Out of deep trauma comes music

A RAPHOE singer/songwriter who sought the help of counselling after a traumatic incident has put ink to paper to pen a song to support the work of Pieta House. 
Singing and songwriting has been a hobby for Aidan Laird for the past two decades, but it also became somewhat therapeutic following an incident last year which robbed him of his confidence and left him in a low place. The circumstance is being dealt with by the authorities and for that reason Aidan is unable to comment further on it. 
Aidan had been enjoying life and was thrilled to have been invited to a recording studio by his nephew, Cristian McDaid (Crizify) to record his song, ‘Merry-go-round’, which was played on local radio and received high acclaim. Such was the positive response, Aidan was again invited to record a second song, ‘On my Journey’.
“ ‘On my journey’ was written about my brother, Eunan, who died of cot death in 1965. My mother Marie, spoke about him fondly and said he would be waiting for her when it was her turn to pass. Seconds before she died, she said ‘take my hand son, help me on my journey’. I believe she was talking to Eunan”, he said.
After enjoying more positive praise, the Raphoe man was excited to bring out an EP in March. However, all that was put on hold after experiencing trauma. 
“I was affected very badly by what happened, I still am. Although I wasn’t feeling suicidal, I was in a very bad place. It completely dented my confidence only three weeks after being on radio,” he told the Donegal News. 
A chance chat with Ciaran McGlinchey and Aaron McGlinchey, from Proxy Studios, in Convoy Mill, led to them hearing a song Aidan was working on following his ordeal called ‘The Whisper’. They were so impressed by it they offered to produce it free of charge because it was going towards Pieta House. 
However, Aidan was experiencing writer’s block which left him unable to finish the song.  But, having found solace in speaking to someone who was also experiencing the same low feelings, the Raphoe man said he was eventually able to see the song come to fruition. 
“I was struggling to get the song finished. I was on Facebook one night and I was talking to James Donegan, who is also in the music business. He is the music manager for Rachel Grace Music, an up and coming talent from Wexford. Through a conversation with him he told me he was in a bad place himself. He had written a poem about his experiences and put it online. I took such inspiration from the conversation we had about why he wrote the poem and I could relate to it.
Although Aidan did not receive counselling at Pieta House, being aware of the work they do to support individuals and families experiencing self harm and/or suicidal thoughts, he felt it would be the perfect way to give something back.
The emotion in Aidan’s voice is undeniable as he sings about finding his way through darkness into light, a line of added poignancy as it is also the name of Pieta House’s annual flagship fundraiser. 
Aidan enjoyed a chance meeting with Northern Irish actor, James Nesbitt in Belfast last weekend. The Cold Feet star was in Belfast promoting an App when Aidan spotted him and struck up a conversation.
“I gave him a copy of my CD and we had a short talk. He already knew about the worthwhile work of Pieta House.” 
The Raphoe man,  who spent some years in London and Cambridge before returning to Donegal in 2002, said that while he continues to work through difficult days, said the future looks a little brighter after receiving counselling and said he would strongly recommend anyone go to counselling if they need it.
He will launch his track, ‘The Whisper’ on November 5 on the Monday Night Sessions on Highland Radio with Paul McDevitt and Jimmy Stafford. He will sell copies of the single in Letterkenny Shopping Centre for €3 each on Saturday, November 10, from 10am to 6pm, with all profits to Pieta House. The CDs will also be available throughout Ireland. 
A video for ‘The Whisper’ will be available on Facebook soon. 
Aidan thanked all musicians involved in the track who gave of their time for free including Aaron McGlinchey and Ciaran McGlinchey, (who composed the piano and cello) Aoife Mullan (cello) and Ciaran McGlinchey (piano). The cover artwork was by Ballybofey woman, Philomena Cater Artwork. 

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