Fiona Keenan

Antiwar songs by Fiona Keenan

Fiona Keenan is an Irish singer-songwriter based in Aberdeen. From her site :

Fiona's songwriting started in the usual way, sitting with her notebook and guitar, but she quickly figured out that the only way to get her music recorded and out there was to do it herself. By the time she moved to Aberdeen in 2002 to pursue a degree at university, she already had a bunch of live performances in her native Dublin under her belt, as well as three albums recorded and distributed on her own record label. With her third album in hand, she set off into the venues of her adoptive city in search of gigs. And find them she did, as well as some new collaborators.

Fiona's continued hard work and dedication to her art led to more and more material, and many live performances in venues across the city of Aberdeen. She also ventured to other stages during her time in Scotland, including Cabaret Voltaire in Edinburgh in 2003, Danny Kyle Open Stage @Celtic Connections in 2004, and Glassel Gig in 2005. Her choice supports, include sharing a stage with Mr. Gruff Rhys as part of the Triptych Festival at the Lemon Tree in 2005, and Ms. Jess Klein at the Tunnels in early 2007. Teaming up with various fellow performers along the way, she documented her evolving musical style and lyrical focus on a handful of live and home recorded, available exclusively at her shows.

Fiona earned a reputation for her percussive fingerpicked guitar playing, her fearless stage presence and her prolific songwriting. When she first picked up the guitar it was all about the grunge, but her playing style, coloured with alternate tunings and tenor and baritone guitar [not just acoustic , no sir], are a firm nod to her later idols Ms Joni Mitchell and Ms Ani DiFranco.

After years of playing benefit gigs for the likes of Greenpeace, Stop the War Coalition and Aberdeen IWW, Fiona began to translate her politics into her songwriting. In 2006 she submitted ‘We Marched,’ a song about the anti-war protests of 2003 to Songs for Change, and November 2007 saw her travel south to Bradford to perform at Raise Your Banners, the only festival of political song in Europe to be held that year.

Fiona became part of the local Aberdeen collective So Quiet it Kame when it formed in early 2007, applying her [by now well-honed] home recording skills to make her ‘medicine e.p.’ for release by So Quiet it Kame. In May 2007 Fiona found herself collaborating again, this time with songwriter Brigid Lefevre. Fiona recorded, mixed and co-produced Brigid’s ‘Uniform Times’ album, which was released in June 2007 and is now being distributed online by Woven Wheat Whispers.

With two recording projects already under her belt in 2007, Fiona began production on her new album, and in May 2008 released a waiting room – a collection of thirteen songs recorded, mixed and produced by herself in her home studio. A collaboration with several other musicians, a waiting room’s often folky instrumentation coupled with lush keyboard sounds and incisive lyrics evidences Fiona’s maturing musicianship, as well as her growing production skills. Putting her DIY ethos firmly into practice, Fiona chose to licence the songs on a waiting room through the creative commons, allowing the album to be copied and distributed freely for non commercial use, and to make the mp3 version available to download for free from her website. The CD album version is housed in a one-of-a-kind handmade cover, each assembled by Fiona herself.

Having planted her flag in cyberspace, Fiona has arrived as an active and engaged acoustic artiste – making live recordings available as they happen, addressing the here and now in her songs, and establishing a good ol’ cottage industry version of music distribution. And she’s coming to a venue near you.

her MySpace page: