Approximately 1% of the world’s population suffer from stuttering to some degree, and some of those sufferers end up in incredible positions performing in public despite the psychological impacts that it can have.
Former rapper and current big-name podcaster Scroobius Pip, for example, used music to help him get over his own stuttering issues.
Irish composer Emily Magner Hurley’s new album is focused on raising awareness of the issue, with the secondary school teacher and long-time mental health advocate offering up her record to sit alongside her role in Stuttering Awareness Mental Wellbeing Ireland.
The album is entitled ‘Orainn’ (Us), and due for release on October 16. It’s a collection of original and traditional Irish folk songs performed by Magner Hurley, and Combines acapella, jazz fusion, and classical styles, with the album’s sound focusing on the spiritual, mindful, and meditative. That focus was intentional in the writing: as each piece evolved and its intricate harmonies and motifs took shape, Emily remained mindful of the soundscapes she was creating, atmospheres that would be simultaneously uplifting, inspiring and entirely in fitting with the messages of hope that the team at SAMWI constantly promote.
“A lot of the album is from a style of singing called Sean-Nós, meaning ‘old way’,” says Magner Hurley, “but I have given it my own particular twist.” One of the tracks is dedicated to deputy White House Chief of Staff Jen O’Malley-Dillon who has been an ardent supporter of the SAMWI campaign. Their campaign has found strong support in the United States where US President Joe Biden is another high-profile figure to have flourished while living with a stutter.