Ailís studied the piano seriously until her mid-twenties playing contemporary and classical repertoire. Her teachers included Bridget Doolan and Mary Beattie at the Cork School of Music in Ireland. She has performed the Shostakovich Piano Concerto II, the two piano version of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, the Berg Sonata and various pieces from the contemporary piano repertoire.
Her interest these days is mostly in the area of piano improvisation especially focusing on the inner piano in addition to interpreting graphic scores. In 2016 she was an Associate Artist at The Atlantic Center for the Arts in Florida taking workshops with the American composer/pianist/improviser Myra Melford.
The first movement from Into the Sea of Waking Dreams for solo piano with optional texts. Composed by Ailís Ní Ríain. Recorded at The Atlantic Center for the Arts, Florida in 2016.
Amy Brandon [guitar], Kristina Warren [voice/electronics] and Ailís Ní Ríain – AKA – live at the Bluecoat Arts Centre, Liverpool 2016.
An improvisation for prepared piano recorded live at The International Anthony Burgess Foundation in Manchester, December 2016
Improvisation [extract] with Silvia Sauer
Ailís introduces and performs her 2017 graphic score Will it be Easy? Recorded at Leeds College of Music as part of Sound & Music/Unlimited Impact Embedded Programme.
In 2015 Ailís was commissioned by The Brontë Parsonage Museum (the home of the Brontë family in rural West Yorkshire, Northern England) to compose a new suite of pieces especially for the Brontë family piano. Here she performs one of these pieces.
Improvisation on newly developed material for prepared piano. Recorded at The Atlantic Center for the Arts in Florida, USA in 2016.