- What motivates you as a musician? The love of what I do. Music, singing, composing and creating are my favorite things to do. It is a world that I can escape into and get absorbed into and even though the process of creating can be tiring, and the voice of the inner critic can get in the way, I have learned to acknowledge that that is a process that my mind goes through until I feel happy or satisfied with a creation. I feel a great sense of achievement when I have finished even small steps of a project, and almost relief when every idea that was in my head is down and recorded and knitted together just like I wanted it to be. Creating is like bringing to life the perfect idea in your own head in a crazy world. Everyone should try it!
- How do you support other women through your work? I am a product of women who have supported me. My mother, sister and I used to sing in three-part harmony when we were in the kitchen and traveling around in the car. The common themes through my work in music and outside of music is a focus on mental health and wellbeing. I know the impact that music can have on mood and the impact performance can have on transforming lives, and on allowing people to gain courage and build confidence. As a music teacher, it’s something that I have seen happen on more than one occasion. I feel like it is my job to give an outlet to all those that feel compelled to perform and create, and also to those that have the potential to do so inside, but are afraid to express it. As a music teacher who is also a soprano, it is very fulfilling to see students hit notes that they did not know they could! These are the artists of the future. While education officer at the Association of Irish Choirs, now Sing Ireland, I undertook a round of interviews to promoted Mental Health Singing Week, focusing on the well-being benefits of choral singing in our lives. The feedback from those who listened to my first album was in a similar vein, that it helped them through stressful times during the pandemic.
I am part of the Stuttering Awareness Mental Wellbeing Ireland campaign. With this album, I was at all times mindful of the soundscapes I was creating, and the atmospheres that would be simultaneously uplifting, inspiring and entirely in fitting with the messages of hope that the team at SAMWI constantly promote. One of my tracks is to be dedicated to the deputy White House Chief of Staff Jen O’Malley-Dillon as a thank you for the help she has given us. That song (A Bhríd Óg Ní Mháille) is about another O’Malley woman. Our Stuttering Awareness campaign is really gaining traction.
I would love to see the time allocated to female composers and artists increase on radio and on concert programes. The percentage of women featured is quite low. Why? The statistics are still frightening, even after an improvement from where we were. The attention and respect that women’s sport has gotten over the last few years has increased and rightly so. Why not with music written by women?
- In what ways do you feel you can inspire others through your music? I think with this album, I was unapologetically myself. I was not trying to imitate anybody or fit into a category. I was composing, producing, arranging and improvising intuitively. I had a vision for every track. It was all about what felt right. I was determined to have the album sound like me and my style. I hope that I can encourage others to have an individual voice, and not to feel like that they have to “fit into a genre”. The worst thing you can do as an artist is restrict your own voice! I really admire artists that are brave enough to be themselves and do not imitate.
- Tell our readers about your favorite musicians and their influences on your music. I have such a wide taste in music. A masters in composition from University College Cork challenged both my taste and compositional boundaries. The underlying elements to all of the artists/composers I like are originality, playing with the expected and the unexpected, especially harmonically. I love those who create the right combination of both magic and beauty but also keep it fresh. I adore the Romantic composers, especially Tchaikovsky and Wagner and how they layered motifs and themes and played with tonality. The revolutionary and exciting arrangements of Irish pianist and composer Micheál Ó Súilleabháin and Irish composer Bill Whelan of Riverdance fame, the ingenuity of Kate Bush and how she produced her own albums, the sound worlds and atmospheres of Anúna and the creative close vocal harmonies of RnB and a cappella groups all are inspiring and make me want to compose and arrange. The sound engineer in the studio said that he never knew what was coming every time I booked a session. Sometimes, I was not sure myself, but I loved that creative freedom. I have been in other studios where ideas have been forced upon me. I loved that I knew exactly what I wanted, and when I wasn’t sure, I was not rushed. Planning, but also experimentation are very important parts of the creative process!
- How can readers learn more about you?
Do follow me on my social media sites – I am on Facebook, Instagram, X and LinkedIn. Subscribe to me on YouTube and keep and eye on my website! www.emilymagnerhurleymusic.ie
🎧 Listen on Spotify:
🎧 Listen on Amazon Music:
🎧 Listen on ITunes:
📹Subscribe to my YouTube channel:
👍Like me on Facebook:
🤳Follow me on Instagram:
🕊Follow me on Twitter:
🟦Connect with me on LinkedIn: