Music biography

MAIREAD HANNAN composes and produces music for film, theatre and concerts. She reinterprets Irish and Greek traditional music in collaboration with musicians from these traditions. She initiated and was musical director for the musical film One Night the Moon (ABC, 2001), featuring Paul Kelly and directed by Rachel Perkins, and written by Hannan, Kelly, Kev Carmody, John Romeril and Perkins (

Bands: Euphonia (Facebook/Euphonia Trio, Twitter @EuphoniaTrio); Xylouris Ensemble (; Philhellenes; The Troubles; Friends and Relations.

Mairead devised and composed for kyklos, the first in a trilogy (dir: Paul Hampton, Arts House, 1999 & 2000) and Square (dir: Robin Laurie, Arts House, 2004). She composed a live version of One Night the Moon (dir: Wesley Enoch, Malthouse, 2009); and Village Tales (dir: Robert Meldrum, Arts House, 1999).

As founder of north arts, an organisation that harnessed the energies of local artists, she managed a program of artist-led events at the Arts House (1999-2006).

She was awarded a Centennial Medal for Contribution to Australian society 2003, Australian Guild of Screen Composers: Best Soundtrack Album 2002, and in 2001: AFI Best Original Score, New York Independent Film and TV festival Best Musical; Film Critics Circle of Australian Award Best Music.

Mairead was a member of the City of Melbourne’s Music Strategy Advisory Committee.

euphonia 1

Mairead currently works at The Huddle ( devising innovative programs for bilingual youth including digital storytelling to build identity, language and belonging.

M Hannan 2008

Musical Director and Composer

  • One Night the Moon, (dir. Rachel Perkins, 1999-2001)
  • Square (dir. Robin Laurie, Arts House, 2004)
  • kyklos (dir. Paul Hampton Arts House, 1999 & 2000)
  • One Night the Moon (dir. Wesley Enoch, Malthouse Theatre, 2009)
  • Digging into the Green Mountain (dir. Susie Dee, La Mama, 2001)
  • Village Tales (dir. Robert Meldrum, Arts House, 1999)

Recordings – production and performance

Sound tracks

  • One Night the Moon, directed by Rachel Perkins (2001)
  • Bowl Me Over, directed by Angie Black (2000)
  • From Here to Ithaca, directed by Fionn Skiotis (SBS, 2001)
  • Winged Sandals, ABC website for children, (ABC

Sound recordings

  • Antipodes, Xylouris Ensemble (2003)
  • Drakos, Xylouris Ensemble (2002)
  • Kyklos, Euphonia (2000)
  • Self titled, Xylouris Ensemble (1998)
  • Daphne, Xylouris Ensemble (1996)
  • Self titled, Xylouris Ensemble (1995)
  • Self titled, The Troubles (1992)
  • Self titled, Friends and Relations (1990)


Euphonia: Facebook/Euphonia Trio

Xylouris Ensemble:

Music and dance performances:

  • Square (dir. Robin Laurie Arts House, 2004)
  • kyklos (dir. Paul Hampton Arts House, 1999 and restaged in 2000)
  • The Search for the Golden Fleece by the Xylouris Ensemble (1997)


  • One Night the Moon (dir. Wesley Enoch Malthouse Theatre, 2009)
  • Village Tales (dir. Robert Meldrum, Arts House, 1999)
  • Digging Into the Green Mountain
  • The Ballad of Lois Ryan, Melbourne Workers Theatre (1988)

Project management

Creative Director and innovator

  • north arts – creating a coalition of artists in the City of Melbourne, culminating in the foundation of north arts, a groundbreaking organization that harnessed the energies of local artists through innovative projects across art forms, developing managements skills and audiences (1998-2006)
  • Square – working inter-generationally with Irish Australian communities to explore cultural maintenance and the Irish diaspora through epic song, dance and music cycles (2004)
  • kyklos – supporting the Pontic Greek community group APOTHE to create and present a performance about the exile and dispossession of its people form the Black Sea and their identity in Australia (1999)
  • One Night the Moon – Creative Team Leader for project development culminating in One Night the Moon, directed by Rachel Perkins (2001). Creative team – Paul Kelly, Kev Carmody, Rachel Perkins, John Romeril, Mairead Hannan

Artistic collaboration

  • Cretan lutist Giorgos Xylouris
  • Singer songwriters Kev Carmody and Paul Kelly
  • Directors Rachel Perkins, Wesley Enoch, Robert Meldrum, Robin Laurie, Susie Dee, Paul Hampton, Angie Black, Fionn Skiotis
  • Contemporary choreographers Victoria Harbutt and Cazerine Barry
  • Writers Rachel Perkins, John Romeril
  • Many musicians – main collaboration with Dee Hannan and Alice Garner

4 thoughts on “Music biography”

  1. Dear Mairead
    As you probably know One Night the Moon is a HSC text for “Distinctive Voices”. Your contribution to the film certainly creates such a distinctive and beautiful facet to this complex text – I was wondering if you have published any explanations of your creative choices in the musical compositions that make up the film (or if you would share these with us).
    As English teachers, we are struggling to identify all the musical instruments that contribute to the soundtrack – is it possible that you could share a list of instruments used in specific songs? The film credits list a wide range of instruments but we can’t identify which songs feature which instruments.
    I realise you are busy, with a lot of challenging and diverse projects; however, it would be of immense assistance, allowing us to teach this text well if you could share some of your expertise and input into the film.
    Thanking you for making One Nigh the Moon such a great film experience – and hopefully thanking you in advance for your help.
    Marie Rolfe
    Armidale High School

    1. Marie – I’d be delighted to help in anyway I can. I’ll try to answer these queries soon. Thanks for your enthusiasm for the film – it’s great its in a the syllabus. Plenty of topics to cover.

      1. Mairead
        Thank you for your reply. Just thought I’d be a bit more specific about the info we need. Yes, we need help with identifying the instruments used in different pieces of music.
        Also In teaching “distinctive voices” we have identified a variety of voices. We are exploring the way your music contributes to a CULTURAL VOICE which conveys attitudes to the landscape through the music, lyrics and film techniques. We are asking for help in understanding the conventions of Celtic/Irish music and gaining some insight in the effects you wanted to create for the audience with your musical compositions.

        There is so much we would love to know about:
        * The purpose and function of the use of the feminine lilting voices in the Moon Child theme,
        * the creative decisions behind some of the musical themes with no lyrics – The Flinder’s Theme, The Gathering, Night Shadows, Moment of Death, Hunger, Moody Broody – especially the Moment of Death which is so sad.
        * the songs with lyrics: What do you Know? Little Bones.
        The songs and music are such a powerful element. This is the first year we have taught One Night the Moon at our school – it is a very rich text and we feel there is so much to unlock to share with our students.
        Thank you

      2. Hi Marie

        I have posted some words about One Night the Moon and the development of the music. I will follow up with specifics on instrumentation in the next few days. Hope this helps!


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