Mairéid Sullivan is a lover of laughter and song. She is also a singer, dancer, poet, songwriter, an ever enthusiastic filmmaker, an intrepid traveller, and a life-long student of history, currrently researching Classical Economic theory. Mairéid was born on a farm in the township of Bantry Bay, West Cork, Ireland, the first of seven children. Her father was a master horseman and a fine Irish tenor. Her mother taught her traditional Irish songs. In her twelfth year, her family moved to San Francisco, California. At age twenty-one, she migrated to Australia with her father. She has been singing traditional Irish songs since early childhood, and many of her original songs reflect on humanity's heritage of joy–particularly as reflected in Irish Celtic culture.
Mairéid is committed to cultural activism, particularly through the arts, as curator of the GlobalArtsCollective.org. Before returning full-time to her music career, in 1992, she supported her daughter and three step-children via her arts marketing consultancy, for which she was awarded a Victorian Government grant in 1988. The business, which was launched by then Victorian Minister of the Arts, The Honorable Race Mathews and the Lord Mayor of Melbourne, Cr. Trevor M. Huggard, supported City of Melbourne and Victorian Tourism Commission Cultural Tourism initiatives: The Australian Ballet, Victoria State Opera, and many festivals, including five years with Spoleto Festival, as it evolved to become the Melbourne International Festival of the Arts.
Mairéid travelled from Melbourne to Los Angeles, California in 1995, to establish US distribution for her music, and stayed on until 2002. During those seven years, she recorded vocals for film and documentary soundtracks, and best-selling music compilations in the Celtic music genre. (Three of her songs were featured on Billboard's World Music Top 10 charts for nine months in 1995/96.) Interleaf Press published Mairéid’s first poetry collection Ancient Self – Memoirs in 1997. Quarry Music Press published her book, Celtic Women in Music in 1999. Her poems and essays have appeared in many publications, including Celtic Tides, by Martin Melhuish, (1998) and Hugh Downs’ My America (2002). In 2000, Mairéid traveled to Ireland to film interviews with fourteen of Ireland’s leading women musicians, exploring sources of the wide variety of cultural styles in Irish music, (see film clips on YouTube LyrebirdChannel)
Recordings: Time after Time (2006), Never Drift Apart (2003), For Love's Caress -a Celtic journey (1998), Dancer (1994), and A Celtic Evening (1998), a live concert duet with Derek Bell (RIP), former harper with the Chieftains.
Over several years, Mairéid and her spouse Ben Kettlewell have fallen in love with filmmaking. They began filming during concert tours, always allowing time to travel off the 'beaten track', and when they arrived in Australia in 2002, they set up their recording and film editing studio: Lyrebird Media – situated on the edge of the “green belt” in North Eastern Melbourne, Australia, where they compose music for live concerts, CDs and soundtracks, as well as produce, direct, and edit films...and get their hands into the soil in their organic / BioDynamic veggie garden and bird sanctuary.
Their first feature film, Time after Time is the product of over two years full time editing, using Final Cut Pro, culminating in excellent reviews and ‘selection' for screening in many international film festivals, winning a Best Documentary Film Award and Audience Favorite Award nomination. Time after Time was screened in part at the opening and closing ceremonies for the 2005 UN Conference on Climate Change in Montreal, Canada. (For further info. reviews and film previews click here.
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