Grammy Award-Winning Irish Singer Susan McKeown Will Preview Songs from New Album, Appear before National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
Susan McKeown, a Grammy Award-winning Irish singer-songwriter, will perform on Saturday, July 3 at the 2010 National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) convention awards dinner in Washington, D.C.
She will share songs from her upcoming new album, Singing in the Dark, which will be released in October 2010 during Mental Illness Awareness Week.
Influenced by the poetry of Lord Byron and Anne Sexton among others, the new album examines the depths of living with depression—and the hope of recovery.
“It’s been important to me that throughout this collection of songs there is an overall sense of hope,” said McKeown.
McKeown’s music from past albums is available on the Internet. One song to anticipate in her NAMI performance is “Gracias a la vida” (“Thanks to Life”) by Chilean folk singer Violeta Parra, who died tragically from depression and suicide in 1967. It has since become one of the most popular folk songs in Latin America and was introduced to the United States by singer Joan Baez.
McKeown was born in Dublin, Ireland and while her songs echo her Celtic music roots, her inventive interpretations cross genres. Thoughtful lyrics, moving melodies and her unique voice have earned her accolades in contemporary world music.
The Boston Globe has reported that McKeown “walks on the wild side of Gaelic melody.”
“Growing up in Dublin I was conscious of how the Irish were outstanding in global arts and creativity, especially in terms of literature and music,” said McKeown. “But I was also conscious of a huge stigma around the area of mental health and things that people weren’t comfortable talking about in their families.”
“I am a long-time fan,” said NAMI Executive Director Michael J. Fitzpatrick. “NAMI is absolutely thrilled to have Susan’s support. The NAMI convention is a platform that will help inspire growing interest in the album, which in turn will help raise public awareness about mental illness.”
NAMI is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and families affected by mental illness. NAMI has over 1100 state and local affiliates that engage in research, education, support and advocacy.
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