Cathie Ryan: Songwriter
Ryan is both Irish and American, born in the United States to parents who had emigrated from Ireland, and as an adult she has spent time living and performing in both countries. In the songs she chooses and those she writes, Ryan faces the hard and the joyous, the funny and the serious, in melody, image, and language drawn from both sides of her heritage and her own distinct ideas on all that . In The Farthest Wave, for example, she considers grief and the courage it takes to heal, creating a contemporary song which is yet framed in images of of sea and ancient story; In My Tribe finds her looking at connections of her heritage across time and space; in What’s Closest to the Heart she offers a swirling invitation to take a chance on the uncertainties of love set in vivid images suggested by nature and myth.
Ryan has been much praised and awarded for the quality of her singing and the way she connects with her listeners, and when she’s giving workshops, the way she encourages and uplifts her students. All of that is well deserved recognition. For me, though, Ryan’s musical intelligence as an interpreter of song, and her gifts as a writer remain most compelling. Below are links to help you learn more of her work.
Music Road: Cathie Ryan: Irish and American
The Farthest Wave
Cathie Ryan: An Evening in Belfast
Music Road: ceol chairlinn: sharing music in winter
2010 Songwriter's Market: Where & How to Market Your Songs in an article in this book, Ryan talks about her songwriting and gives a bit of the story behind creating several of her most loved songs
Irish music, Irish landscape