I write this on a twelve hour flight returning from Tokyo, Japan. A career changing, if not life changing experience just occurred. It isn’t everyday that you rise up from a built-in stage lift to meet the eyes of thousands of game music fans; events such as this aren’t even irregular when it comes to being a member of Anuna.
Music has been a large part of my existence ever since I can remember, beginning with my first love, the violin, at the age of five. Many years passed, content with my instrument and my small achievements. Fortunately for me, I attended Wallace High School where I encountered a wonderful music teacher David Falconer who identified and nurtured my voice. Naturally high and pure my tone lent itself to choral music and Irish traditional styles – a trademark that would later benefit me by disallowing the assumed career in opera! Whilst falling deeply in love with monumental works such as Allegri’s Miserere and Faure’s Requiem, my attention and imagination was captured beyond those pieces by the beauty in the harmonic language of Michael McGlynn.
In June 2009, a curious and eager, younger version of myself walked into my first ever Anuna rehearsal in the big city of Dublin, a place that felt like a million miles away from home. That was it, the pivotal moment that was set to shape my music career, carve powerful friendship bonds and teach me more than I ever thought I could learn about myself and music. Anúna is more than a vocal ensemble. As a group, closer to a family than colleagues, we travel the world demonstrating something different…
Now standing at over 30 years old, the ideals born by Anuna have never stopped evolving. The practice is a life-long obsession for its members and can barely be relayed to those who have not experienced its magical uniqueness. A large portion of the technique put simply, is focussed upon the use of the breath and the unification of each individual on stage. We operate as one body of sound, led by one breath, no conductor, no sheet music – just clarity, purity and movement as a whole.
Of course, our technique is what we base our ethos on, however, as individuals we each hold the responsibility of contributing our own gifts to the larger force and as an ensemble we are fortunate enough to forge relationships with members from all over the world thus capturing a unique juxtaposition of thoughts, practices and ethnomusicological backgrounds from every culture.
Anúna members unify themselves musically and emotionally creating a bond that, for me, transcends music itself.