Hannah Traynor

Hannah Traynor (image Michael McGlynn)

Although not coming from a family of musicians, I grew up in a house where every genre was played, from rock music blasting in my older brother’s bedroom to Classic FM on the radio in our kitchen. I was exposed to almost every style of music at an early stage. I began by playing piano, but was always drawn to singing. I loved how personal it felt. It comes from us, we are the instrument. 

I have been a harmony enthusiast since I was a child singing in choirs and with friends growing up. Once I became involved in school choirs, I was hooked. However, when I discovered Anúna, I knew it was different. How the group sang without a conductor, the unification of the singers, how the group moved through the audience in an effortless yet meaningful way, and what Anúna represented as an Irish group. Being given the opportunity to join was incredibly exciting but also quite overwhelming. It was a very different experience than listening to the music as I had for so long, breaking it down and re-learning it in a much more critical and analytical way. 

I joined Anúna at the halfway point in my degree. Coming from an environment where the main focus was on perfecting your ‘technique’, I was deeply frustrated because, while I know it is important to learn to sing in a correct, healthy way, I have never viewed it as the most essential part of singing. It is easy to forget the stories behind the music when overthinking the technicalities of singing. It is easy to get caught up in trying to create a ‘perfect sound’. Singing with Anúna has taught me that a human performance is often the most moving. It is like visiting an art gallery. Standing back to view a painting is wonderful, but the most exciting part is getting an up close view of the artist’s brush strokes or a bristle left behind by the paint brush. 

My earliest memory of hearing Anúna is not a song or CD, but a feeling which has stuck with me to this day. I remember the feeling of being surrounded by the singers and the music. Feeling a part of the experience. I believe that it is this feeling that makes Anúna so unique and special. There is no separation between us and the audience. We don’t tell the stories, we feel them and the audience feel them with us. It is real. It is honest.