Interview with Michael McGlynn of Anúna

First I would like to extend my profound thanks to Mr. McGlynn for granting my interview request, amidst a very busy schedule. Anúna is a chamber choral group, founded by McGlynn. Surpassing twenty years now, the group continues their unique style of performing. As a fan myself, I found myself pondering questions about Anúna’s background story.

1.What inspired you, to create Anúna?

I started singing in choir at the age of 19, and I couldn’t believe how beautiful, the sound of the music, I was singing, was. So I felt it might be something worth doing to set up my own group, and pursue some of the ideas I had come across over the years I had sung in a choir. I wanted to create a voice for Irish choral music, and create a voice that could perform my own music too.

2.Anúna was once involved in Riverdance. What made you decide to leave Riverdance?

It was decided to pull Anúna out of Riverdance, to keep the integrity and focus of the direction I wanted to take the group.

3. Are you happy with the success of Anúna? Would you change anything,, ie.. decisions you have made or not made?

I don’t think anyone should regret decisions they make. I’ve been very lucky that I have always been aware of my motivations and my reasons for doing things.

4.Having seen one of the DVDs Anúna has made, has the group always been laid back and personable with their audiences?

In one word, yes. That’s part of what we do. What you see is what you get, how we sing is who we are.

5. What is a typical performance like?

I think people come along with preconceptions of choral music and choirs, and then they see Anúna. Then all their preconceptions are thrown out the window The thing that most fulfils me, is the amount of choirs that adapt parts of what Anúna does to what they do.

6.Where do you envision Anúna being in ten years?

I don’t envision it changing that much. Probably I will change more than Anúna. Ten years at any job, might be nine years too long, so who knows I may not be involved in ten years.

7. You’re a composer as well. Where do you find inspiration, for the music compositions you write?

I’m primarily a composer. As Director of Anúna, that’s actually a minor part of what I do. I suppose the inspirations are from just living life. I don’t think any composer can exist outside the reality of life. I do think being a composer is a job, and many composers forget that. That said, I do know some of the music I write has had a profound effect on people, and I am grateful that is the case.

8. What do you do, during any spare time?

I have lots of spare time, sometimes, and other times none at all.  I have two small children, so we’re always doing things.  I ride horses, a lot, and I really enjoy that. I walk a lot, and like rugby.  Reading, and I like watching rubbish on TV. It has to be rubbish.

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