VICTORIA JANE KEARNEY
Victoria Jane Kearney is a musician living in London, UK with her husband and two young daughters. She writes, records and produces music from her home studio and works as a choir director and singing teacher.
Victoria released her debut album Birth in December 2019, a concept album of nine songs following the journey of becoming a mother. The album is both a memoir of motherhood and a love letter to creativity.
Birth has been described by Tom Robinson (BBC Radio 6 Music) as, “outstanding, with effortless vocals, song writing and musicianship”.
Motherhood completely transformed my artistic life.
It was a portal into a new way of understanding my creative energy and how to channel it. What had been unfocussed and plagued by self-doubt was reconstructed by the deep reserves of resilience and courage that becoming a mother revealed to me.
The powerful experiences of pregnancy, birth and caring for a new baby became my muse. I wanted to tell stories and create musical landscapes that would evoke the longing incubation of pregnancy, the heartbreak of miscarriage, the energy and drama of birth, the shock and overwhelm of the early days with a baby.
As I cared for my tiny daughter, I discovered new ways to nurture my creative ideas so that they had room to grow and flourish. I began to be more gentle and encouraging with myself as I learned to focus in short bursts of time, keeping an interrupted thread going. I began to trust in my creative cycles of growth, harvest, pruning and fallow. And above all, to believe that by slowly chipping away, I would reach a finish line.
My album Birth is the result of this process. It documents both the earthy, raw experiences of motherhood and also the journey of longing to find connection with my creative voice. Discovering it at my core, waiting patiently for me to give it flight.
I wrote, recorded and produced Birth myself at home on my piano, guitar and laptop. My musical training is classical but I have a love for improvisation and my songs begin their construction by moulding words into musical phrases using my voice and piano. For this album, I developed the songs using electronic samples of orchestral sounds.
I am fascinated with the mysterious way music can move you. How a melody, or a collection of sounds, or even a moment of stillness within a song, can evoke an emotional response.
I wrote one of the songs on the album, Held, as a lullaby for a new mother on her first night with her baby. I wanted the music and lyrics to be an embrace of comfort and reassurance. It has been one of the biggest pleasures for me to share this song and receive messages from women who have found solace in it.
I am now the mother of two daughters and after a period of focussing on other things, I have been back in my studio again whenever time allows.
Most recently I started a beautiful new project called Song Letters where I share music by post. Anyone can sign up to receive a hand-crafted letter from me with a private link to listen and download a new song.
I wanted to create an experience that was reminiscent of when music was more tangible than it is now in the streaming era. To translate the old feeling of excitement when bringing home a record, cassette or CD to play for the first time.
In the letter I include the lyrics and a hand drawn gift. I’ve sent letters all over the world and it has been one of the most joyful ways I’ve ever shared music. I hope to continue the project with more songs and have a feeling a new album may emerge as I go.
As the artist, Dorothea Tanning is quoted as saying, “Art is has always been the raft onto which we climb to save our sanity.” I believe creativity is one of life’s greatest gifts. Whatever form it takes, make…and share.
"I made my first music video when I was nine months pregnant with my second daughter.
My husband is a cinematographer and we decided to document that special moment in our lives to tell a story to accompany the final song on the album, Cradle.
It was precious to be singing the words I had written for my eldest daughter to my youngest as she emerged.
We filmed while I was pregnant and during the few weeks after birth. Both of our daughters feature in the video.
The process of filming was the typical tandem motherhood experience of both magic and practical stress! There is a moment at the end where I am singing to my older daughter while she plays by a lake. It looks serene but behind the scenes I was hiding my hungry 5 week old baby in my lap out of shot, and bribing the eldest with sweets so that she would do what we needed before we lost the light!"
Spotify: Victoria Jane Kearney