Visually impaired songwriter from Tallaght releases two new songs

by Rachel Darcy

Laura Dempsey, a visually-impaired singer-songwriter from Tallaght, has released two songs that she recorded during lockdown this week.

Laura originally wrote the lyrics to her first song ‘This is my family’ a few years ago, with fellow musician Alan Kavanagh. She wrote her second song, ‘Me and my friends’, earlier this year.

During lockdown she finally had an opportunity to produce and record the tracks in collaboration with Peter Fitzpatrick, Fiach Ó Muircheartaigh and Alan Kavanagh.

As Laura is visually impaired, she uses JAWS, a computer screen reader program for Microsoft Windows to write the lyrics. The whole project was completed virtually with the musicians meeting once a week through Microsoft Teams.

Laura was inspired by her family and her friends when writing the songs. Like a lot of people with disabilities who are cocooning at home, Laura found lockdown this year a very difficult experience.

“I was looking at other people, like my sister, fulfilling their dreams and I wanted something positive for myself that I could do. So I decided to write these two songs and it has been a really positive experience for me.

“I got to work with a really great bunch of people. It wouldn’t have happened without the support of my friends in Enable Ireland. I’m so delighted with the positive reaction that my songs are getting. It sounds strange but lockdown has really changed my life for the good.”

Laura is passionate about music and has even performed on stage with Frances Black, one of her favourite artists. Laura says while she has struggled with her disability in the past, being on stage meant she didn’t feel like she had a disability. Laura is currently learning to play the keyboard and attends Enable Ireland Adult Services in Crumlin.

Peter Fitzpatrick, Group Manager at Microsoft Ireland and electronic music artist, aka Circuit3, commented: “Laura has an innate song writing ability, is bursting with musicality and is incredibly determined to produce and record her songs.

“As I worked with her to achieve her goal, I saw first-hand the many ways in which Assistive Technology can create a more inclusive environment, one that empowers people to achieve more.

“I really hope that Laura’s story will inspire others to pursue their ambitions.”

Laura and her fellow musicians have never met face to face, but are looking forward to meeting in 2021 and working on more music.

You can download the two new songs from Laura Dempsey ‘This is my Family’ and ‘Me and my friends’ from any digital music platform.

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