Kevin Kinde is a modest man. Softly spoken in an American accent he sits across the table from me in the Sandwich Co. and says “first of all, I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel”.
And yet his project ‘DelilahSong’ hopes to harness the positivity of people from across the world to provide support and healing in those who have terminal illnesses.
It also hopes to set a world record for the most number of people to play a single instrument - that instrument of course being Kevin’s beloved, homemade guitar, Delilah.
“I happen to believe that music is a source of healing and a wonderful positive thing in our world - and I suppose this is our little way of trying to expand on that notion.”
Kevin built Delilah as a project with his father. “I’d never built a guitar before, but we decided we would do something together so we got all the parts we needed and we set about building it.”
After it was finished (and Kevin admits, tuned up by someone in the know!) he decided on the project.
“It was just an idea that was there. I kept it on the back burner for so long because it seemed such a big idea. I remember asking my little daughter, Lilianna, who was just six, if I should go after this dream and she replied, in that honest way children can, that everyone needs a dream.”
However it was another four years - and a trip to Derry in late 2013, that seemed to put the final pieces of the puzzle together and he finally made the decision to go ahead and launch the project.
“I travelled to Derry in 2013. My mom was born and raised here - and I came back to visit the town where she grew up and to attend the launch of a book which was based on her romance with a young American marine.
“It was here I met a woman who I can only describe as my soulmate - and when she told me that she had experience of coping with a potentially terminal illness when her son was ill - I made the decision once and for all to go ahead with DelilahSong.
“I think there comes a time when you just have to go for it and see what happens.”
It’s no coincidence then that after launching DelilahSong in his native US, he has brought it to Derry and is offering Derry people the chance to be among the first people to join in the project.
“The idea is simple. We want anyone and everyone who is willing, to play Delilah in an effort to create and sustain a literal healing instrument.
“We will share the positive vibes and healing nature of music through Delilah to individuals in need of hope and healing by bringing Delilah to them, specifically children as well as adults with terminal illnesses.”
The project hopes to involve people in one of a number of ways. People can come along to a number of events being arranged by Kevin while he is in Derry - with details being posted on the project’s Facebook page. People can also get in contact and have Delilah Song come to them - to their workplace, event or location of their choosing.
“We have a portable amp and we will travel,” Kevin said. “The project is not just for serious musicians. Anyone can have a go. Even if you just know a few chords and want to play that - that’s fine.
“There is no choice of genre, no specific song. We just want people to have fun with it.”
Kevin wants to make the project as fun as possible. “We welcome any less than usual locations. Delilah has already been played at the Dark Hedges - perhaps better known to Game of Thrones fans as The King’s Road.”
“We also have to introduce a song dedication link system - where participants dedicate a song to those who request dedication for themselves, family member or loved ones.
“We think it would be powerful to listen to someone from somewhere in the world wishing you well - that it would create that sense of community.”
Participants will have the chance to record their contribution to be posted on the project’s website and each person will be asked to state one simple line at the end of their performance.
“It’s the slogan that little Lilianna came up with,” Kevin said. “We together are Delilah’s Song.”
To find out more about Delilah’s Song visit www.delilahsong.com, visit www.facebook.com/delilahsong or email firstname.lastname@example.org