Dr Alannah Marie Halay, PhD, (a.k.a. Alannah Marie, Alannah Halay) is a UK based composer, performer/actress, and academic. Her music has been performed in Denmark, England, the Netherlands, Poland, and Portugal, as well as on radio and out on CD; she has also written music for film. She was the first winner of the ‘Yorkshire Young Sinfonia’ composition competition in 2015, and her last opera Pacific Pleasures has been performed more than once by Bloomsbury Opera in London. She has attended the Gaudeamus Muziekweek Academy in Utrecht where her composition Parallax Error was workshopped and later performed in the Gaudeamus Muziekweek Festival. Most recently, she has been working with enoa (European Network of Opera Academies) and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation to compose an opera for trans voices.
Alannah is an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (AFHEA) with lecturing experience in a number of UK-based HE institutions. She has lectured on the compositional techniques of Olivier Messiaen, Peter Maxwell Davies, Iannis Xenakis, and others. Other topics include canonic writing and graphic scores.
Alannah has performed in the theatre (musicals and dramas), on public radio and television, short films, music videos, and feature films. Some of her recent feature films have been released in cinemas in America and are available to buy on Amazon Prime Video and iTunes. You can view her IMDB here. She has a PCertLAM in Speech and Drama from LAMDA with Distinction. Alannah is also part of the LAMDA panel of examiners and works as an official LAMDA examiner in centres across the UK. As an acting teacher, Alannah has taught the theories of Konstantin Stanislavski, Uta Hagen, Dee Cannon, and Bertolt Brecht. Her PhD used Brechtian acting theories and dialectics to explore Avant Garde music today. She has performed in acting festivals (her performance of Chekhov’s The Seagull came fourth in the Harrogate Festival of Music, Speech and Drama). Select examples of her screen work include Coven of Evil (Macabre Pictures) which is available on Amazon. Another notable example is Demon Eye (Quickfoot Media) which was shown in cinemas across America and is available on Amazon Prime Video. In terms of theatre work, she has performed sections from the works of Anton Chekhov (The Seagull); Jim Cartwright (Woman, Two); Ronnie Barker (British Rail); Sylvia Plath (Lady Lazarus); Jean Racine (Phaedra); Laura Wade (Amy, Breathing Corpses); Charles Dickens (The Ghost in the Bride’s Chamber); Richard Harris (Karin, Albert); David Campton (Josie, Split Down the Middle). Her current projects-in-progress include Shakespeare‘s Lady Anne in Richard III and Shakespeare‘s Desdemona in Othello. Alannah has also worked as a television extra and so has extensive experience on a hard-working professional set. She has worked for Channel 4’s Hollyoaks, and ITV’s Emmerdale amongst other major television dramas for Sky.
Alannah’s recent practice-led research explores the formation of ‘styles’ and convention, the breaking of established norms, and the subsequent reification of new forms, with a heavy integration of dialectical thinking. Her PhD investigated, through compositional practice, how the avant garde, despite trying to be ‘free’, became reified (into a limited Avant Garde ‘style’). It explored how any deviation from the established norms of said ‘style’ was rejected. Her conclusion from this research is that, to be genuinely avant garde (‘forward-thinking’ and ‘unboundaried’ as the term suggests), one has to be able to traverse the boundaries of a variety of established ‘styles’ without this being noticed let alone rejected (or ‘cancelled’) by an audience. In short, to be genuinely avant garde, composers and listeners should be able to view music as an ‘open space of frequency’ not infiltrated by pre-conceived ideas about how music is or should be, or at least be aware, from a dialectical perspective, that we are not in charge of our own concepts (not in the way we might think). Her current research uses the findings in her PhD to challenge the limiting definitions that permeate trending hot topics such as identity politics amongst other things. Alannah has a YouTube channel where she talks about her research and practice: YouTube.com/AlannahMarie