The name Anúna is derived from the Gaelic term An Uaithne, which is used as a collective term to describe the three ancient forms of Irish music: the Goltraí (song of lament), Geantraí (song of joy) and Suantraí (the lullaby). The term An Uaithne can be translated from the Irish language as "a concordance of sound", a coming together of voices with one focus and intent.
In 1987, composer Michael McGlynn founded the choir in Dublin, after many years of searching for a performing voice for his compositions, many of which are influenced by the history and mythology of Ireland. Although Michael arrived late to choral music, joining his first choral ensemble at the age of nineteen, his lack of experience of accepted choral ideas encouraged him to develop a new musical vocabulary both as a composer and a choral director.
An Uaithne, and subsequently ANÚNA, is a unique and beautiful instrument that explores the stories of ordinary people, saints and scholars, exposing the strengths and frailties of our shared humanity. The music also explores natural elements such as wind, sea and the sky. Within the songs are universal stories that are told through the landscape, the philosophy and the mythology of Ireland and beyond.
Craobh Rua (pronounced Crave Roo-Ah) translates from Irish to 'Red Branch' and is a name that is well known in Celtic history from the stories of the Red Branch Knights of Ulster. Hailing from Belfast they perform Irish traditional music with their distinctive northern style. Their music has delighted audiences and earned them wide acclaim and recognition. Craobh Rua are now regarded around the world as one of the finest ambassadors of Irish traditional music. The band's musicians bring their own individual experience to the group and fuse their talents to bring life to a wide array of instruments on this recording, including the banjo and mandolin (Brian Connolly), fiddle (Conor Caldwell), uilleann pipes and tin whistle (Patrick O'Hare), and guitar and vocals (Jim Rainey).
Miriam Uí Dhonnabháin is a singer, Gaelic language scholar and historian. She was the Dr. Nicholas O'Donnell Fellow at Newman College, University of Melbourne in 2014 where, in July of that year, she helped to organise Newman College's exhibition for Melbourne Rare Books Week, also writing the exhibition notes for the college's display of Irish manuscripts and rare books and giving a recital of songs from the O'Donnell Collection. She is currently working in collaboration with two other scholars on a presentation of a 19th-century Co. Cork manuscript prayer book by Dáibhí de Barra which is held in the State Library of Victoria. She has a particular interest in bringing the songs collected by James Goodman back into the living tradition and has.
Originally from County Armagh but now living and working in Belfast, Barry Kerr is one of Ireland's most accomplished traditional musicians. Having recorded his first album at the age of seventeen he has gone on to tour the world as a solo artist and has been equally at home sharing the stage in the company of artists such as Cara Dillon, Dan Tyminskii, Lumiere, Dervish and At First Light. His songs and compositions have been recorded by Karan Casey, Flook, Beoga, Brian Finnegan, Damian O'Kane & Kate Rusby.
Maurice Leyden is a folk-song collector, singer, broadcaster and writer with a passion for Ulster folk-song. Originally from Cookstown, Co. Tyrone, his first book 'Belfast, City of Song' (Brandon) explores the traditional songs of the city which has been his home for many years. His research for the Belfast book revealed a wealth of children's songs and street lore and Maurice's second book 'Boys and Girls Come out to Play' (Appletree) presents a rich collection children's singing games. Both books are complemented by recordings of selected songs. Maurice has completed a third book on the folk-songs associated with the Ulster linen industry which is being prepared for publication.
A founding member of the internationally acclaimed band Lynched, Ian Lynch (left in picture) has also developed a reputation as a solo singer, breathing new life into English language song from his native Dublin. Steeped in the singing style and repertoire of Frank Harte, Lynch also plays uilleann pipes. He has appeared as a guest singer in An Góilín and The Inishowen International Folk Ballad and Song Seminar. In 2014 he was the resident singer for the Little Dublin Museums lecture series
Sarah Mooney is a graduate of Queen's University, Belfast in performance studies, where she trained with Jenny Harte. Graduating in 2011, her final recital included works by Debussy, as well as Irish folksong arrangers Dorothy Parke and Hamilton Harty. A soprano and pianist, she is also a qualified music teacher and has worked across the education sector in the north of Ireland. Sarah originally specialised in Baroque opera, taking a lead role in a QUB staging of Purcell's Dido and Aeneas, but she is comfortable singing in a range of styles, including folk, swing, jazz and pop. Sarah also works as vocal coach with the award-winning Belfast Voice and Dance Academy which has performed across Europe and will bring a production of Into the Woods to the West End in early 2016.
Sarah is accompanied here by Niall O'Flaherty, himself a performance graduate of Queen's University. Niall works with theatre groups and choirs across the region and teaches music at post-primary level in Belfast.
Réalta take a lively, exciting and respectful approach to Irish traditional music. Influenced by classic groups such as The Bothy Band and Planxty, this Belfast-based band captures the timeless aspects of the tradition and infuses it with their own contemporary twist to create a sound that is both unique and instantly recognisable. Having toured Germany, Switzerland and Greece alongside traditional music legends Altan, and won the prestigious 'Danny Kyle Award' at Celtic Connections Festival (year?), Réalta have firmly established themselves on the international Irish music scene. Their music has taken them throughout Europe and on to New York, India and South Korea. Réalta's debut album, Open The Door For Three, was released in September 2012.
Schola Hyberniae is Ireland's premier vocal ensemble specialising in Gregorian chant, plainchant, and early polyphony. Of special interest to the group is music from early manuscripts associated with Irish saints. The group has performed nationally at festivals, conferences, liturgies, and recitals. The core members of Schola Hyberniae are a female ensemble, founded and directed by Giovanna Feeley. On occasion, and for various projects, a male ensemble joins the female voices. All the singers are highly experienced vocalists and musicians, who have studied vocal performance and chant.