As I Breathe
Ruth’s all acoustic album, As I Breathe, was described by music industry reviewers as “an extraordinary work of art, a gem, beautiful vocals, haunting, romantic, inspirational and a bare bones work of brilliance.”
Ruth: I started writing songs in the mid 1980s, in my early twenties, after becoming severely ill in my late teens. I can’t remember a time when music didn’t matter to me. It has always been a large part of my life. As a child I had learned to play the piano, I later played the cello in the town orchestra and I was always singing – the neighbours would often say they could hear me coming down the lane, singing tunes as I walked home from school. After becoming ill, and with my plans radically altered, my love of songs and songwriters, and their ability to put their experiences to music, inspired me to learn both the guitar and the art of song writing. In 1998 I fulfilled a long-held ambition when I performed some of my songs. It was a small lunchtime concert, in front of many of my friends, at the Richard Attenborough Centre (RAC) in Leicester. Two more lunchtime concerts at the RAC followed, along with recording sessions at Lime Tree Studios in Norwich. I achieved another cherished dream, in August 2000, when I released a 14 track acoustic album – As I Breathe. I did some promotional work in Ireland for the album and also went back to the studio to record more songs. Always battling with poor health and using a wheelchair since I first became ill, things took a further turn for the worse when, in February 2002, I began to have trouble with my hands and arms and playing the guitar and piano became impossible. For me, it was another heartbreaking loss. There is some footage of the concerts I played, it is amateur footage, but it is all that there is now. A long time has passed since 2002 and I have ventured into other terrain and, as with all of us, other challenges have appeared and been dealt with as best as is possible. Following another relapse, which has led to the setting up of this site, I realised that I could finally release the rest of the music I recorded all those years ago. I hope that my second album, Somehow, will be released during 2013 and the album, Heartland, will follow in 2014. I am also hoping, in time, to release a multi-media book which will contain music clips alongside all of my song lyrics. Living with a debilitating illness is painful – emotionally and physically. Throughout these years, though, I have only tried to think about what is possible, what I can do rather than what I can’t. Music is a source of unending joy, and it is also a place where we can understand our own pain and the pain of others. Music matters. Where would we be without it?
What does music mean to you? I’d love to hear from you.