Katie Mullins’ song ‘Crocuses’ is an a capella style song which has a strong Gaelic feel to it. It’s part of ‘Three Songs’, a triptych of songs she wrote at a time when she thought she would never write or sing again.
‘Three Songs’ is Mullins’ third album; it contains three songs; and it comes after she had haemorrhaged her left vocal chord…for the third time. Believing that her performing career was over, she entered a time of meditation, and her injury was healed, seemingly miraculously. The artist spent six years performing opera in Germany, as well as a three year placement at the Komische Oper in Berlin, where she lived for most of her 20s. She returned to the US last year, and divides her time between Brooklyn, and upstate New York.
‘Crocuses’, co-produced and engineered by Shahzad Ismaily at Figure 8 Studios, Brooklyn, came as the response to Mullins overhearing a conversation. One woman said, “I can’t believe it’s snowing on the last day of March”, and the other woman replied, “I’m from Massachusetts, there’s always snow on the crocuses.”
The video appears to show Mullins and her reflections each singing a different part in the song. Starting with her humming, she’s sooned joined by other voices, until all coalesce into the one. It’s a track that is worthy of playing at full volume, and works well as a meditation. Speaking about the song, Mullins says,
“Regardless of disliking snow in late March in NYC, and the signs of climate change, the image is still beautiful to me because it is a reminder that our expectations of things we wish for are often coupled with undesirable things.
The second verse is about the light, the way it literally streams in the room in slivers that illuminate the dust particles. When I’m teaching preschoolers, this phenomenon is always distracting to them. They love to touch the light. I love to touch the light too, and we all feel its power. We are all striving towards the light, reaching for our desires, reaching for what calls to us, and yet, those things are often untouchable, but we all know that experience of reaching, which is fulfilling in itself.”