CMC will attend the final New Music::New Audiences conference in September

New Music: New Audiences (NewAud) is a European project which has dedicated itself over the last two years to answering two very important questions for new music. What is the best way for new music to reach its audience? How can new music reach a bigger audience?

Since 2012, the project has involved 31 music ensembles and 16 music organisations, and has attempted to answer these questions through a mix of concerts and dialogue among the participating partners. Many experiments have taken place across these two project years in terms of concert production and presentation by the participating Ensembles.

CMC is responsible for the involvement of the Irish Ensembles, which are the Crash Ensemble and the ConTempo String Quartet. Both have been active participants in the project performing a number of concerts involving repertoire from the other countries, and participating in meetings and conferences organised as part of the project.

The final conference, which takes place on 26 and 27 September 2014 at Warsaw University during the Warsaw Autumn Festival, will review the results of the co-operation and will conclude the project.

CMC will attend the annual Post Primary Music Teachers Association conference

The Post Primary Music Teachers Association (PPMTA) Annual Conference Music Education Matters! takes place from 26-28 September at the Alexander Hotel, Dublin.

The Contemporary Music Centre will be in attendance at the conference with choral conductor Anne Barry delivering a workshop entitled Irish Choral Music – Discover the Easy Way In! The workshop will be given in partnership with the CMC and will feature works from its curated Choral Catalogue for Children’s and Female Voices. Other speakers include David Price who will deliver the keynote, well known fiddle player Martin Hayes and conductor Greg Beardsell. 

New Music Digest: 15 – 21 September


Events This Week

Culture Night takes place on 19 September and features an evening of performances in CMC along with new music performances throughout the country.

  • 19 Sept
  • More on CMC’s event
  • More on new music events taking place
Kate Ellis

Kate Ellis

Ergodos begin their new curated concert series, The Santa Rita Concerts, with a solo performance by cellist Kate Ellis.

  • 18 Sep, 8pm, The Little Museum of Dublin, St. Stephen’s Green
  • More

Dublin Sound Lab present two events as part of Tiger Dublin Fringe Festival: Places, a travelling performance of Peter Ablinger’s Three Places work, and Responses, a concert of responses to Ablinger’s work by four Irish composers.

  • Places: 17 Sep, 8pm, beginning at Temple Bar Gallery and Studios, visiting Dublin Fruit Market and St Michan’s Church
  • Responses: 18 Sep, 8pm, Temple Bar Gallery & Studios, Dublin
  • More

The Irish Composers’ Collective present a workshop on composition for double bass with Malachy Robinson.

  • 17 Sep, 7.30pm, Kevin Barry Room, National Concert Hall
  • More

Trittico ensemble will premiere a new version of Ian Wilson‘s red over black (’Unterwelt’ part III) in the UK

  • 17, 8pm, 1901 Arts Club, London, England
  • More

Meet The Composer: Sarah O’Halloran

We profile some of the composers who have been accepted for CMC representation over the last year.

Sarah O’Halloran is an artist in residence at George Washington University in Washington D.C. She is also a doctoral candidate in Composition and Computer Technology at the University of Virginia. Her work has been performed by ensembles including Dither, VERGE, Ensemble MAE, SEM Ensemble, Princeton Laptop Orchestra, and orkest de ereprijs.

Her work Cream (2012) for electric guitar quartet  was premiered by Dither at Christ Episcopal Church, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA in 2012.

Listen to this and other works on Sarah O’Halloran’s SoundCloud page:

A number of new music events feature at this year’s Culture Night 2014

cn-2014-logoCulture Night 2014, a nationwide initiative that sees arts organisations, venues and artists present free concerts, talks and events in order to promote and celebrate cultural activities in Ireland, returns for another year on Friday, 19 September. The event sees new music events taking place in cities and towns across the country, including CMC’s evening-long salon event with a mix of performers and pieces. Here are some of the featured events:

The RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra will premiere a new work, Beloved on the earth, by Linda Buckley

  • 8pm, National Concert Hall, Dublin
  • More

The Irish Composers’ Collective present a night of performance, electronic works and installations

  • 6pm, Oonagh Young Gallery, 1 James Joyce St, Dublin
  • More

Francis Heery will create a live improvised sound installation called bookscape in Galway City Library

  • 11am, Galway City Library, Galway

Harpist Aileen Deeley will perform two pieces by Paul Flynn, Planxty Ewan and the premiere of Three Pieces from Sweeney, at a recital in Cavan

  • 8pm, Kilmore Diocesan Pastoral Centre, Cullies, Cavan

Pianist/composer Kian Geiselbrechtinger will give a performance of new music in Dún Laoghaire

  • 7.30pm, Maureen O’Hara Studio, The Mill Theatre, Dun Laoghaire
  • More

Karl Burke will create a site-responsive multi-channel installation and performance in the space of The Joinery

  • 6pm – 10pm, 5 Arbour Hill, Dublin
  • More

St Andrew’s Church will be the site of an experimental happening called The Mirror Sanctuary, with organist/composer Alexandr Nisse, organist Carole O’Connor and artist David Tully

  • 6pm – 9pm, Westland Row, Dublin
  • More

The Alliance Française de Cork present Workspace, an interdisciplinary show with music by young German composer Ann-Christin Bloch

  • 6pm – 11pm, Alliance Française de Cork, Mary Street, Cork
  • More

The Contemporary Sketchpad, a collective of collaborating artists and musicians, will present an exhibition in Belfast

  • 4pm – 10pm, Studio 11, College Court, Belfast
  • More

Eoin O’Keefe’s music features during the Irish Marching Band Finals on 13 September

Eoin O’Keefe

The Irish Marching Band Finals take place in Dalymount Park, Dublin, on 13 September run by the IMBA (Irish Marching bands Association).  This contest involves the top marching corps from around the country for the final show of the summer season.  Each group performs a colourful 10 – 12 minute high-paced production on the field, involving brass, woodwinds, on-field percussion, a front ensemble of keyboard and auxiliary percussion and electronics, and a colour guard (a group who combine movement with equipment).

Composer Eoin O’Keeffe has worked as the music arranger for 5 of the groups competing at the weekend – Celtic Crusaders (from Mullingar), Bluehawks (from Clonmel), Inbhear Mor (from Arklow), Vikings (from Tallaght), and TYB Cadets (also from Tallaght).  As well as customised arrangments for each band specifically for their productions, a number of bands commissioned original compositions as part of their shows.  These include Matter of Time (performed by Celtic Crusaders), Enmity (performed by Inbhear Mor), Process (performed by Vikings), and Harvest (performed by TYB Cadets).  Each piece is written to fit the story being told by each group, and in many cases is written very much to a strict storyboard broken down in to short timeframes, similar in many ways to scoring for the screen.  The compositions are generally written specifically to suit the instrumentation, balance and ability of each group.

Eoin O’Keeffe is no stranger to the world of the marching arts.  Growing up, he was a member of his local youth band Banna Chluain Meala in Clonmel (of which the aforementioned Bluehawks are the marching wing), where he played both woodwind and brass, as well as spending some time as conductor and arranger.  In the UK, Eoin also taught a number of groups, including the Black Knights in 2006 during which year they were crowned British Champions, and the Senators in 2007 and 2008 as brass caption supervisor during which time they were crowned European Champions for both years.  As well as in Ireland, Eoin has arranged for and worked with several other groups in the UK, Holland and Italy, and in the USA has worked for System Blue, the education wing of the world champion Blue Devils from California.   He has also been commissioned to write massed band arrangements in Ireland and the UK for the respective marching band organisations.

The finals take place in Dalymount Park, Dublin this Saturday afternoon, 13th September, with performances between 3pm and 5pm, followed by the awards ceremony.  Tickets are available at the gate and cost €5 for adults, and €3 for children.

New Music Digest: 8 – 14 September

artworks-000089908076-jnwkk9-t500x500Events This Week:

The Tiger Dublin Fringe Festival continues this week, with performances of new music including Tardigrade with music by Michael Gallen.

  • 5 – 20 Sep, Venues across Dublin
  • More

Composer Eoin O’Keeffe will have a few works and arrangements played at the All-Ireland Marching Band Finals

  • 13 Sep, 2–6pm, Dalymount Park
  • More


Relevant Tones, on Chicago-based radio station 98.7wfmt, broadcast a show about the work of the Contemporary Music Centre last month

Composer Emma O’Halloran recently added some new works to her SoundCloud page, including Physical Geography, performed by Loadbang with Quinn Collins.


The Irish Times and both review Tom Lane’s HARP: A River Cantata, performed on the Samuel Beckett Bridge as part of the Tiger Dublin Fringe Festival.

A new Dublin-based music company, Ensemble Music, who will represent a number of artists working in contemporary music such as Kirkos Ensemble, launched this week.

Linda Buckley speaks about her recent artistic residency in Iceland.

Meet The Composer: Matthew Rowan

We profile some of the composers who have been accepted for CMC representation over the last year.

Matthew Rowan completed a PhD in Contemporary Composition at Newcastle University in 2009. He has received an AHRC-funded commission for the Northumbrian Exchanges project, and submitted winning entries to the John Armitage Memorial call for music, the Red Note Ensemble Noisy Nights call for scores and the duoDorT Maché call for scores.

His work Reverberations (2006) for chamber orchestra was premiered by the Northern Sinfonia with conductor Baldur Brönnimann at The Sage Gateshead, England on 15 November 2006.

Listen to a sample of this work on the composer’s website here:

Linda Buckley in Iceland

A report from composer Linda Buckley, who spent time in August 2014 in Iceland as part of a composer residency at the Gullkistan Center for Creativity. The center is located near lake Laugarvatn, around 90 km east of Reykjavik. While there, she was the only composer and stayed with six other visual artists  from Denmark, Norway, the US and the Philippines.


It is difficult to put into words, the feeling of waking up when there are only four hours of darkness, a sunrise that lights up your room in the wooden cabin by the mountain, step by step down the staircase until that heart-soaring view, the still expanse of lake with the soft pink light of morning, and beyond, the peak of the volcano Mount Hekla.

There is a different rhythm here, no longer running for trains, emails, deadlines, files. I feel a space being opened out, ready to be filled by beauty, landscape, new music.

There is much travelling, away from the quietness of the cabin – along the south coast of Iceland. Through the black sands and caves of Vik, with a wildness I had never known, to the calm majestic purity of the glacier Vatnajokull. This was something I had wished to experience for many years now, and it felt at once familiar and strange. Moving through vast lava fields, the closest experience I can imagine to landing on the moon, the mists of waterfall Gullfoss like dancing ghosts, diving into the warmth of hot springs… This all seeps in, little by little, and I feel changed. The music comes, and it feels wider somehow, almost panoramic, emerging from a true place and a heart filled up by the power of this new place, an almost overwhelming beauty.

I sing and look out onto Hekla, the beginnings of a song cycle for Iarla Ó Lionáird, with old Gaelic poetry of love and loss:

A bird lifting from clear water,
a bright sun put out –
such my parting, in troubled tiredness,
from the partner of my heart.

Later I learn that this mountain whose ice-capped view has accompanied my daily composing is steeped in folklore, thought to be a gathering place for witches, that the souls of the condemned travelled through Hekla’s crater on their way to hell.

News of an impending volcanic eruption breaks and earthquakes begin to impact the stillness of the landscape. I continue with my work, new music for the Crash Ensemble, which unconsciously begins to channel a sense of almost volcanic activity. I imagine the movement of lava within, its breathing, pulsating – tectonic plates shifting, being immersed inside the magma chamber. I am embracing noise again, huge electronic waves of sound, an earthquake swarm.

The final piece of music I worked on was coming from not a place of volcanic unrest, but that of stillness and calm. It is provisionally called ‘fridur’, Icelandic for ‘peace’ , and full of shimmering harmonies. This is being written for Isabelle O’Connell, for piano and electronics.

As I had hoped, my time in Iceland sparked something in my imagination in a deep and transformative way. The creative impact of these experiences may be seen more fully over the coming months, with time to process the sights, feelings, ideas. There is a sense of awe, of wonder that will carry through and is now within, and I can be transported back to that moment when the Aurora Borealis shone through the night sky outside our wooden cabin, the lights dancing for us, green and red and violet.

Listen to a clip from the electronics part of Linda’s work-in-progress for the Crash Ensemble



The Irish Canon series

IC3 flyer_webThe Association of Irish Composers (AIC) returns with their concert series of leading Irish performers playing the music of Irish composers, with a third season running from September to December.

The series features violinist Cora Venus Lunny, clarinetist Paul Roe, flautist William Dowdall, and pianist Mary Dullea performing programmes of works by a diverse range of composers in a number of venues between September and December.

Cora Venus Lunny will give four concerts in Dundalk IT (25 September), NUI Maynooth (23 October), the Kevin Barry Room, NCH (24 October), and St Patrick’s College, Drumcondra (19 November). Paul Roe will perform at the Kevin Barry Room on 26 September, while William Dowdall and Mary Dullea will perform there on 20 November and 4 December.

Mary Dullea’s concert will also mark the launch in association with CMC of her upcoming album of music by Irish composers which will be released on Métier Divine Art, and will focus on the music of John McLachlan, a composer who celebrates his 50th year in 2014.

Tickets for concerts at the Kevin Barry Room are priced €12/€8 (students), and are available from the National Concert Hall’s Box Office at, or 01 4170000, with no booking fee.

More information from


Please note that all programmes are subject to change at the performers’ discretion

Cora Venus Lunny, solo violin:

Sebastian Adams Adenosine and Adrenaline
Richard Gill Wave
Kian Geiselbrechtinger Close Studies
Daniel Barkley Prism
Ciaran Hope Innocent Marpl
Andrew Hamilton JOY
Siobhán Cleary The Andalusian Dog
Elaine Agnew Slide
John Gibson SOLO
Cora Venus Lunny Free

Paul Roe, solo clarinet/bass clarinet:

Daniel Mc Dermot End (Start, Stop, Space)
David Bremner Composure
Elaine Agnew Hhmmmm
Ed Bennett Monster
Jane O’Leary A Piacere
Judith Ring Whispering the Turmoil Down
Frank Lyons Stung…
Grainne Mulvey Periastron
Rob Canning Continuum
Jim Wilson 3 Playthings for Solo Clarinet
Frank Corcoran Variations on A Mhairin de Bharra
Amanda Feery Rattle…

Bill Dowdall, solo flute:

John Buckley Constellations
Rhona Clarke Elegy for Alto Flute
Massimo Davi Fluidi
John Buckley Sea Echoes for Sliding Head Flute
Philip Hammond Wavespace
Solfa Carlile Distopia
John Buckley 2 Fantasias for Alto Flute
Patrick Connolly Softly, This Way Comes
Benjamin Dwyer Crow

A new orchestral work by Linda Buckley will be premiered on Culture Night

Linda Buckley will have a major new work premiered by the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra as part of the RTÉ Culture Night event on 19 September. The Dublin-based composer has been Composer-in-Residence at RTÉ for the past number of years, and has written a number of works for the RTÉ Performing Groups throughout this time.

The work, titled Beloved on the earth, is a setting of three texts by American writer and poet Raymond Carver, known for the intensity of his poetry. The texts, which the composer came across as a teenager studying music, are individually titled ‘This Word Love’, ‘No Need’ and, a final ‘Late Fragment’, the last line of which is the work’s title. From the composer’s programme note:

“I felt an immediate connection to the understated beauty and emotive power of his words that I have returned to again and again over the years. Carver died shortly after completing these poems, giving them an added poignant resonance that permeated through the act of composing this work. Much of the piece was written while on residency on the island of Gotland in the Baltic Sea, and the beauty of this landscape – its cold stillness, also inspired the work.

Also on the programme for the concert are works by Tchaikovsky and Rimsky-Korsakov. The concert takes place at 8pm in the National Concert Hall, and will be preceded by a conversation with the composer at 7.10pm. Tickets for the concert are available from the National Concert Hall Box Office at, or 01 417 0000.

CMC Library Update for August 2014

Photo_Library_Update_AugustThis monthly update from CMC’s library features some of the works added to its collection. During August, works from 11 different composers were added to the CMC online library catalogue. These include solo instrumental, ensemble, electro-acoustic, vocal, choral and orchestral works. Selected works include:

Derek Ball (1949-) Night
Night is, as faithfully as I can manage it, the musical and dramatic realisation of a very vivid dream. At the time of writing I’m happily married and my wife is very much alive. Not so in this dream. No amateur psychoanalysis please!”

Hugh Martin Boyle (1984-) Sing no More
Premiered by New Dublin Voices, conductor Bernie Sherlock on 12 July 2014 at Conversations II, St. Anne’s Church, Dawson St, Dublin.
Listen to this work on the Irish Composers’ Collective SoundCloud page here

David Byers (1947-) Strange Hells
Premiered by David McCann (vc), Ulster Youth Choir, conductor Greg Beardsell on 8 August 2014 at St. Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Strange Hells was commissioned by the Ulster Youth Choir for a concert marking the centenary of the outbreak of World War I.

“I’ve chosen three poems by soldiers who experienced the dreadful realities of war, serving in the trenches. Each poet offered a revealing and unexpectedly different perspective.”

Raymond Deane (1953-) Quadripartita
Commissioned by the Robinson Panoramic Quartet with funding provided by the Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon. To be premiered December 2014.

“Since classical rhetoric, the four fundamental rhetorical operations, which still today serve to encompass the various figures of speech, have been: addition (adiectio), omission (detractio), permutation (immutatio) and transposition (transmutatio). Originally these were called, in Latin, the four operations of quadripartita ratio.”

Paul Hayes (1951-) Lost in Carnaween
Premiered by Satoko Inoue (pf) on 23 July 2014 at Earagail Arts Festival, Regional Cultural Centre, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal.
Seamus Heaney: Sonnet X.

Francis Heery (1980-) 234 Dots for Floom
Premiered by Siobhán Mannion, Mary O’Brien and Dorone Paris (voices) on 12 July 2014 at Music Circus on The Great Book of Ireland, Glucksman Gallery, University College Cork.

Anne-Marie O’Farrell (1966-) Skimming Stones
Premiered by BBC Singers, conductor Matthew Hamilton on 28 January 2014. St. Paul’s, Knightsbridge, London, England. This was broadcast on BBC Radio 3.

Skimming Stones is a setting of the poem by the same name by UK poet and priest, Ian Adams. In addition to the music serving as a vehicle for the words, there are two background ideas added to the choral texture. One uses the words ‘fly, bob’ to illustrate the incongruity of a stone’s flight and bounce, while the other refers to the four groups of mysteries of the rosary (glorious, joyful, sorrowful and luminous).”


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,339 other followers