RELIVE, from Navona Live features live performances of the music of three composers from around the world. This latest edition of the Navona Live series is inspired by an eclectic blend of world topics, literature, landscapes, and seascapes. From Sea-Grey Shores by Jane O’Leary is a musical response to the rugged landscape of coastal Ireland.
Today, Jane is our featured artist in “The Inside Story,” a blog series exploring the inner workings and personalities of our composers and performers. Read on to discover how her connection to the sea influences her music so vividly…
When did you realize that you wanted to be an artist?
While there was no specific point at which a decision of any sort was made, it was always clear that I would follow a path in music. I simply loved playing the piano. I remember when my first student compositions were performed (by fellow students in college), and I was so astonished to hear my music come to life. It felt like a dream, which I have followed from that moment on – still getting a thrill whenever I hear my imagined sounds becoming real.
What is your guilty pleasure?
Eating gelato – in Italy – preferably pistachio – as often as possible (I can’t wait for travel restrictions to be lifted)!
If you could make a living at any job in the world, what would that job be?
I have that job – being a musician is such a joy and has brought me into contact with so many wonderful people – musicians, listeners, composers – across the world. How lucky am I?
If you could spend creative time anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
I’d be happy to spend any sort of time in Italy, anytime. Just hearing the language, smelling the food, basking in the sunshine, enjoying the beautiful vistas – city or countryside, makes me feel relaxed and at peace (and hungry!).
What does this album mean to you personally?
It’s a chance to reach out to listeners – to share. My orchestral piece has come alive in performances at Lincoln Center, New York and at the National Concert Hall, Dublin. I’m happy that now it can be heard anywhere the world.
Is there a specific feeling that you would like communicated to audiences in this work?
I am fascinated by the movements of the sea – turbulence, stillness, mystery. Music is so fragile, fleeting and transient, like the magical surface of the sea; it can’t be captured and is always in motion. A recording of a live performance is as close as we can get to holding onto that moment of magic.