TAKEN is Launched at Clitheroe Castle ‘Keep’

Contemporary Heritage: A new way of seeing is an ambitious programme of site-responsive commissions at historic sites across Pennine Lancashire. The interventions, inspired by Pennine Lancashire’s heritage, animate each site and offer visitors a rare chance to...

Drake Music commissioned film ‘Music in Translation’

The film Distant Interiors with music by Ailís was commissioned by Drake Music and created in Spring 2011 by three artists investigating translation and interpretation via remote collaboration. They communicated via email, file-sharing and the DMIT blog. Watch...

Motiroti commission ‘Pulse’ for What Counts? Exhibition

  A new commission from London-based arts organisation Motiroti, Ailis' 'Pulse Prelude I', is based on 7 'pulses' submitted by people interested in the project. was unveiled as part of the What Counts exhibition at The Rag Factory, London from 26 June-3 July...

Sawn-off Opera awarded Arts Council England funding

Sawn-off Opera have recently been awarded funding by Arts Council England to support the further development of a new suite of mini-operas by Ailis Ni Riain (Composer) and David Gaffney (Librettist), Directed by Caroline Clegg of Feelgood Theatre Productions at Opera...

DOWN selected for The Open West

DOWN, a sound and sculpture work by Ailis Ni Riain and Visual Artist, Nicola Dale commissioned by METALCulture has been selected for The Open West in Cheltenham from 9 Feb to 5 March 2011. The work includes 12,000 painstakingly hand crafted paper feathers made from...

StreetSong at Sensorium Festival, Dublin

StreetSong (2007), commissioned by the Contemporary Music Centre of Ireland & winner of the 2007 ISCM World Music Days 'Short Cuts' Competition will be played at Sensorium Festival at the CMC, Dublin on 11th March 2011.

Wayfayer, Cultural Leadership Programme

Ailis has been selected to take part in the Cultural Leadership Wayfayer Programme during Spring 2011 where she will benefit from 1:1 mentoring, action-learning and work-share with other participants. Supported by the Cultural Leadership Programme.

Premiere: Reinventions in Copenhagen

  Commissioned by the Danish trio TTAATTOO (viola, piano & clarinet), funded by the Irish Arts Council and premiered on 12th December 2010 at Mostings Hus, Copenhagen. Reinventions is based on six of JS Bach's keyboard inventions and includes the spoken...

Premiere: Dancing Fears for Ghandini Juggling

Commissioned by the Ludlow Assembly Rooms, Dancing Fears was premiered there by Gandini Juggling on 17th December 2010. During the last past 18 years, the Gandinis have performed over 4,000 shows in 40 countries and are in constant worldwide demand for their virtuoso...

Premiere: End with Words of Hope, Dublin

  End with Words of Hope, a set of songs for soprano and clarinet with texts by Sappho and Ailis Ni Riain was premiered By Paul Roe and Elizabeth Hilliard at Beal Festival at the National Concert Hall of Ireland on 3rd November 2010. Listen to one of the songs...

Premiere: Crevice Cradle Cracks, Dublin

  Crevice Cradle Cracks was premiered by the Crash Ensemble's clarinettist Deirdre O Leary at Kaleidoscope, Odessa Club, Dublin on 2nd November 2010.   This commission was supported by The Arts Council of Ireland.

Premiere: DOWN, METALCulture, Liverpool Biennial 2010

DOWN, commissioned by METAL with funds from Arts Council England, in collaboration with visual artist Nicola Dale.  Shown at METALCulture as part of The Liverpool Biennial 2010. The work comprises 12,000 intricately hand cut 'feathers' with an acousmatic...

Dogs in Waiting, Culture Night 2010 @ The CMC in Dublin

Dogs in Waiting (1999) was performed hourly by double-bassist Bryan Quigley at The Contemporary Music Centre of Ireland's Culture Night on 23rd September 2010. Dogs in Waiting is a virtuosic piece for double-bass which mimics the behaviour of dogs who are left outside...

Sawn-off Opera at Tete a Tete Opera Festival

      Sawn-off Opera present three operas by Ailis Ni Riain, with Librettos by David Gaffney and Directed by Caroline Clegg at the Tete a Tete Opera Festival Riverside Studios, August 21 & 22, 2012 in...

Premiere: Conversations We Wish We’d Had

A music and voice installation for an old fashioned British K6 red telephone box at The Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester throughout May 2010. Commissioned by the Manchester Modernist Society for FutureEverything Festival. The piece was presented in an...

Danish premieres, Copenhagen

The Man Made of Rain and Beautiful Cracked Eyes received their Danish premieres by TTAATTOO on the 21st March 2010 at Møstings Hus, Copenhagen.

BEATEN produced in Berlin

  The Deutschestheater in Berlin presented the German language version of BEATEN in February 2010.  The play remains in repertoire for the rest of 2010.  Available to purchase directly from Nick Hern Books.

Premiere: In Sleep…, Liverpool

In Sleep... Commissioned by The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic for their 10:10 Ensemble, was premiered on 10th Feb 2010 at The Cornerstone in Liverpool conducted by Clark Rundell with soloist Lore Lixenberg.

CELL, The Library Theatre, Manchester

Fresh from the 2009 24:7 Theatre Festival, The Library Theatre in Manchester, presented CELL at RE:Play in January 2010. “Of all the 24:7 Theatre Festival productions I’ve seen this year, Cell is by far one of the strongest.” **** What’s on Stage

Swedish Premiere of BEATEN

Ailis Ni Riain's debut play BEATEN received its Swedish premiere (translated by Lucas Svensson) at the Göteborgs Stadsteater from November '09 to January '10.  It received strong reviews in Sweden's national press. See Reviews.

Dogs in Waiting performance in Maynooth, Ireland

Irish double-bassist Bryan Quigley Dogs in Waiting (1999) at NUI Maynooth, Ireland on 22nd October. Dogs in Waiting won first prize in the IMRO/Mostly Modern Composition Competition in Ireland in 1999.

Sawn-off Opera at Royal Exchange

  Sawn-off Opera presented three new mini-operas by Ailis Ni Riain with Libretto by David Gaffney as part of SFX at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester on 16th October 2009.

London Premiere of TILT at The Cockpit Theatre

Tilt (published by Nick Hern Books) was presented at the Cockpit Theatre, London in August 2009, directed by Tom Latter as part of the Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts Director's showcase. Buy TILT from Nick Hern Books.

Lighthouse Lullaby nominated for award

Lighthouse Lullaby, Ailis Ni Riain's site-specific electroacoustic composition commissioned by FOLD with PRS Foundation funds was nominated by the Contemporary Music Centre of Ireland for the Sonic Arts strand of the British Composer Awards.

CELL Premiere at 24:7 Theatre Festival

  CELL, a play, received its premiere as part of the 24:7 Theatre Festival in Manchester from 20th-26th July 2009 (see links to reviews below). Directed by Paula Simms. Reviews: What's on Stage | British Theatre Guide

Lighthouse Lullaby opens in Maryport, West Cumbria, UK

                  Commissioned by Fold in Cumbria Lighthouse Lullaby was premiered in Maryport, West Cumbria in January 2009. It is an electroacoustic composition composed specified for the beautiful Maryport Lighthouse on...

BEATEN at Granary Theatre, Cork

Ailis Ni Riain’s new post postmodern play pushes the boundaries of what is possible in live theatre.  Think Sarah Kane, early Edward Bond, with Pat McCabe thrown in, and you’re close to defining the imaginative punch of this inventive play.  Sarcastic humour, searing...

Valley of Stone opens in Rawtenstall

  Ailis has been commissioned by Horse & Bamboo visual theatre Company, Pennine Groundwork and English Heritage to make a new work which celebrates the quarrying heritage of the Valley throughout Rossendale, Lancashire near where she lives.  She is composing...

But Will You? at File 2008 Brazil

But Will You? (2005, from The Falling) will be presented as part of FILE 2008 - Electronic Language International Festival in Sao Paulo. It will be held from August 4th to 31st, 2008.

DON’T! at Carnegie Hall, New York

Ailis Ni Riain's DON'T! will be performed at Carnegie Hall, New York on 17th October 2008 as part of the Contemporary Music Centre of Ireland and Culture Ireland's Irish Composers Showcase.

Tilt in Cork, September 2008

  Tilt, Ailis' debut play (also known as Beaten) will be produced by The Granary Theatre, Cork in association with Meridian Theatre Company, directed by Tony MaCleane-Fay in September 2008. This will be the second production of Tilt. Dates to follow. Tilt is...

Stewart Parker Trust Residency

Ailis was selected to attend the Stewart Parker Residency with Director Philip Howard (ex-Traverse) at Annamakerrig in Co. Monaghan, Ireland in June 2008. Many thanks to the Stewart Parker Trust for generously offering this important opportunity for emerging Irish...

TranSextreme performed in Canada

  TranSextreme - an electroacoustic composition by Ailís was presented as part of a 'mash-up' at the Deep Wireless Festival in Toronto, Canada on May 8th 2008 following its CD release by Deep Wireless in 2007.

StreetSong at Lica Festival in Lancaster

  StreetSong was played at Mantis/Lica Festival at the Great Hall, Lancaster University as part of the Licas Festival on 1st March 2008. The performances was preceded by a lecture given by Ailis on her work.

But Will You? selected for SoundLAB V

But Will You? from The Falling (tape, 2005) has been selected as part of NewMediaFest2007, SoundLAB Edition V under the theme of "soundSTORY - sound as a tool for storytelling" online presentation.

‘Wounds, Scars, Screams’ released on CD

Wounds, Scars, Screams has been released by a label for sonic art showcasing 'Unsafe' new electroacoustic and experimental music. UNSAFE: sound works that take risks - artistically, aesthetically, philosophically, sonically, even physically. Works that should...

RTE Lyric FM Nova

An interview with Ailis Ni Riain broadcast on 30th June 2007 featuring her compositions StreetSong, Dogs in Waiting, DON'T!, Wound, Scars and Screams and The Man Made of Rain. You can listen to the interview on the audio samples page (circa 40 mins).

Into the Sea of Waking Dreams…at York Late Music Festival 2007

The excellent American pianist Matthew McCright played Into the Sea of Waking Dreams... a piano suite at York Late Music Festival at York's Centre for Early Music on 2nd June 2007. "Ailís Ní Ríain contributed Into The Sea Of Waking Dreams - five thoughtful miniatures...

Missing Persons at Soundwaves Festival

Missing Persons (2006) for tape which was commissioned by Tilfeldig Productions in 2005 was played as part of the new Soundwaves Festival from 7–24 June at The Old Market, Hove.

StreetSong selected for DAW07 in Zurich

StreetSong (2006) has been selected as part of the soundscape programme at Digital Arts Week, Zurich 2007 10-14th July. The DIGITAL ART WEEKS program is concerned with the application of digital technology in the arts.

BMIC Cutting Edge Tour – 2 Steep 4 Sheep

Jane Chapman performs 2 Steep 4 Sheep (some hills are) for amplified harpsichord and tape at Corsham on 30th June as part of BMIC (British Music Information Centre) Cutting Edge Tour 2007.

But Will You? selected for ArtRadio @ Cornerhouse

But Will You? from The Falling (2005) for voice, harp, electroacoustic soundscape. Text written and performed by Ailis Ni Riain.  Broadcasting on 1st, 3rd, 8th, 10, 11th July 2007 on UK 106.5 FM and online from Fri 29 June - Weds 31 July 2007 (inclusive). Broadcasting...

TranSextreme released on CD

TransSextreme (2005), a tape piece comprising texts written and performed by Ailis Ni Riain alongside acoustic and electracoustic harp has been included in Deep Wireless 4 CD - a Canadian Radio Art Compilation. This is a commericial release available directly from...

TranSextreme selected for Deep Wireless, Toronto

TranSextreme (tape) has been selected for Deep Wireless, Toronto. May 1-31, 2007. As part of a month-long celebration of radio and transmission art, radio artists, sound artists and enthusiasts can experience performances, sound installations, new commissions, special...

International Prize for EXIT

EXIT, a 45-minute music theatre work, was awarded 2nd Prize in the Vienna Masterworks Nancy Van De Vate Competition for New Opera in December 2006 (see here).  The 2006 Nancy Van de Vate International Composition Prize for Opera is awarded by the American music...


  The tape piece How Did It Feel? was selected for the January 2007 Elektramusic radio show for Experimental Music.

Debut play TILT is touring

The New Works theatre company toured TILT, the debut play by Ailis Ni Riain to Liverpool, The Granary Theatre, Cork and Glasgow's Citizen Theatre in April and May 2007. TILT has been published by Nick Hern Books, the UK's leading specialist publisher of plays and...

Into the Sea of Waking Dreams

Living Composers: 60 miniatures was an avant-garde concert held on 9th March 2007 at The Space, 269 Westferry Road, East London. The event consisted of 60 specially commissioned one-minute piano pieces written by 12 cutting edge composers. It featured the premiere...

Composer’s Choice @ The National Concert Hall, Ireland

Monday 5th March 2007, National Concert Hall, Dublin An evening of contemporary music curated by Ailis Ni Riain, including a new commission from the National Concert Hall of Ireland, Surrealist Pilgrims, alongside works by composers Roger Doyle, Jurgen Simpson, Kevin...

10,000 Deviants

The emerging contemporary music ensemble ELEVEN presented the world premiere of 10,000 Deviants for speaker, flute and piano with texts by Ailis Ni Riain to a packed audience at East London's Vortex Jazz Club on 24th January 2007.  

Harpsichordfest Premiere ‘2 Steep 4 Sheep’

2 Steep 4 Sheep (some hills are) for amplified harpsichord, sheep experts and tape was premiered by Jane Chapman as part of Harpsichordfest on Saturday 14th October 2006 at the Cosmo Rodewald Concert Hall, Manchester.

Greenroom READY? residency

HooH HaH Productions and Ailis Ni Riain are embarking upon an innovative collaboration of theatre, film and live performance; combining both parties own specialist artistic capabilities and creative outlooks through an immersive performance-installation investigating...

Soundlab Edition IV “Memoryscapes”

StreetSong was selected for Soundlab Edition IV "Memoryscapes", launched on 17 October 2006. 135 sound artists and 200 soundart pieces are curated by Rainer Krause (Chile) to form "memoryscapes", landscapes of collective memory manifested via sound and music...

StreetSong in Lou Reed’s Brain…

StreetSong was presented on 22 September 2006 when 40 of Dublin’s leading museums, galleries, studios and theatres threw open their doors to encourage people who normally don’t do so to visit them and learn of the city’s rich cultural offering. Ailis...

Cubed3 Writers Residency @ Traverse, Edinburgh

Ailis was selected as one of twenty of the most promising UK based emerging writers to attend the Cubed3 Writers Residency at the Traverse Theatre Scotland's New Writing Theatre, Edinburgh in November 2006. Supported by the Scottish Arts Council.

Wounds, Scars, Screams

Wounds, Scars, Screams at Unsafe 2 Festival of Improvised and Experimental Music, at the Lighthouse, Poole, 11th November 2006.

INTERACT 2006 in Denmark

Ailis was delighted to have been selected as one of five International composers who attended Interact 2006 in Roskilde, Denmark in August 2006 where she collaborated with video artist Sophie Hjerl and ensemble VOZ NUEVA to create a new piece of work that will tour...

1st Prize for StreetSong at ICSM World Music Days 2006

StreetSong has been awarded joint-First Prize at the ICSM World Music Days 2006 Short Cuts Competition and was played at the Kunstmuseum, Stuttgart, Germany on 18th July.  200 works from 30 countries were submitted. The citation of the jury described Ní Ríain’s...

Lyric FM broadcasts

StreetSong and DON'T! (for Bass clarinet and Cello) were broadcast on RTE's Lyric FM (Ireland) Nova in July and August.

CMC 20th Anniversary Commission in Dublin

A commission from The Contemporary Music Centre of Ireland in association with Temple Bar Cultural Trust to compose an outdoor sound installation to celebrate the 20th anniversary of CMC.  StreetSong played continuously in June 2006 in the historic Old City area of...

Journal of Music in Ireland Interview Feature

  An article on Ailis Ni Riain: The Journal of Music in Ireland has published an extensive article by musicologist Bob Gilmore on the artistic work of Ailis Ni Riain in the Summer edition.

I Am Your Wounds touring the USA

  I Am Your Wounds toured the USA as part of the International Women's Electroacoustic Listening Room Project: Voices on the Edge including San Francisco , New York , Minnesota , Miami , Paris and Amsterdam. The USA premiere took place at The International...

Missing Persons opens @ Wellington Mill, Manchester

Commissioned by Tilfeldig Productions - Missing Persons - an electoacoustic sound installation piece, with photographic images and texts shown as part of COLLECTIVE in a disused mill in the Ancoats area of Manchester in a freezing January 2006.

Futuresonic 2006

But Will You?, an electroacoustic sound work incorporating harp, voice and prepared piano was selected by Soundnetwork for performance at Futuresonic - the UK's four day Festival of Electronic Music and Arts in Manchester at The Museum of Science and Industry.

THE FALLING @ 24:7 Theatre Festival 2005

A music-theatre stage work for harp/actor & electronic sound received five performances by Amy Liptrott as part of Manchester's 24:7 Theatre Festival in July 2005.  "Putrid persistence of the probing tongue - Sucking your breath, Breaking your back, Devouring...