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Cimmerian by Ailís Ní Ríain

Cimmerian, a person who lives in a land of perpetual darkness at the edge of the world

In Cimmerian I was aiming to capture, as truthfully as possible, that vacuum of blackness which depression can launch upon us. I aimed to recall, and note through song, what I have experienced during times of mental ill health.

When depression comes upon me my usually buoyant humour and quick wit desert me. I isolate, convinced that I am unable to share what is happening inside my head. I avoid people and social situations: I go underground. Even my breathing changes, it seems to slow way down, like it’s seeping out of me – a complete deflation.

While it was very difficult to indulge in these thoughts – especially at the moment when I feel quite well – I felt it was necessary for two reasons; one, to remind myself to keep as mindful as possible about my mental health, after all, it is my responsibility to act should I start noticing behaviours which are causing me more harm then good and secondly, to try and express to those who have not experienced mental illness just how debilitating and overwhelming it can be.

Cimmerian Lyrics:

Thoughts tumbling, tormenting me,
Neither future nor past of consequence now; The present fraught with failings…
I can’t go on. Cimmerian.
No laughter, humour hurts my skin,
I don’t understand, can’t see what you see, Can’t hear what you hear.
My focus is failing –
Nothing contains this mire of the mind.
The phone stays off,
The door stays closed, All screens fade to black.
Slow breath seeps out of me Like it’s winding time down, Like it’s winding me down, I’m making myself small, Invisible…
If only I could recall what hope felt like…

Cimmerian - a person who lives in a land of perpetual darkness at the edge of the world

Ailís Ní Riain


Ailis Ni Riain

Ailís Ní Ríain is a contributing artist to ADI's Curated Space 2016

Ailís Ní Ríain is an Irish contemporary classical composer and writer for performance who aims to produce work that challenges, provokes and engages. A regular collaborator with artists in other art-forms, her artistic interests are diverse and combined with an unwavering desire to develop her artistic practice with each new project or commission. Her music has been performed at the Southbank London, The National Concert Hall in Dublin, Carnegie Hall in New York as well as featured on BBC Radio 3, BBC 4's The Today Programme and Woman’s Hour, RTÉ Lyric FM. She composes in a variety of forms including music-theatre, concert music, electroacoustic, opera and site-specific installation music for unusual historic buildings.

Dylan Tighe

Dylan is a musician, actor and theatre-maker and graduated from both Trinity College Dublin and Goldsmiths College London. Theatre work includes roles for Pan Pan, The Abbey Theatre, Dead Centre, Anu Productions and Via Negativa (Slovenia). As a theatre-maker work includes: Pulse Music/Ceol Cuisle (RTÉ Radio Drama– nominated Prix Nova 2014), RECORD (Cork Midsummer Festival, Dublin Theatre Festival 2012, Radio Version for RTÉ nominated Prix Europa 2013), Medea/Medea, Gate/Headlong New Directions Award 2009 (Gate Theatre London), No Worst There is None, Irish Times Theatre Award for Best Production and nomination for Best Director 2009 (Dublin Theatre Festival). Dylan has recently contributed a chapter entitled 'Start Making Sense' to Performance, Madness and Psychiatry, published by Palgrave, and written an opinion piece 'Dante or the DSM?' for artsandhealth.ie.

His second album 'Wabi-Sabi Soul' is released in April 2016 from www.dylantighe.bandcamp.com

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