Updated: Aug 28, 2020
On August 6th, on my father Mick's 10th-anniversary, myself and my brothers launched a new website. It is called the 'Island of Music'. I can hear you saying it and wondering why? It is bigger than Crowley's and it has a long term vision. We will still have Crowley's YouTube channel and the Crowley's Facebook page has been re-activated because the shop will always be Crowleys.
So I want to explain the initiative: this is about creating a circular economy for musicians, and instrument makers. We want to reduce the dependency on Chinese or Asian made products. We have some of the finest makers in the world in our own back yard. I want us all to champion that. Boost, promote and encourage buying of Irish luthiers and turners instruments.
Luthiers continue to do what they do even though, often it is highly skilled work for less than the minimum wage but yet they keep creating. They want to find the right person for what they created. For them, that experience of finding the right person to bring the instrument to life is worth its weight in gold. But the products are nowhere near as cheap as China. How is that? You know why but you have to start thinking, how can that change? If everybody turned away from China back to their local craftsman, there would be a shift in demand, a massive change in the luthier's existence and instead of making several instruments a year they will make multiples of what they have been making. This will allow them to consider the economy of scale. Makers are always thinking. They find solutions. They can grow and expand.
Now think of the musician. Covid has shut down their access to their workplace. It is like someone has taken away the keys to your shop. Could you handle that? I don't think so. Well, The Island of Music will promote musicians and makers to America, Japan, Germany and so on. As well as that we will promote to the general local population. YOU should get to know the musicians in your neighbourhood because they are the people that give your life a buzz. You can take that for granted if you want and you will end up with the same nonexistent nightlife as was highlighted during the lockdown and so on. There are lots of things we can do for musicians. We could book them for get-togethers at home, buy their music, we could commission a song written especially by them, we could book them for lessons and so on,..but you must be aware of who they are. Come to know them. My daughter has always known who Jack O'Rourke, Mick Flannery, Hanora George, Andy Dunne, Roy Buckley, and so many artists are. It is easier for me but YOU can take a supportive role in being a patron for the musicians in your locality. We are creating a singular platform for makers and a central hub for musicians. Very soon when we do the million other jobs, we will have a listing of artists in your locality for you to refer to.
Finally, for students, we are your sponsors. We will encourage, inspire and get you on the right path. If you buy a secondhand instrument online it may or may not be set up properly. This could put you off for life if the instrument isn't even fit for playing. The person you buy it from may or may not know what action, intonation and set up's are. We will give every instrument absolute TLC.
We will source, buy for cash, trade, loan, supply instruments and support every aspect of the music world of Ireland. We have the same ideals of Ireland, it's music and it's culture. As my grandmother said, "Alight with the love of Ireland, we live every moment for it." I would like to personally thank Tadhg Crowley, Michael Crowley, Hiroko, Tia, (my girl), Trevor Kiely, Des O'Regan, Mick Daly, Colm Walsh, Fintan Mulvihill and an invisible friend who is from the past. 😊 If you don't have one of them you are not from Ireland. 🤣😂
Also I must thank the makers who trust me enough to become partners in this venture, Iain Maclean, Cónan Kilcoyne, Ultan Walsh, Eoin O Riabhaigh, Brian Lofthouse, Bertrand Galen, Brian Leach, and John Catherwood. We are still working on this website. It probably shouldn't even be live yet but I wanted to pay tribute to my father Michael Crowley myself. So, it will be taking shape over the next few days. I will be endlessly uploading stock. So please be patient with us. Thanks. See you soon, Sheena.