Last time I was in the Tyrone Guthrie Center I was asked by Mary to post a blog about the place.
If you want to know what it actually is then check the website and it will explain a little bit about its purpose and history. In this case all I can do is throw down a few thoughts about my own personal experiences.
I've been going there for 20 years. I generally only stay for a couple of days which is not the norm. Most of the residents go for extended periods to complete particular projects. I go when I can get a cancellation and am usually all over the place. For instance I was there last month to put structure on the opening section of the new album and ended up with one completely new song. Typical.
The main reason I go down is to walk in the clean Monaghan air. Doesn't matter what season, it's always beautiful there. They have the most bizarre weather. It rains always. Last month I went straight out for a walk and was soaked within five minutes. I love it. I was brought up in the country. I used to know the names of every tree, most of the plants and all of the birds. It's like remembering a song or a language you were once proficient in. I live in the centre of Dublin city. It's a great place but I wasn't meant to stay here this long. Annamakerrig lake and grounds cleanses me completely and fills me with hope. Everything becomes clearer, even the chaos of my work process and ethic gets thrown into sharp relief. Then the sun comes out. On the last morning I was there in February, I went for a walk around the lake and took some photos with my phone. The photos aren't enhanced in any way other than the standard iPhone 4s HDR and Panoramic functions. In other words this is pretty much what it looks like. One beautiful sunny morning in Monaghan.