Úna’s research examines the intersections between Irish traditional music, experimental music practices, improvisation and interactive technologies. Her creative practice as musician, composer and sound engineer are reflected in a layered methodology that combines ethnography, composition, historical and musicological research, software and interface design, and performance. Her work investigates the creative, social, political and cultural challenges and opportunities that arise when a folk music tradition confronts new tools such as digital technologies and improvisatory techniques.

Current Interests:

New technologies and experimental practices in contemporary Irish traditional music;
interfaces for live performance;
human computer interaction;
performance as creative practice;
John Cage’s ‘Circus On’ scores, particularly realisations featuring Irish and Scottish traditional music;
solo performance contexts for Irish traditional music;
the role of the audience, and the presentation of sound art and music outside of the concert-hall / typical performance spaces;
the sociology and anthropology of contemporary music communities;
cultural studies of new media technologies.

PhD Thesis:

“New Technologies and Experimental Practices in Contemporary Irish Traditional Music: A Performer-Composer’s Perspective”

Selected Publications:

Monaghan, U?. (2021) 121 Stories: The impact of gender on participation in Irish traditional music. Ethnomusicology Ireland, 7: 17-32, Special Edition.

Monaghan, Ú. (2019) Harp and Electronics: Composition, Design and Performance, Contemporary Music Review, 38:6, 645-666

Sturm, Bob L., Ben-Tal, O., Monaghan, Ú., Collins, N., Herremans, D., Chew, E., Hadjeres, G., Deruty, E., & Pachet, F. (2019). Machine learning research that matters for music creation: A case study. Journal of New Music Research, 48:1, 36-55.

Monaghan, Ú. (2017) The Chinwag: Memory, Digital Technology & Traditional Music. Leonardo Music Journal, 27: 60-61.

Monaghan, Ú. & Dowling, M. (2013) Creating a Circus of Words, Music, and Sound: From Roaratorio to Owenvarragh. The Journal of Black Mountain College Studies, 4, a special edition on John Cage.