The inaugural Arts Council of Ireland and National Concert Hall Liam O’Flynn Award has been awarded to Dr Úna Monaghan, Rosamund Harding Research Fellow in Music at Newnham College.
The Irish Times summed her up as “A true sonic renaissance artist”, and the Arts Council of Ireland described her as “one of the leading exponents of the traditional harp in Ireland while her adoption of digital technology and experimental techniques explores the possibilities for connection between performer and audience.”
Úna is a musician and composer working with Irish harp and electronics, including a recent collaboration to create a sound installation in the Old Labs. Her debut album, For, is available online and via streaming services.
Úna is also a founding member of Fair Plé, working for gender equality in traditional music. Women are notably under-represented in many areas of music, Irish traditional music among them. Fair Plé, a collective of distinguished female traditional musicians, is committed to raising the issue and taking practical steps to address it.
The O’Flynn Award provides a traditional artist with a period of artistic reflection and creation in residence at the National Concert Hall. It carries a bursary of €15,000 and space at the NCH to create a new work to be performed at the Tradition Now festival.
Úna commented that “This kind of opportunity, of time to experiment, to fail, and to make, of resources and infrastructure to build on, is invaluable to every artist, and is a rare thing.”
Newnham College is delighted with this further recognition of Úna’s work.