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Harp Ireland Annual Lecture 2020 : Úna Monaghan | New Horizons

Cruit Éireann, Harp Ireland's Annual Lecture 2020, THE HARPER'S VOICE, takes place on live on Zoom this year.
ÚNA MONAGHAN: NEW HORIZONS Challenges in Contemporary Irish Harping
Join us on Zoom at 4:30pm on Sunday 13th December
Register now on Eventbrite at this link.

Úna Monaghan is a harper from Belfast with a background in Irish traditional music and in experimental, contemporary, and computer music, as a composer, programmer, performer, and sound engineer. In this online presentation for Harp Ireland she explores some of the recent challenges and considerations in her contemporary work with Irish harp. As a resonant and multiphonic instrument, the harp presents specific challenges for the design of interfaces for computer sound control. Úna explores her motives, approach, and decision-making in developing new technologies and music for harp and electronics. Questions of rhythm and flexibility in electronics control are particularly relevant to traditional dance music. She highlights the importance of developing performance, composition, and technological plans in parallel. In addition to these ideas on technique and playing, she shares her ongoing consideration of the instrument itself, the history and associations of the harp, and how they affect her approach to harping today.


Úna Monaghan is a harper, composer, researcher and sound artist from Belfast. Her recent work has combined traditional music with bronze sculpture, sound art and movement sensors. She performs with harp and electronics, and released an album of her compositions, named “For” in 2018. She collaborates, improvises and performs with poets, visual artists, computers, writers, musicians, and others.

Úna has held artist residencies at the Centre Culturel Irlandais Paris, the Institute for the Public Life of Arts and Ideas Montréal, and the Future Music Lab at the Atlantic Music Festival, Maine, USA. Úna also works as a sound engineer specialising in Irish traditional music, and experimental, live electronic and multichannel music, a role in which she travels worldwide. Her compositions have been presented on BBC and RTÉ television and radio, in theatre productions, and at international festivals and conferences, such as the International Computer Music Conference, York Festival of Ideas, and New York Electroacoustic Music Festival.

Úna was awarded a PhD from the Sonic Arts Research Centre at Queen’s University Belfast in 2015 and held the Rosamund Harding Research Fellowship in Music at Newnham College, University of Cambridge from 2016-2019. Her research examines the intersections between Irish traditional music, experimental music practices, improvisation and interactive technologies. In 2019 she received the inaugural Liam O’Flynn Award from the Arts Council of Ireland and the National Concert Hall Dublin, and in 2020 a BAN BAM award from Moving On Music and Improvised Music Company.


13 Dec 2020  4:30 pm - 5:30 pm