Victoria Geelan describes herself as “neither/nor”.
She’s neither fully Catholic nor Protestant; neither blind nor partially-sighted. She sings jazz and blues in Derry where she is fondly referred to as a ‘Fenian Jaffa’.Her father is Protestant, a retired RUC man; her mother is Catholic, a music/drama teacher.
As a teenager, she kept her mixed identity a secret (she had the horrors one day when she accidentally wore a Catholic school blazer to her Protestant school).
One thing she could not keep a secret, though was the fact that she is Albino; albinism is a genetic condition which means she has no pigment in the colour of her hair and skin. She couldn’t blend into the crowd however hard she tried.
Eventually, she became comfortable standing out: Abroad, people marveled at her blonde blonde hair and pale pale skin. Back home, she stood out by appearing on stage and standing for local council election.
She failed to be elected but the experience proved to her that her calling was as a performer.
Victoria is a new voice on the music scene in Northern Ireland. Her debut solo album is ‘Unfit the Picture’. It is an eclectic mix of original songs as well as unique interpretations of jazz, blues and folk classics performed in English, French and Spanish.
The stories she tells in the songs reverberate with humour and passion; stories of identity that resonate with many of her peers in contemporary Northern Ireland – those who are neither a part nor apart.
Producer, Mary Owens, Well Said Productions. Production supervision, Ronan Kelly.
Photos: Gavin Connolly
All songs from the 'Unfit the Picture' album are performed by Victoria Geelan. Title track and 'Canto' are also written by Victoria Geelan
Harp and backing vocals are by Ursula Burns. 'Unlikely Valentine' is written by Ursula Burns www.ursulaburns.bandcamp.com
Tracks were recorded and engineered by Cormac O Kane http://www.rhubarbrecording.com/
First broadcast 6th April, 2013.'Documentary on One is the home of Irish radio documentaries and the largest library of documentary podcasts available anywhere in the world. We tell stories in sound, mostly Irish ones, and each documentary tells its own story'