By day, Aidan works in an administrative capacity within the thriving arts & theatre scene in Dublin. By night, he emerges from the wings and takes to the stage himself to perform with Anúna.
As a long-time fan of Anúna, I attended their annual Christmas Concerts for over a decade before taking part in the first Anúna International Summer School in 2011, and was thrilled to be given the opportunity to join the group shortly afterwards. In the time since then I have grown both as a singer and musician into the person I am today which is in no small part due to the influence that Anúna has had on my life. The personal changes happen in an almost indiscernible way until you force yourself to look back and remember how you used to be.
Unfortunately common in Ireland, I had an extremely poor music education behind me when I first joined the choir, especially compared to some of the other trained, professional singers. However this wasn't necessarily a bad thing or a stumbling block to becoming part of Anúna. The singers in the group are a varied bunch with very different musical backgrounds. I think for Michael having people in the group who are willing to grow and change and learn from each other is much more important than someone who feels that they have little to learn as part of this ensemble.
I have learnt so much about myself and how I use my body in singing/making music through the group. Anúna’s deceivingly simple style of performance is something that doesn’t come as naturally as it should to singers. The main stumbling blocks are usually habits developed over many years. A lot of our work in rehearsal is aimed at encouraging the natural use of the body with the ultimate aim of unifying as one entity while retaining our own individual voice
Because the range of singers - both in age and nationality - is so varied, the group learns and changes at a remarkable speed making it a very exciting and rewarding ensemble to be in. As a result, the music we make is something real and tangible that audiences can relate to regardless of their language or culture. The experience we have communicating with a new audience every time we perform is something very special.
If there isn’t a strong emotional reaction between the group and the audience each time, then it is our fault for not communicating our message simply and clearly. This is what we are always striving to do, each and every time we perform; communicate through beautiful music, with as little personal interference as possible.
All that’s needed is the words and the breath; the music will take care of the rest.