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January, 2021

As a songwriter, I am in the business of collecting words. I watch, listen and react with my pen and my voice to what I see and hear in the world around me. Some situations resonate more than others, especially when they have something to do with my own journey, my own experiences. In cases like these, I have to be all the more careful that I maintain clarity. Although this process of digestion is often a long, personally challenging and sometimes tedious one, it is always worth it.

I am a snail amongst wild horses, so often amazed at how quickly people can and do react to the world around them, how quick people are to judge, form and share their opinion, to condemn, condone or simply ignore. For me, every reaction, every lyric, takes eons to form, before the true reality of a situation sinks in. With every day that passes, my views evolve, my perceptions get deeper, more real, become free of emotion and learned prejudices. Time frees me of fear and allows me to be honest with myself and, in turn, honest with you. This process is a very personal one, as it should be, and I am grateful for all my personal punching bags whom help me get through it.

If I had to name one word that would describe my state of being over the past year, that word would have to be “confused”. Incapable of keeping up with what was happening around me, I spent every day adjusting, re-adjusting, re-calibrating and re-considering what all of this means to me. And now, slowly and after almost a year, my first insights are surfacing and they too will evolve further in an endless process of understanding. Or, in some cases, the process will end by me just having to accept that there are situations, circumstances and reactions I may never understand.

“Without music, life would be silent”, is the slogan often used here in Switzerland to make people aware of the precarious situation performing artists momentarily find themselves in. It is sadly true that we are now living in a world void of live performance but, as far as I can feel, life has never been louder. The world is far from silent. Everyone has an opinion and although I do not question this human right, I do however question the depth, self-reflection and self-awareness behind many of these opinions. With unlimited access to every and any kind of information we so often make the false assumption that we have found the ultimate truth when we read words that resonate with us. So many of us publicly shout out that truth, defend that truth, discriminate against those who don’t share it and often condemn people whom we once called friends, to opponency. I speak from personal experience.

This is a plea for silence, the silence within which each of us can find out what all of this means to us personally. What is happening on the planet means something else to each and every one of us. Your truth is not mine and mine is not yours.

I wish each and every one of you clarity and the kind of bravery self-reflection needs in order to become fruitful. If you wish to contact me, book a concert (hahaaa) or buy some music, my e-mail can be found at the top of this page. Otherwise, we will hopefully see each other’s smile some day in the not so distant future.

Love and respect

Shirley