Rory Hannigan: His Life in Music

by C. Garrett Keidel, Asst. Sports Editor

For senior Rory Hannigan, his relationship with music and guitar is one built out of the need for self expression. During his freshman year at Manhattan College he was introduced to and began listening to fusion style(s) of music. This style of music that was outside of the traditional rock and roll and pop genre, caught his attention due to the mixing of influences, chord progressions, and sounds. This made him want to learn how to play these songs himself.

The specific band that he wanted to learn to play songs of is Twiddle. The desire to play along to some of his favorite songs lead him to picking up a guitar and learning how to play the instrument.

“At the end of my sophomore year of college, I finally had time to have to myself. I don’t even know what possessed me to do it. My roommate had a guitar in the room all year, and I never had even looked at it twice. And then all of a sudden I got into this band [Twiddle] during sophomore year. And then I asked ‘bro do you mind if I pick this up?’ So I actually learned my first few chords on my roommate’s guitar,” said Hannigan.

After that, Hannigan continued playing guitar throughout the summer with friends in his hometown. Coming into Junior year, he took a class at the college in order to learn more.

“I took the guitar skills and techniques class here at Manhattan. It’s basically like an intro into guitar class for people who don’t have too much experience playing. There were some kids in the class who like me had some previous knowledge about chords and basic scales. Professor Garcia would mold the class to help those on the various levels by giving works on slightly different levels of difficulty,” said Hannigan.

  After taking that class. Hannigan felt solidified in the lessons he had learned. Wanting to learn even more though, he sought the help of a jazz teacher to learn more through  specific style of playing. Weekly lessons and exercises in technique, form, and strength fully showed vast improvements in his playing and overall skill.

Music to Hannigan is much more than just something to do in passing the time also pointing out the creative struggles that it can bring as well.

“It is first and foremost my outlet for self expression,” said Hannigan. “I’ll just sit down sometimes and record a little progression by looping it through my amplifier, then I’ll start to create melodies or freestyle some sort of way over the looped track…It’s something that I found that I am good at and it helps me relax some days and get some stress out. But then on the other hand sometimes it causes stress. Some days, even when something was easy to play, you have the hardest time doing it. It can just be really annoying until you try again a couple days later and completely shred it.”

While reflecting on how guitar influences his daily life, Hannigan simply replied, “it sure makes my free time very interesting and enjoyable.”