Finding A Voice & CMC Announce Winner of the 2022 Composition Competition for Emerging Women Composers: Maeve Kelly

Finding a Voice and the Contemporary Music Centre, Ireland are delighted to announce Maeve Kelly as the winner of the 2022 competition for Emerging Women Composers.

Finding a Voice’s Artistic Director Róisín Maher says:

Once again, we had a record number of entries this year for our emerging composer competition and we're delighted to be able to partner up with the Contemporary Music Centre for the third time to offer shortlisted candidates a flute workshop with Lina Andonovska. There was an exceptionally strong field of talented composers which bodes well for the future of composition in Ireland! Maeve is a very worthy winner and I’m excited to hear the work performed live at Clonmel Junction Arts Festival later in the year.

Evonne Ferguson, Director of the Contemporary Music Centre, adds;

It’s an honour to partner with Finding a Voice for this competition and the complementary workshop programme that offers an essential annual professional development opportunity for emerging women composers in Ireland. Warmest congratulations to Maeve Kelly from all of us at CMC. We are looking forward to hearing this new work later in the year.

Living and working in Dublin, composer, arranger and cellist Maeve Kelly is a graduate of MTU (formerly CIT) Cork School of Music and Technological University Dublin. She is currently doing a PhD in Music Composition at TU Dublin under the supervision of composer Gráinne Mulvey. She has been an active member of the Irish Composers Collective since 2017 and is also a member of acoustic folk band The Filthy Mile. She takes her musical inspiration from societal and world issues, and has been writing on themes of migration, illness and language. Her style is eclectic and she draws from influences of jazz, rock, classical and electroacoustic music in her work.

Maeve's winning work Análú is based on the experience of one who suffers from chronic breathlessness, the composer writes:

Breath is not only a bodily function – it allows us to speak, laugh and sing. It reflects our state of mind and can be consciously controlled. For many it has a spiritual significance. Breathlessness is a condition often overlooked by the wider society, as many of its sufferers can become invisible – unable to take part in the tasks and activities of daily life that most of us consider ordinary. This piece is an exploration of the inner life of one who lives with this experience.

The text of this piece is an extract from the poem Under the Surface by award-winning writer and librettist Jennifer Thorp.

Independent adjudicator for the competition was the Irish composer Judith Ring, who writes:

The standard of this year's composition competition was incredibly high. Every composer involved can be very proud of what they have accomplished. It was a tough challenge to choose just one piece! Congratulations to Maeve Kelly on her winning composition!

Maeve's winning composition Análú will be performed at the rescheduled Finding A Voice "Brightening" concert which will take place during Clonmel Junction Arts Festival in July.