Music from the Heart

Ruby Moss - Stranded (single)

Ruby  Moss turned 14 years old on Monday 26th July 2021 – the same day that her first original song was released across digital platforms. Ruby’s Song entered the iTunes charts the same day as its release and went to number 1 on the following day.  Ruby is originally from Trim, County Meath.  Ruby and her mum moved to Cabra in Dublin when Ruby started in St Patrick’s Cathedral Choir School.  Ruby ended up in the choir school because it was the closest school to her mum’s work and Ruby loved music.  Ruby had been learning piano with Bernadette Belton in Trim and had been attending Musical Theatre Classes with Carmel McKiernan in Limelight Theatrics before starting in the choir school.

In the choir school, Ruby continued piano lessons and took up the flute. She learnt music theory and sang twice weekly in St Patrick’s Cathedral as part of the girls’ choir.  This was where Ruby first heard the organ and from when she first heard it, she wanted to learn to play it.  She wrote Ruby’s song when she started secondary school in Dundalk last Autumn.  It was a big change from St Patrick’s Cathedral Choir School in Dublin and going into a bigger school after being off school for so long due to Covid was difficult.  Ruby found it hard to fit in and to make friends when she started school and felt sad.   

Luckily enough one of the positives of Covid was that she had more free time for her hobbies and that was when she started writing music. She wrote the melody and the lyrics for Ruby’s Song one Wednesday afternoon when classes had finished early, and she found herself all alone. She recorded it on her phone and later put the guitar chords down and then wrote the piano music.  Writing both songs and stories have been a way to cope with Covid, world events, and other personal difficulties like the loss of her great grandma and feeling isolated at school.  Putting the feelings down helps to understand them and working on finishing them was a way of focusing on positives rather than sad feelings and worry.

Ruby is preparing for piano grade 6 exam and flute grade 4.  She took up button accordion with the local Comhaltas after seeing Sharon Shannon playing in the NCH a few years ago.  She is teaching herself to play the guitar and has just won a prestigious new scholarship to study the organ in Dundalk Grammar School.  There were six finalists who were invited to audition for this award – we only found out in June that Ruby was successful.  One of the questions during the interview for the scholarship was ‘What is your favourite subject?’  Ruby answered ‘Music!’  She was then asked, ‘What is your second favourite subject?’  Ruby responded, ‘Everything else except PE!’

Ruby has been vegetarian her whole life and has been vegan for 6 years. For her birthday this year, she asked for some time in the studio to record some more of her songs.  She went in to Crookedwood Studios recorded three more tracks which she sang lead vocals and did the backing vocals for and co-produced with Mark Cahill.  This was her first time in a studio and her first time producing her original songs.

Following her previous release Shades of Grey, the young songwriter is back with Stranded. She started writing this song when we were out on a long cycle with a women's cycling group in Dublin - Monthly Cycles - this was in August 2020.  As often when Ruby writes, the song starts off from a personal experience - in this case, stranded a long way from home with a long cycle back!  Conversations that day revolved around climate change, nearly everyone in that cycling group is an activist, and so her song was born and the personal experience became the global experience. Ruby does all the voice, lead, backing, harmonies and the choir sound at the start.  She co-produced this song on her second day in the studio in July this year just a couple of weeks before her 14th birthday.  Davie Arkins plays the gorgeous lead guitar on the track.
             Moss' crystal clear vocal delivers seemingly a lighthearted simple song but when you listen more closely, you realize it contains a serious message, uncharacteristic for such a young girl. But it also shows she's looking around, not just passing her days with the eyes closed. Maybe this is the kind of wake up call the world needs to start taking climate change seriously. For the sake of future generation who will be forced to live in changed environment.

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