Imogen Gunner

Imogen GunnerImogen Gunner lectures in traditional music at the RIAM, and is a fiddler, singer, composer, arranger, scholar and educator known for her creative approach to traditional music.

Musician and Performer
As a multi-instrumentalist on fiddle, harp, accordion and mandolin, Imogen recently performed as part of the cast of Frank McGuinness ’s ‘Donegal’, in a world premier at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin. Imogen has toured extensively with both her own original projects and as a collaborator, throughout the British Isles, America, South Africa, Australia and Europe, including performances at Glastonbury Festival, SXSW, Lorient, WOMAD, Body & Soul, Electric Picnic, and the Hebridean Celtic Festival.

Her first album Shravakee (2010), comprising mostly original compositions, featured her piece Waiting Day. This was followed by Turned Away (2015); commissioned by the Irish humanitarian organisation AFRI (Action From Ireland) as a memorial for the Doolough Tragedy during An Gorta Mór (The Great Hunger 1845 – 49). The also underscored the music for Irish actor/playwright Katie O’Kelly’s play, The Olive Tree. Current projects include Imogen’s work as a lyricist and songwriter with EP of 4 original songs due for release in Spring 2017, and as part of her 2016 Artist Residency with Dublin City Council, composition of music for and direction of the short film ‘Portrait of Dublin as a Young Artist’.

As a composer and multi-instrumentalist, Imogen has collaborated with many and varied prominent music figures including producer Martin Rushent (Human League), Seán Óg Graham of the Irish band Beoga, UK Folk Singer of the Year 2015, Nancy Kerr, Scottish composer, harpist and pianist Phamie Gow, Irish composer Kevin O’Connell, John Spiers of the UK folk band Bellowhead, Neil Halstead (Mohave 3).

Imogen has lectured at DKIT, University of Limerick and St Patrick’s College Drumcondra in areas of Traditional Music, Ethnomusicology, Community Music, Group Facilitation Studies, Communication Skills, Educational Philosophy, and Systems of Music Education. In her role of lecturer in Traditional Music at the RIAM, Imogen has initiated many collaborative projects including guest workshops and lectures with visiting musicians. With past and present students of these institutions, including RIAM, Imogen has directed ensembles (RIAM’s Royal Folk – 2011-15), arranged and facilitated performances, recordings, launched CDs, facilitated live appearances on Irish TV and radio, many public performances at concerts and festivals, and collaborative projects between visiting international guest artists with RIAM staff and students.

Imogen devises music workshops for children and adults alike and works with the Artist for a Day school programme with Kildare County Council, and the Children’s Art in Libraries programme with Dublin City Council.

Imogen’s MA thesis explored creativity, composition and the shaping of identity within young people’s Zulu choral traditions, singing in the isicathamiya tradition in Valley of a Thousand Hills, KZN, South Africa. It was published in a joint chapter titled “Where’s it Gone, Freedom?’ Composing Isicathamiya in
 Post-apartheid South Africa in the Age of 9/11″ 
with Professor Liz Gunner, in the book Zulu Identities, (ed Ben Carton) by UKZN Press (2008). Imogen’s current research interests include compositional processes in folk and traditional music, musical creativity in educational settings, music and gender, and music and theatre.

Music Awards, Professional Affiliations
Imogen has been the recipient of many Arts Council and Culture Ireland awards, including a composition project award at Berklee College of Music, Boston. She been Artist in Residence with Dublin City Council and Limerick County Council, and is currently a member of the Artist Panel with Dublin City Council and Kildare County Council. In 2015, Imogen was awarded the USA Sierra Music Educator Scholarship and the Williamson Foundation For Music scholarship.

Current Projects
Imogen will be touring UK and Ireland with her trio in Spring 2017 and is currently adding finishing touches to an EP of original songs, a book of scores of her original compositions and a re-release of her album Shravakee.