A Murphy Family Songbook | 05.16.15

gypsy angelbandThe DNA of our ancestors runs through each generation.




Angel Band Project was set up to promote healing, raise awareness, and create positive social change for survivors of sexual violence.

I caught up with Jane Godfrey (singer, songwriter, and artist), who has organized a local upcoming benefit for Angel Band Project on May 16, 2015, 7:30 p.m., at 1900 Park in Lafayette Square.

gypsy Sisterchicks

How did you come up with the idea for the event “A Murphy Family Songbook”?

When my siblings and I were growing up, singing was almost an involuntary action; like a heartbeat. We just naturally did it. Then some of us picked up an instrument and some of us picked up a paintbrush. Music sessions became a staple at family gatherings, and the walls of our parents’ home filled up with original art. Over the years, we often heard how remarkable it is to have so much talent in one family. For the most part, we remained humbly appreciative of the compliments but, given that we were raised to “not show off,” we didn’t give it much thought.

But as adults, our appreciation of this aspect grew, especially as we observed the artistic and musical talents developing in the next generation of Murphys. About five years ago, I began talking with my siblings about somehow showcasing our collective creative talents. I had started writing more songs inspired by my family history, and they had begun using old family photographs as inspiration for artwork. Then, in 2011, just two years after we lost our mom, our sister Mary Kay died. These losses were the catalyst for making this project a reality.

The combining music and art seems like a great pairing; how did this come about?

I think it’s a natural pairing in general. I’ve attended a lot of songwriting and music workshops, and my sisters go to a lot of watercolor workshops. What we’ve found is that, although the language and the media used to create art and music are different, the underlying concepts and the creative processes are very similar. Ultimately, both the artist and musician strive to evoke an emotional response from their audiences. To us, it’s two sides of the same coin. We just want to show both sides.

What are you hoping to do with the event?

The DNA of our ancestors runs through each generation, whether it be physical attributes, personality traits, or certain sensibilities: athletic, artistic, and anything in between. I hope that by entertaining the audience with music and art by our family, about our family’s history, we cause people to think about their place in their own evolving family history. [Laughs] That sounds pretentious, but it really is our goal. And have fun: We want to have fun.

We also want to support the Angel Band Project. I think most people know someone who has been affected by sexual violence, but no one likes talking about it. I really respect ABP’s mission to help survivors heal. And what better way than music? | DL Hegel

Click here for more information on the event.
Click here for more information on Jane Godfrey.
Click here for more information on the Angel Band Project.

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