Trust the song and it will not lead you astray.
Growing up in Donegal, I never gave "music" any particular thought. It was something that always just seemed to be wherever I went.
Music was many things - singing in our church with my father, playing piano for the gospel choir or in the Grúpaí Ceoil at the Fleadh Ceoil. It was the scratched CD in the family rental car on a journey through France that would only play "Summer Breeze" on repeat, or the sound of my mother playing Schumann’s Kinderszenen. From a young age, music was something that had always just been there.
I left Donegal when I was 18 to study for a Bachelor of Music degree in Maynooth University and there I joined the Chamber Choir (cond. Michael Dawson). In the first rehearsal I found myself staring in disbelief at Lotti’s Crucifixus. I thought to myself: “You can have more than four parts?!”
As I began to sing a strange feeling was growing inside of me: I was moved by the song. The formerly loose grip music had on me began to tighten, and soon I was hooked for life.
My the time in Anúna has been a journey of introspection, self-discovery and growth, and I think this process is fundamental to our philosophy. The singers come from all walks of life, with different ideas and ways of thinking. We come from every corner of the world. Something that makes Anúna so special is that instead of putting our differences aside to sing, we embrace them. We act as individual travellers moving toward a shared goal, each adding a bit of ourselves to create something beautiful along the way.
Music speaks of emotions as if you felt them with every fiber of your body. It speaks of the gloriously joyful and the devastatingly tragic. To properly connect with a song you have to really think about what you’re singing – what do the words mean? How do you feel about it? You must delve deep into your soul, the deepest part of your being, and contemplate it there. You must understand it in your own terms, and allow it to become an extension of yourself.
Music is many things. It is the scratched CD in the family rental car. It is singing in the church choir with Dad. It is the song you sing in the shower or a memory of the past. It is human.
I travel now through life, with music as my guide, trusting song to never lead me astray.