Laura’s passion for music: Visually impaired singer and songwriter releases songs

By Maurice Garvey

T wo new songs were launched this week by recording artist Laura Dempsey from Tallaght.

Laura is a visually impaired singer and songwriter who recorded the songs during lockdown.

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Laura Dempsey

The lyrics to her first song ‘This is my family’ were written a few years ago with fellow musician Alan Kavanagh and she wrote her second song ‘Me and my friends’ this year.

During lockdown she finally had an opportunity to produce and record the final 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 lyrics.

The whole project was completed virtually with the musicians meeting once a week using Microsoft Teams technology.

Laura’s inspiration for the songs is her family and her friends. 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.

While she has struggled with her disability in the past, Laura feels being on stage means she doesn’t have 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, said: “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.”

Because of Covid-19 restriction, Laura and her fellow musician have never met face to face and are looking forward to meeting in person in 2021 and working on further musical collaborations.

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

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