Image shown: Tourniquet by Derrick Devine. Photo by Lily Le Pelle680x590

One Beat at a Time is a new music commission by Arts & Disability Ireland featuring Derrick Devine, Ailís Ní Ríain and Kevin Nolan and curated by Dylan Tighe. It features original songs inspired by, and expanding our understanding of, mental distress, discovery and wellbeing by three Irish artists with lived experience. This commission is part of ADI’s Curated Space programme, an online platform for Irish and international artists with disabilities. In each edition a curator is invited to commission new work by artists with disabilities. 

According to curator, Dylan Tighe, “The impulse behind this project emerged from my own album, and wider project, ‘Record’ which looked to explore and re-cast my own experience of emotional and mental distress in my own words. While the project also spawned a theatre production, radio drama, talks, discussions and texts, it is the songs which I feel set my own record straight in a manner most free of the inherited, internalised language which I found at times seeped into other forms. These songs seemed to come from a deeper, less academic, purer well of reflection and insight, from a place which allowed me to listen to the essence of my experience and, in the words of Yeats, to “hear it in the deep heart’s core”.During the course of that project I became aware of a long history of songwriters who, inspired by first-hand experience of mental distress, and often medical treatment, have mined the depths of their souls to bring us new insights into human suffering, distress and discovery.The songs of Schubert, Nick Drake, Roky Erikson, Peter Green, Lou Reed, Daniel Johnston, and many others, invent new and precious ways to illuminate complex and distressing human experiences and emotions beyond the medical discourse to which they are often subject. I believe that these songs tell us more in a few lines and bars about the issues at the heart of human distress than a multitude of textbooks.”

To listen to these original songs see 


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