Nóirín Ní Riain

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NÓIRÍN NÍ RIAIN Ph.D is an internationally acclaimed singer of spiritual songs from many traditions and has performed worldwide.

A theologian and musicologist, she was awarded the first ever doctorate in theology from the University of Limerick IN 2003. Her thesis subject was ‘Towards a theology of Listening’ for which she coined a new word – ‘Theosony’ from the Greek ‘Theos’ (God) and Latin ‘sonans’ (sounding).

Nóirín has published widely including her autobiography – “Listen with the ear of the heart”(Veritas)  and on her doctoral research, “Theosony – Towards a Theology of Listening.” (Columba Press)

She has shared performances with John Cage, Merce Cunningham, Angelica Houston, Matthew Fox, John O Donohue, Paul Winter, David Whyte, Brendan Kennelly, actor, Gregory Peck, Evelyn Glennie, Markus and Simon Stockhausen, Sinéad O Connor.

She was selected on three occasions by the Irish Government to represent Ireland in a cultural exchange between India and Ireland which greatly influenced her singing style and the integral part which Indian harmonium and drones play in her performances.

In 2011, she was invited to sing at both public addresses  of His Holiness, the XIV Dalai Lama in Ireland.

She is currently a sean-nós tutor at the World Academy of Music and Dance, University of Limerick.

Some endorsements of her singing:

  • Karlheinz Stockhausen ‘Nóirín is a reminder of the sacred origin of music’.
  • Anjelica Huston ‘Nóirín Ní Riain has the voice of a Byzantine angel. She is surely the High Priestess of Chant.’
  • Matthew Fox ‘She brings the wisdom of womanhood to a tradition that has, alas, been for too long in the hands of a clerical caste.’
  • Poet, Brendan Kennelly ‘Nóirín’s special magic springs from her ability to meditate coherently on the nature and consequences of her own passion for music, song and chant. She is a very conscious artist who has a direct link with her unconscious powers. The beautiful clarity of her thinking is born of her intrepid ability to confront and express the complexity of her dreams, instincts, aspirations and longings. I believe that is why her genius, at once contained and soaring, creates in the listener’s heart an atmosphere of serenity and calm… True music of the spirit’
  • Irish singer/songwriter Brian Kennedy ‘A precious stone in the crown of the High Priestess.’
  • Sinéad O Connor ‘Nóirín is my biggest influence and heroine in music’

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