Conductor and composer Eimear Noone faced plenty of adversity in her dream to enter a traditionally male career, but that wasn’t going to stop her.
Behind many great games are a soundtrack to match, and, if you’ve been playing some of the most popular games on the planet recently – such as the World of Warcraft series or Overwatch – then you would have heard the work of Galway native Eimear Noone.
Speaking at Inspirefest 2017, Noone has risen to prominence as a world-renowned conductor and composer, but is perhaps best known for her work in the video game industry, which started all the way back in college with a little game known as Metal Gear Solid.
Despite not even thinking at the time that she wanted to work on video games, that association led to an illustrious career that has seen her garner fame in a booming industry and sell out shows in some of the most famous theatres in the world.
However, this wasn’t always the case.
The challenge of being ‘young, Irish and female’
Noone explained on stage that she was discouraged from realising her dream on numerous occasions, even by those she looked up to.
She said that at the age of 19, she got to speak with one of her idols, a conductor and composer who had made numerous appearances on TV and who asked her what she wanted to do with her music degree from Trinity College Dublin.
Somewhat shyly, she said she wanted to do what he was doing, only to be embarrassed after he proceeded to laugh at the idea, so much so that he brought over a friend to laugh as well.
Noone explained his reaction: “He said to me, ‘You don’t have a chance. You’ve got three things going against you: you’re young, you’re Irish and you’re female.’”
She continued: “Besides giving me the perfect title for my autobiography, I’d like to say it didn’t have an impact and it didn’t hurt me, but it did hurt.”
These attempts to undermine her confidence didn’t deter her, and she recalled one of her first career highlights: conducting the Army No.1 Band when it arrived at Ballinasloe, near her hometown of Kilconnell.
It was then that she realised she was destined to make music her life despite the naysayers, having drawn inspiration from the Ancient Greek aphorism, ‘Know thyself’.
“In that moment, I knew myself that this is where I belong,” she said.
“I belong on this box in the middle of the stage communicating with these people. So when [the composer] said to me, ‘No’, I said, ‘I know myself’.”
All these years later and with many accolades under her belt, you can safely say she really does.
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