Meditation Mind in Manchester

Tickets for the Emily McGuire concert ran out well before the event and on Saturday 17 November Chapter One books in Manchester’s Northern Quarter was packed with an eclectic mix of her fans. Emily has been touring the UK promoting her latest collection of poetry, “Meditation Mind” over the last few weeks and we seemed to have been anticipating the evening for a long time.

Describing how the poems came about the books cover reads:
“ In 2014, following an intensive tour of Germany, I got tennis elbow in both my arms and was unable to play my instruments for the next 18 months. This triggered a deep, bi-polar depression. Desperate to do something creative, I started writing a poem each morning after finishing my Buddhist meditation practice. These short stream-of-consciousness poems are the basis of this collection. They are unedited, exactly as they fell out of my head onto the page of my journal. I have no memory of writing any of them.”

It is hard to believe that each of these exquisitely executed poems has not been painstakingly worked and reworked, as every word is indispensable to the whole. The book cover reproduces a Thangka painting of the goddess Sarasvati whose name means ‘ the one who flows’ and who is associated with creativity and music.

Expertly accompanied by her husband Christian Dunham on the double bass, Emily interspersed readings from the book with rarely heard songs from her earlier recordings and a new piece from her next album. The disarming honesty with which she describes how being bipolar affects her life and her creativity truly engages her audience. She has recently been recognised by the International Society for Bipolar Disorder, giving Emily the 2019 Mogens Schou Award for Public Service and Advocacy.

Emily also talked about the help her Buddhist practice gives her and how she came to it.

It was a wonderful treat for us all to see Emily perform live again in Manchester.  After this tour she is travelling back to Australia, with the promise of a new album in 2020. Hopefully, we can await another tour on its release.

More photos from the event can be found here.