Flying form: the operatic world of Julie Feeney
In between making indie music and taking flying lessons, the renaissance woman has turned her hand to opera. Her working life is as hard to keep up with as her conversation
Proximity is something Feeney has learned to utilise in a live setting. With Myth, a song that deals with rumour, gossip and Chinese whispers, she will inhabit the mythical piece of information itself, descending into the crowd and flowing the second-hand words through the audience.
Is she aware she perplexes people? “I really have no idea apart from people who come up to me after shows,” or people who email her. “I think you’d drive yourself crazy if you started worrying about what everybody else actually thought about you and your music, because that isn’t really your job . . . There just isn’t enough time to really worry or take that on, because then you get distracted, then you’d be something else. You’d be a commentator, you wouldn’t be an artist making stuff.
“When I’m having my minor meltdowns, the people who I work with always seem to believe that I’m going to get there, that I’ll pull it off, even when I don’t think I will. People do seem to have a faith that sometimes really astounds me. If they actually knew how far away I was from achieving it. But for some reason it does always get to the finishing line. And my mother did say ‘you always cross the finishing line’. [That] took me by surprise. Recently some people who I’m working with, they kind of said that, ‘you always do, you always do pull it off’. So . . . does that answer that?”
Bird is at St Nicholas’s Church on Sunday as part of Galway Arts Festival