barely sleep with the endless ideas and emotions that I feel during the writing phase.


We started recording for this project in late February and just after we had got going, all our plans and schedules had to be put on hold due to the current pandemic. We could not have envisaged then how complete the lockdown was going to be and how long it would last. Luckily we had recorded some songs that we will be able to finish remotely and I look forward to sharing those along the way whilst we wait to finish the album.


I also did not envisage that not long after we halted recording I would test positive with Covid-19. That was of course a major shock, but I honestly believe I have learned more from it, than it has taken from me. The lyrics that I had written were always close to my heart, but they are even more poignant now. After a week of feeling dreadfully unwell I am fortunate to say that I made a full recovery and I am now fully back in the song writing process once again.



Writing has always been something that I find fascinating, because everyone does it their own way. Mine is usually quite reactive to what is going around me and therefore sporadic. I honestly wish it wasn't and that there was more method to my work but I tend to write about something that I feel passionate about, or something that I have observed in another person. Being creative is something I find hard to describe, because it is not something you feel at all times. In the times when I do, I write lots and lots. Usually the songs come to me in the night and by morning I can hear the melody as though I have known it all my life. Lyrics often come in their droves while I walk the beach in Galway, usually resulting in me running home so I don’t forget them.


I go inside while writing, by this I mean that I spend long periods of time alone while writing. In the initial phases anyway. I read lots of poetry and write down words that depict what I am trying to say. Sometimes a song will totally consume me, like a wave. Hours can fly by and I won’t even notice. And before I know it, it’s night time and the bones of the song are written.


I have a new song called ‘One More Day’ that began its life after I had been talking to someone very close to me on the phone and the moment the call ended the lyric for this verse just flew out of me.

‘Please hold on, you're not alone, you may feel lost on this unknown road

You prayed for days just to see the light, on your face, to give you strength’


I sat at my piano weeping, and almost as though I was in a trance, the melody just took over and I pressed record on my phone. The song then developed into the the finished piece with a structure, a bridge and chorus. Each song has a story to tell, but it’s the listener who makes it their own. From this song in particular, I hope each and every listener finds something in it to take solace from through troubled times.




I would consider myself to be an empath I can’t help but to feel deeply and my intuition is something that has always guided me. As a child, I would question it, but music has taught me that feeling deeply and applying it to songwriting is actually a gift. I love that music is a universal language, whereby one persons’ story can be interpreted by so many, in different ways. Writing for me, has always been a way to acknowledge the human spirit, and hopefully help others to know they are not alone with how they are feeling.


I am thankful that creativity presents itself the way that it does in my life. I miss it when I don’t feel it for a while. I often question why the feeling of being creative comes and goes, and for the most part I have no idea. What I have noticed, is that it usually revolves around the big scary ‘F’ word: Fear. The fear of change, failure, judgment, loss and embarrassment holds us back and keeps the Nirvana of creativity at bay. Growing up my mum always said ‘Feel the fear and do it anyway’. Easier said than done. But this year I’m going to take a big deep breath and do just that.


For several years I was privileged to be a part of Anúna, the renowned Irish choral group. I became their youngest ever member when I was just fifteen and the experience and training that I got from them helped me become the vocalist I am today. I loved being part of that incredible body of sound. Every member brought something unique and distinctive to the table. But together we made a sound that was so unified and powerful. Five years ago I was asked to join Celtic Woman and have spent those years touring with them in over twenty countries across six continents. I got to make three television specials and five albums with this ensemble and was proud to receive my first ever Grammy nomination.


I always found it hard to write music whilst touring and our schedule was such that it began to feel like my creative side was asleep. During last year I felt something inside screaming for me to listen. My creative drive was calling on me to open up and get ready to write again, so for 2020 I made the decision that this was the time to focus on that.


I have always loved collaborating. Growing up I was an avid hockey player and I always thrived most in team environments. I feel so fortunate now to have an incredible team to work closely with me on this new journey. The beauty of collaborating is that we all bring our different strengths to the table and bouncing ideas off each other and developing every idea as a team makes the entire process even more rewarding.


I look forward to sharing more with you over the coming months and I hope you join me on this journey. Until the next time, stay safe and stay well.














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© AVA 2020