Sullivan has been singing since her childhood in West Cork, Ireland.
Mairéid (rhymes with 'parade') was born on a farm at Lisheens,
about four miles from Bantry Bay. "Music was everywhere. My father was a
master horseman and a wonderful tenor who encouraged me to sing. My mother taught
me traditional songs."
“My vision for Never Drift Apart was to create a comforting and energizing
canopy of sound for the listener, recreating the experience my mother created
for me when she sang me to sleep as a child, a memory that has nurtured me
all through my life. Each song is a world unto itself: songs of joy, struggle
Mairéid has received excellent reviews for her two earlier solo recordings,
For Love's Caress (1998) and Dancer (1994). She appears on several best-selling
Celtic music recordings, including a duet concert recording, A Celtic Evening,
with Derek Bell, the harper with the Chieftains. She is the author of Celtic
Women in Music (1999). The second volume is due for publication in 2003. Ancient
Self - Memoirs, a poetry collection, was published in 1997. Her latest work,
A Young Woman of High Years will be published in 2003. Mairéid is currently
producing a documentary film on the spirit of Irish musical culture, while
creating an accompaning book and DVD. To see the photo-journal, click on Filming
in Ireland. To see brief Quicktime film clips, click here.
Mairéid is a student of history, with a special interest in Celtic
culture. Her poetry, essays and articles have appeared in many publications,
including Hugh Downs’ My America (2002). Her website, www.maireid.com
features samples of her writing.
Mairéid is the eldest of seven brothers and sisters. "I grew up
in the Irish countryside but I feel that I am a part of every place I have
been around the world. My home is everywhere. It has been said that memory
is the first theatre. Memories of exploration in places of great beauty mark
my life journey. Sitting quietly in sacred places, by a waterfall or a stream,
against ancient stones or under ancient trees, we can ask nature and our ancestors
to speak to us, and they will. When I was a child in Southwestern Ireland,
there was a hidden grotto above a stream at the bottom of our farm, known as
Lady's Well. I remember gazing at the expression on the faces of the many statues
of Mary there. That expression of deep peace calls to me still and I've seen
it on the faces of other sacred statues and icons all over the world. Early
childhood memories seem to dominate my personal memories. I vividly recall
singing aloud in the open air, out on misty, lush green fields.
As a young woman in Australia, I loved to walk through the rainforests, especially
at first light, searching for Lyrebirds; to watch and listen as the Lyrebird
shaped his mound and then danced and sang exotic melodies, mimicking the voices
of other birds. The Lyrebird became my "totem" and I still carry
a large Lyrebird feather with me. When I think of Asia, I recall exotic tropical
forests, quaint isolated villages, the large monastic centers, and the welcoming
teachers who shared their insights on the glorious heritage of ancient Asian
cultures. Bike riding in France, Belgium and Holland has etched a kaleidoscope
of enthralling memories and tastes, especially for Dutch mayonaise, French
wine and Belgian chocolate. The profound stillness I experienced while canoeing
on Desolation Sound in Canada inspired my first full poetry cycle.
I'll never forget the many road trips Ben and I made on our tours, off the
main highways, from coast to coast across the United States: magnificent views
from mountain tops at sunset, steaming deserts at dawn, the endless majestic
plains, and the long shadows cast across the valleys at dusk. We were often
mesmerized by hours spent studying water birds as they soared over the wetlands
and the Pacific in Southern California.
After all of my travels, and meetings with people all over the world, I know
that with humanity's abundant emotional resources, and the tools at our fingertips,
we can cooperate in maintaining peace in the world. Music helps us thrive in
the chaos of the world" Reviews