Turning the Sounds of Old to New – M’ANAM

This all male vocal ensemble unifies through centuries-old music and a traditional Irish based technique.

M’ANAM  is a new, 7 voice male vocal ensemble from Ireland that embraces several genres including folk, classical and rock. The Gaelic phrase M’ANAM means “My Soul” in the English language.

A favorite inspirational quote

“Unity of Breath, Unity of Intent, and Unity of Word” Those three things, I believe, form the basis of any good choral singer.

QUICK FACTS

Name of Ensemble: M’ANAM
Location: Ireland
Singers from around the world: USA, Slovenia, Ireland, Iceland, Russia, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, etc.
Number of Singers: 7-14
Find us on our Website!

A challenging moment for the group.

We are currently preparing for a tour in the Netherlands in the new year. The group itself formed in 2018 and as most of them have other music projects, we don’t see each other very often. Most of the singers will just turn up, having studied the music on their own, and be performance ready with the applied technique. It’s quite an interesting way of working. Everything is a challenge, but that is the basis for the energy.

 

Members of M’ANAM in the recording studio.

How does your choir bond?

Coming for the work is the bond. They are a professional ensemble with a deep care and commitment to the music. When they come together, they are expected to bring the best of what they specialize in. The work unifies them.

Something unique you do with your ensemble

All of the singers in the group have aspirations to write. As the composer and arranger for the group, I will, from time to time, do co-writes with the members. Additionally, they will sometimes present their own material for the group, but that’s a growing thing.

What is a special performance and what made it special?

In August, we performed in front of 7,000 people in France. It was a huge experience for M’ANAM- they sang in many different languages.

A favorite piece of repertoire and why

The one they most enjoy performing is Gunnarsholmí. The original text by Jónas Hallgrímsson is one that Icelandic singer Bjarni Guðmundsson learnt when he was very young that describes the area which he’s from in Iceland. For those who haven’t been to Iceland, we were just there to film us singing this piece, and it is an absolutely extraordinary place. This video will appear with the release of our upcoming album.

What do you look for when acquiring new members?

Though we are not currently recruiting, we seek singers who can sing without being musically constrained by their training. Often singers are too constrained by their training, making them dependent and not proactive. As of now, everyone comes from the parent choir ANÚNA because the technique we use is very specific based off of Irish traditional singing or sean nós. To learn more about the ANÚNA method and education project, click here.

Born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1964, Michael came late to choral music, singing in his first choir at the age of nineteen. Despite the rich and sophisticated musical forms that lie at the centre of Irish traditional music, choral music does not exist as part of that tradition. Yet, his love of traditional song and the literary culture of his homeland led him to create the choral ensemble ANÚNA in 1987 as both a vehicle for his compositions and a unique choral form for Ireland. Early in 2018, he formed the child group M'ANAM, an all male ensemble that employs the ANÚNA technique.