To me there are two key elements: how best to portray a text to be meaningful to performers and audience and, in its absence, make instruments speak so that what has been said may prove memorable. My music is melodic, immediately accessible. Medieval, traditional, modal, deeply spiritual elements feature strongly.
Mary McAuliffe was born in Cork and studied music at University College Cork. Her works, which include instrumental, vocal, choral, children’s music, film soundtracks and opera, are performed and recorded widely and are published in Ireland and in the USA.
Recent performances include ‘An American Odyssey’, commissioned and premiered in 2006 by Columbia Pro Cantare, Maryland, USA. This 30-minute work now forms the second movement of The ‘Irish American Trilogy’, with ‘Leaving, A Famine Victim’s Cry’ (1997), and the much performed ‘Return to Old Ireland’, (2000). The Trilogy forms a complete 55-minute charting of the trials, and the triumph of the Irish immigrant to the USA. Several performances of ‘An American Odyssey’ are taking place in 2008 in the USA, with more planned for 2009.
Mary McAuliffe’s works have been showcased at American universities, and by the National University of Galway Choral Society, and also feature on the syllabus of the Royal Irish Academy of Music. ‘The Stolen Child’, and ‘A Dawn Song’, (W. B. Yeats), which was premiered by the Atlanta Young Singers, USA, 2006, form part of the seven movement choral suite written for the acclaimed Newfoundland Youth Symphony Choir as part of her 2003 Ireland Canada University Foundation / Riverdance Scholarship. ‘Home, A Newfoundland Ireland Anthem’, was premiered at the National Concert Hall, 2004 as the finale of the Newfoundland Youth Symphony Choir’s Irish tour.