Okay, this is a tough one. With a nod to Charlie Parker’s “Blues for Alice”, though sounding nothing remotely like it, here is my “Blues for Alice McShannon”. She was my mother, who died when I was still a teenager. My memories of her are all intense and personal.
I was at a poetry reading, and two of the poets talked about Irish immigration to Scotland (as my mother’s family had done) and life in Dundee in the 1970s (my home town). This got me thinking of my mother, specifically two strong memories: when she was holding me when I was a child, she fell asleep. I remember being transfixed by her breathing. Then later in life, the first time I played her some Blues on the guitar, and she said that my path in life would be to play and teach guitar, which is pretty much exactly what happened. Both these memories come together in this piece, fed through my psychological reaction to them.
I genuinely didn’t expect anyone to get anything out of this performance, but there are some very nice comments on YouTube, which is pleasing.
So, here (with the wrong spelling of McShannon!) is my Blues For Alice McShannon…I recommend good-quality headphones to intensify the experience…