Cora Venus Lunny is a freelance improvising and composing musician with a classical lineage and decades of professional experience in contemporary classical, improvised, recorded and folk musics. A violinist since early childhood, who performed around the world as a soloist and chamber musician before specialising in collaborative contemporary music, they have been exploring improvisation and composition for many years. A fascination with consciousness, groove, power and connection drives their compositional curiosity.
She has toured Europe, America and China as a violin soloist with the Dublin Philharmonic Orchestra. Currently, free improvisation has become a very strong focus for Cora, and their duo with Izumi Kimura is one of their favourite projects of all time. As a member of Yurodny, Cora has also written for them, and with Kate Ellis, was commissioned in 2016 to write a piece for Common Ground, relating to the 1916 commemorations. In 2020 Cora’s piece “Theft”, commissioned by the NSQF as part of their Beethoven Reflected Series, was premiered by the Ficino Quartet. In 2021, Cora was awarded a Ban Bam Commission Award by IMC, to write Currents, a dramatic improvisation for four musicians. The premier performance of this work was filmed at the disused Pigeon House power station, and will be shown on April 27 at the IFI.
As a freelancer and collaborator, Cora is often to be found playing with Crash Ensemble, notably in award-winning international performances of Enda Walsh and Donnacha Dennehy’s operas, The Last Hotel and The Second Violinist. Cora also frequently contributes to albums of recorded music, film scores and theatre soundtracks, recently playing in the Abbey Theatre’s production of The Great Hunger, on the soundtrack for Rioghnach Ni Grioghair’s Don’t Go Where I Can’t Find You, in Pomes Penyeach with Adrian Crowley & Lisa Hannigan.
In 2021, Lisa Dowdall and Cora were awarded an Arts for Young Audiences residency at the Linenhall Arts Centre, during which they developed Artways together, a process-based arts workshop, facilitating composition, improvisation, visual scoring and other creative activities.
In 2021, Folding was released on Farpoint Records, an album which Izumi Kimura and Cora collectively composed in response to Anthony Kelly’s recordings of Dun Laoghaire. This album has been warmly received by critics and musicians, being chosen as one of the favourite 5 Jazz Albums of 2021 by The Ticket.
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