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Song for MS: Q&A with Marie Wilson

17 January 2017

I thought I'd try something a little bit different for my latest blog, and post a Q&A session with an Australian musician, Marie Wilson, who is collaborating with the MS Community to create a 'Song4MS', and raise funds for MS Research Australia. I hope you enjoy it!

Firstly Marie, thanks so much for spending some time with us here on Uninterrupted! Can you please begin by telling us how the Song4MS actually came about?

Two of my dear friends (who happen to be twins) are both diagnosed with MS, one of whom has primary progressive MS. I realised just how ignorant I was about the disease and wanted to do something to help them. Songwriting seemed the natural choice.

Before launching the Song4MS project, did you know very much about MS yourself?

I knew very little. One of the twins (Natalie) was diagnosed over 10 years ago and showed very few symptoms, when in fact she was actually hiding her symptoms.  The other twin (Rory) was only diagnosed a couple of years ago and because her diagnosis was primary progressive, we noticed symptoms immediately, as it was a lot more difficult for her to hide them.

Who has contributed ideas to the song? Was it just people living with MS, or did the ideas come from a wider circle of people than that?

The lyrics were crowd sourced from anyone living with or touched by MS. Most of the people who contributed were living with MS, there were some carers who sent through ideas as they felt so passionate about wanting to raise awareness for the people they were close to.

What has the process taught you about people who are living with MS?

People living with MS (well, at least the ones that I have contact with) are courageous and determined. Many are more concerned with their own loved ones than themselves. They also have to live with symptoms that are not obvious to the general public so they often go through their pain silently.

It’s a really unique approach to songwriting, getting the general public involved in such an active way. How did you find it compared to the more common approach of writing songs by yourself?

I wasn’t sure how it was going to work really. Songwriting has always been a very personal process for me. I’ve co-written with others songwriters before, but I’ve always found it to be a bit of a challenge. This process was different. I began to feel a sense of responsibility to make this a really good song that would clearly reflect what it was like to be living with MS. Because I released a number of updates throughout the process (around 6 in 6 months) I was able to receive feedback. The feedback was honest. At one stage, some feedback was that the song was too positive. This may have been because I was receiving more stories of optimism at the time. This feedback then gave courage to some other perspectives, which is really important so that we can get a song that is truthful. Writing a song this way enabled me to look outside myself and I felt incredibly privileged to be in that position.

Can you tell us about the recording process, and where you’re up to with that?

The final studio recording is in its final stages (as of 16th Nov).  I have an amazing producer (Joe Hardy) who I’ve worked with for nearly 20 years.  He is based in Houston, Texas and has produced artists such as Tom Cochrane (Life is a Highway), Steve Earl and is still working with ZZ Top.

Can you tell us a bit more about the GoFundMe goal, and what will be done with 100% of the download sales for the song?

The GoFundMe goal is to cover studio costs for the recording in Houston.  It doesn’t include any travel costs or anything for me, as I record all of my parts here in Australia and send the files to him over the internet (wonders of modern technology).  It’s not the same as being there, but we have a great working relationship so it works well for us.

And finally, you’ve said that you believe songwriting can change lives? What do you mean by this?

Songwriting changed my life! I became a better person when I discovered songwriting. I had a very short fuse (to be polite) when I was a young adult and I believe it was because I had trouble expressing myself. When I began to write songs, I felt this sense of relief; that I was being heard, although, I never had any intention of those early songs ever being heard! Funnily enough, I’m still not fantastic at voicing my opinion, but I have music and songs in my life, so I’ve got that covered!

Thanks again for your time Marie, and good luck with the single!

You’re very welcome.  I’ll let you know when the song is ready.

*I’ll be sure to let everyone know when the single is ready to listen to and purchase. In the meantime, you can help support the costs associated with producing the single by donating any amount at:

https://www.gofundme.com/Song4MS

100% of all download sales will be donated to MS Research Australia, to help find a cure for MS.

For more information about the wonderful Marie Wilson, head to her website:

http://www.mariewilson.com/

Image Credit: 

Photos source from Marie's instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mariewilsonau/

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