‘The Pregnant Box’, a new series of mini-operas by Evangelia Rigaki will be premiered on 26 September

Evangelia Rigaki

The operas for one audience member, singer and flautist in a confession box and choir continues Dublin-based Greek composer Evangelia Rigaki’s collaboration with poet W.N. Herbert.

Taking place at Front Square, Trinity College Dublin on 26 September from 5–9pm, The Pregnant Box translates a woman’s narrative of concealing pregnancy into a piece of musical theatre and is the result of a collaboration between Rigaki and Dr Catherine Conlon at the School of Social Work and Social Policy. The operas draw inspiration from research by Dr Conlon into women who conceal pregnancy in contemporary Ireland with the libretto by W.N. Herbert drawing from one of the original interviews.

Each of the operas lasts between 1–3 minutes and will be performed for one audience member at a time by singer Lore Lixenberg, flautist Joe O’Farell, the Mornington Singers and conductor Orla Flanagan.

Further information

Culture Night 2014 in CMC

Elizabeth Hilliard and David Bremner

Elizabeth Hilliard and David Bremner

CMC celebrates Culture Night 2014 on 19 September with an evening of exciting new music and conversation. The Centre is open from 6.30pm until 10.00pm, entrance is on a first-come-first-served basis and as always, admission is free.

The Centre’s highly successful salon event which normally resides at the National Concert Hall comes home with three concerts in the Centre’s library across the night. Involving leading contemporary composers and performers these salons will be interspersed with live electronic sets in the Centre’s outdoor courtyard. Ian Wilson, composer and CMC salon curator for 2014, will host each of the salons and encourage conversation between composers, performers and audience in a relaxed atmosphere.

Kicking off the evening at 6.30pm is a salon with Elizabeth Hilliard (soprano) and David Bremner (electric keyboard) featuring works by four Irish composers: Alyson Barber, Gráinne Mulvey, Peter Moran and David Bremner. David Bremner, originally from West Cumbria, UK, is Assistant Organist at Christ Church Cathedral Dublin. Elizabeth Hilliard is a member of Chamber Choir Ireland and Resurgam, and has performed with many leading Irish ensembles including; Crash Ensemble, Irish Baroque Orchestra and Irish Chamber Orchestra. Elizabeth Hilliard and David Bremner perform as a soprano and piano duo, and together have premiered over thirty works.

Seán MacErlaine

Seán MacErlaine

Seán Mac Erlaine, a woodwind instrumentalist and composer, will follow directly with a live outdoor set in the Centre’s courtyard. Seán is recognised as one of Ireland’s most forward-thinking creative musicians and is a frequent solo performer and multi-disciplinary collaborator. Providing a balance to the salon programmes, Seán will perform improvised sets of music for various woodwind and live electronics. He has recently completed a PhD on this work and Culture Night will see the results of this long research process, with three distinct sets performed directly after each salon ends.

Joanna Nicholson (clarinet) and Matthew Whiteseide (electronics) will travel over from Glasgow for the second salon of the night. They will perform works by Jonathan Nangle, Wayne Siegel and the premiere of a work by Matthew Whiteside. CMC is delighted to welcome Joanna to Dublin, a lively freelance musician performing, broadcasting and recording with many of the UK’s finest orchestras and ensembles, and featuring as a soloist, notably on bass clarinet with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra at the London Proms. Matthew completed his Masters in Composition at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and his interest lies in the combination of acoustic and electronic domains through the physical combination of both and is influenced by electronic genres such as Glitch music.

Ian Wilson, who will host CMC’s Culture Night event

The final salon of the night showcases two outstanding artists from Solo Series Phase II, recently released on Diatribe Records. Violinists Adrian Hart and Cora Venus Lunny will both perform works from their respective recordings. More than five years in production, Solo Series II (The String Phase) also includes records by cellist Kate Ellis and hardanger fiddle player Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh. Produced by Nick Roth, It has been described as “a wide-lens portrait of Ireland’s new musical landscape” and “the cutting edge of new string music” (RTÉ1 Arena). For their Culture Night presentations, Adrian Hart will perform his complete ‘Cuisle’ (Movements I-V) and Cora will perform Terminus Conscientiae, music spontaneously composed in response to Bartok’s Sonata for Solo Violin Sz. 117, BB 124


6.30pm – 7.15pm – Elizabeth Hilliard (voice) and David Bremner (electric keyboard)

Alyson Barber | Only in Sleep
Gráinne Mulvey | Phonology Garden
Peter Moran | Vowels
David Bremner | There must be something the matter with him

CMC Library

Host | Ian Wilson

7.15pm – 7.30pm – Sean Mac Erlaine (woodwind and electronics)

Outdoor Courtyard

7.30pm – 8.30pm – Joanna Nicholson (clarinet) and Matthew Whiteside (electronics)

Jonathan Nangle | Our Headlights Blew Softly into the Black Illuminating Very Little
Matthew Whiteside | Three Pieces for Bass Clarinet and Electronics (world premiere)
Wayne Siegel | Jackdaw

CMC Library

Host | Ian Wilson

8.30pm – 8.45pm – Sean Mac Erlaine (woodwind and electronics)

Outdoor Courtyard

8.45pm – 9.15pm – Adrian Hart (violin/electronics)

Adrian Hart | Cuisle (Complete Work Movements I-V) 

9.15pm – 9.45pm – Cora Venus Lunny (violin)

Cora Venus Lunny | Terminus Conscientiae
Spontaneously composed in response to Bartok’s solo violin sonata

Host | Ian Wilson

CMC Library

9.45pm – 10.00pm – Sean Mac Erlaine in conversation with Ian Wilson

10.00pm – 10.15pm  Sean Mac Erlaine (woodwind and electronics)

Outdoor Courtyard

National Concert Hall Gamelan Open Day

The Dublin Gamelan, a beautiful set of bronze instruments gifted to the National Concert Hall by the Sultan of Yogyakarta, will receive their first public performance in a special Open Day in September. The traditional Indonesian instruments, with its unique tonal qualities and tunings, have found an important role within contemporary music over the last century, with many Irish composers still working with the instruments in both traditional and innovative techniques.

10495695_393838924090799_7630464185098454255_oIreland currently has gamelan orchestras in both UCC and UCD, with a number of student and contemporary ensembles. This new gamelan orchestra is a specially made and presented set of instruments resident in the National Concert Hall since late last year, with ensembles established under the direction of gamelan scholar and composer Dr. Peter Moran.

The Open Day will open with public workshops, with separate workshops aimed at families, children and mixed/adult groups, followed by performances from the two National Concert Hall Gamelan ensembles, featuring a mix of new compositions and traditional Javanese music. These performances include two world premieres, Leonie Tang’s One Gåtrå Short of a Lancaran, and Peter Moran’s Embat, named for the “Javanese term for the unique character and tuning of each individual gamelan orchestra, which is what this piece explores, by combining both the slendro and pelog scales of the new instruments”.

The night will finish with the official naming ceremony of the new instruments by the Sultan from whom they were gifted, Hamengkubuwono X, followed by a very special performance by the Yogyakarta Palace Musicians of classical Javanese music and dance.

Another gamelan work by Peter Moran will be performed in October in London, by the Southbank Gamelan Orchestra at the School of Oriental and African Studies, where he will also give a talk on his gamelan compositions. The work is called Sailendra, titled after the ancient Indonesian dynasty for whom the 5-note slendro scale is believed to be named.

The National Concert Hall Gamelan Open Day takes place over 6 and 7 September. Many events are selling out, so early booking is recommended.

Saturday 6 September
10.30am –  whole family workshop
11.30am –  7 – 11 year old workshop
12.30am –  mixed age group and adults workshop

1.30pm –  Informal performance of the National Concert Hall Development Gamelan Ensemble

Traditional Javanese  Lancaran Kidang Talun (4mins)
Group Composition  Lancaran Sky Lantern (3mins)
Leonie Tang  One Gåtrå Short of a Lancaran  (World Premiere) (5mins)
Traditional Javanese  Lancaran Gugur Gunung (5mins)

2pm – Indonesian-Irish Association Dance Recital in the foyer

3pm – Performance by the National Concert Hall Gamelan Performance Ensemble

Traditional Javanese  Ladrang Wilujeng (20mins)
Traditional Javanese  Ladrang Pangkur (15mins)
Dr Peter Moran  Embat (World Premiere) (7mins)
Traditional Javanese  Bubaran Udan Mas (3mins)

Sunday 7 September
7pm –  Gamelan Naming Ceremony with Sultan Hamengkubuwono X
Performance: Yogyakarta Palace Musicians and Dancers


Kaleidoscope Night 5th Birthday Event takes place on 4 September

10590422_769704249734307_3443799436250904644_nKaleidoscope, the eclectic monthly concert series, celebrates five years since its first concert with a large birthday-party event at The Sugar Club in September.

Kaleidoscope Night was founded by violinist Cliodhna Ryan and cellist Kate Ellis and is currently curated by another string-player pair, Karen Dervan and Lioba Petrie, who continue the series all-inclusive approach to quality programming. Usually residing in Dame Court’s intimate Odessa Club, the concerts take place on the first Wednesday of every month, and have become known for showcasing a diverse mix of musical styles and genres on each night.

This year’s Birthday Party will feature some regular Kaleidoscope performers, and the premiere of a specially-written work by Brian Irvine. Performances come from the Robinson Panoramic Quartet, the series current ensemble-in-residence, Baroque ensemble The Gregory Walkers, Treelan and Ergodos Musicians, playing music from their recent Songs album. The line-up also features visual artist Furry, and dancers Rebecca O’Reilly and Deirdre Murphy, with RTÉ lyric fm’s Ellen Cranitch acting as MC.

The Kaleidoscope 5th Birthday Party takes place on Thursday 4 September, with doors opening at 8pm, and music beginning at 8.30pm. Tickets cost €15 if bought in advance from kaleidoscopenight.eventbrite.ie, or €18 on the door on the night.

In a first for the series, this event will also be streamed online, and available on the Kaleidoscope website www.kaleidoscopenight.com

New Music Digest: 18 – 24 August

Irish Youth Wind Ensemble

Irish Youth Wind Ensemble (C) Marc O’Sullivan


Events This Week:

A work by Seán Doherty, called Et clamabant, will be performed by the National Youth Choir of Scotland as part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

  • 22 Aug, 10.15pm, St. Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh, Scotland
  • More

Pianist Gary Beecher will play Sam Perkin‘s Comet at a Young Musician Gala Recital at a festival in Bangor.

  • 22 Aug, 1pm, Clandeboyne Festival, Bangor, Northern Ireland
  • More

Ian Wilson‘s Lios na Gaoithe will receive its Scottish premiere at the British Flute Society Ninth International Convention

  • 23 Aug, 4.30pm, Warwick Arts Centre, England
  • More

The Irish Youth Wind Ensemble play a number of concerts of traditional and contemporary wind repertoire from around the world.

  • 22 Aug, 7.30pm, Good Shepherd Chapel, WIT, Waterford
  • 23 Aug, 8pm, University Concert Hall, Limerick

Meet the Composer: Sam Perkin

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

Sam Perkin is currently studying at Conservatoire National Supérieur Musique de Lyon (CNSMDL). He holds a B.Mus. and MA in Composition from CIT Cork School of Music. He has received commissions from Cork Orchestral Society, Cork City Council Arts Office, Voci Nuove (Spectrum for Choir – Sung at the 2013 Cork International Choral Festival), and The Irish Association of Youth Orchestras/The Arts Council.

His work Violin Concerto No. 2 – ‘Voice’ (2011) was premiered by Eoin Ducrot (vn-solo) and Cork School of Music Symphony Orchestra with conductor Geoffrey Spratt at the Curtis Auditorium, CIT Cork School of Music on 21 April 2012.

Listen to this and other works on Sam Perkin’s SoundCloud page: https://soundcloud.com/samperkin

The fourth annual Irish Sound, Science and Technology Convocation takes place from 28–29 August

issta-logoThe conference, which takes place at the National University Ireland, Maynooth, is entitled ‘Audio Fabric: Socio-Sonic Textures in the Real World’ and examines the social impact of sound in the real world.

From the conference web site:

Technology cannot be divorced from the interconnections with cultural output, social practice and aesthetics. We seek to contextualise all sound-making and its sciences and technologies. What is the societal impact of our artistic and technical practice with sound? How does our research and practice impact the wider community? Finally, given that our practice is, for the most part, financed by public funding, what is it that we are giving back?

Featuring keynote speeches by Icelandic composer Guðmundur Steinn Gunnarsson and Dr Jacqueline Walker, University of Limerick, the convocation includes papers and workshops on a range of topics associated with the main theme.

The 2-day event also includes a number of performances, including those by Fergal Dowling, Massimo Davi, and Patrick McGlynn.

Further information is available from the Irish Sound, Science and Technology web site.

CMC Library Update for June and July 2014



This update from the library features some of the works added to its collection. It is CMC’s ongoing priority to further develop and promote our library catalogues to performers and scholars nationally and internationally, so we aim to ensure that the CMC catalogue is complete and comprehensive, by asking all 170 active composers to submit their work regularly.

During June and July, works from 20 different composers were added to the CMC online library catalogue. These include works from the whole spectrum of categories: solo instrumental, ensemble, electro-acoustic, vocal, choral and orchestral works. Selected works include:

Enda Bates (1979-) Euphony
Premiered by the National Chamber Choir of Ireland (now Chamber Choir Ireland) with conductor Paul Hillier on 3 May 2013 at Cork International Choral Festival.
“This piece was inspired by the cantu a tenore style of folk singing of Sardinia, and the profound feeling of joy which this music arouses within me. This is reflected in the title, Euphony, meaning a pleasant sounding or harmonious combination or succession of words.”

Linda Buckley (1979-) serein
Premiered by Matthew Schellhorn on 28 May 2014 at the CMC Salon.
“The title refers to fine rain falling after sunset from a sky in which no clouds are visible.”

David Collier (1987-) jaunt
Premiered by Evan Saddler (perc) and Will Bennett (perc) on 31 July 2014 at Small World Coffee, Princeton, New Jersey, USA.

Patrick Connolly (1987-) Breath Notes
Premiered by Paul Roe (cl) and William Dowdall (fl) on 14 May 2014 at the ICC Concert: Wind, Kevin Barry Room, National Concert Hall, Dublin.
Listen to this work on the composer’s SoundCloud page here.
Breath Notes blends a combination of pitched notes and air sounds, created using with various techniques, in an attempt to replicate the sound of wind blowing through trees.”

Seán Doherty (1987-) Testament
Premiered by Cavan County Choir on 19 June 2014 at Marble Arts Caves Global Geopark, Cavan.
Listen to this work on the composer’s SoundCloud page here.
Testament was commissioned by Cavan Arts, with text by the poet Heather Brett.

Amanda Feery (1984-) Three Sisters
Premiered by Mivos String Quartet in April 2014 at Princeton Sound Kitchen, Taplin Auditorium, Princeton University, USA.
Listen to this work on the composer’s SoundCloud page here.
Three Sisters is a set of inelegant, drunk and disorderly dance tunes.”

Marian Ingoldsby (1965-) Dance
Premiered by the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, conductor Gavin Maloney on 21 January 2014 at the Horizons Series, National Concert Hall, Dublin .
Dance is, as the title suggests, a playful and colourful exploration of the idea of momentum.”

Brian Irvine (1965-) Á mon seul désir
Premiered by Darragh Morgan (vn) with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra and conductor Gavin Maloney on 28 January 2014 at the Horizons Series, National Concert Hall, Dublin.
The Lady and the Unicorn is the modern title given to a series of six tapestries at the Musée du Moyen- Age woven in Flanders of wool and silk, from designs (“cartoons”) drawn in Paris in the late fifteenth century. The sixth displays the words “Á mon seul désir” – what my heart (soul) desires.’

Garrett Sholdice (1983-) three lieder after Franz Schubert
Premiered by Elizabeth Hilliard (S-solo) and David Bremner (pf) on 31 January 2012 at the Kevin Barry Room, National Concert Hall, Dublin.
Listen to this work on the composers website here
“The Lieder of Franz Schubert are astonishing in their economy. Schubert conjures such intense atmosphere with so little. It is this singularity that attracts me most. My songs are palimpsests – distillations, celebrations and reflections…”

Gareth Williams (1977-) the song, the stars, the blossom
Premiered by Catrin Orr (S-solo) with The Orchestra of Scottish Opera on 1 June 2014 at St. Andrew’s in the Square, Glasgow, Scotland.
Listen to this work on the composer’s SoundCloud page here
Three settings of extracts from writer Dennis Potter’s last interview in 1994.

Kevin Volans (1949-) Concerto for Solo Percussion and Ensemble
Premiered by Jonny Axelsson (perc) with KammerensembleN on 8 March 2014 at Färgfabriken, Stockholm, Sweden.
“This piece was written for Jonny Axelsson and KammerensembleN, Stockholm. The ensemble is divided into 2 groups and there is a ‘shadow’ percussionist. Ideally, both ensembles should be placed far apart, on either side of the soloist. The Shadow percussionist should be offstage (opposite the soloist) or at the back of the hall opposite the soloist. The audience should be able to move freely around the auditorium.”

Walled City Music Festival “Final Score” workshop report

A report from composer Seán Dohery on his attendance at the recent “Final Score” composer workshop which took place as part of the Walled City Music Festival in Derry
Composers with the Cull Quartet and Joe Cutler

Composers, Coull Quartet and Joe Cutler

On Sunday, 20 July 2014, I had the pleasure of taking part in ‘Final Score’, a composition workshop organised as part of the Walled City Music Festival, in partnership with the Contemporary Music Centre, and held in the Foyle Arts Building of the University of Ulster, Derry. The workshop was mentored by the English composer Joe Cutler and facilitated by the Warwick-based Coull Quartet. The theme of the workshop, and of this festival weekend, was that of ‘The Sounds of Sport’, timed to coincide with the opening of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow; the programme also contained performances of Nick Fells’ ps[c]yched, for string quartet on four upturned bicycles, and Mauricio Kagel’s Eine Brise, for massed cyclists, directed by composer Siobhán Cleary.

Aran O’Grady

The five selected composers were given the stipulation that their submitted pieces ought to be linked in some way to sport; a stipulation adhered to by some and dispensed with by others. The five pieces were as diverse as the Commonwealth-games participants: Fiona Linnane’s Le Rugby, for string quartet and referee, conveyed the energy and drama of a match at her local stadium of Thomond Park in Limerick; Eamonn McCrossan’s piece is titled with an unwieldy YouTube URL that links to a video of the famous Michael Dunlop racing a motorcycle and is based on a sonograph of this eponymous video; Aran O’Grady also took motor-sports as an inspiration in his bracing Formula 1, that even had a built-in pit-stop before the players resumed the race to the double-bar line;  James Oldham was one of the two composers who dispensed with the stipulation of a link with sport, but his collection miniatures Four of Them was, by his own admission, a near-athletic feat of concentration owing to some tricky corners in counting; my own piece, Thelxinoë (mind-charming), also did not have a sporting connection, but in its use of pencils bounced on the strings, in place of bows, bore a similarity to the natural rhythms produced by gravity that were evoked in Cutler’s Ping!. 

Members of the Coull Quartet

Members of the Coull Quartet

The Coull Quartet were amenable to this bizarre substitution of pencils for bows and, aided by Cutler’s astute observations, the workshop was productive and informative in the various ways of creating sound use this extended technique—an invaluable process to me in re-drafting, improving, and finishing the piece.

Photos by Lorcan Doherty, see more on our Flickr page.

Award for Matthew Whiteside

Glasgow-based Irish Composer Matthew Whiteside has been given a Quality Production Award from Creative Scotland. The award is to write a new piece for viola d’amore and live electronics, record an album of his music and premiere the new work.

The new piece will be developed through an extended period of collaboration with Emma Lloyd, the Edinburgh based multi-string instrumentalist, and performed in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Belfast and Dublin around April 2015.

‘I am really excited to receive this award from Creative Scotland’, says Matthew Whiteside. ‘It will give me a chance to develop my work as a composer working with electronics and create an album of my music. Emma and I have worked together on a number of occasions performing my piece Ulation for viola and live electronics and it’s amazing to be able to write a new piece for her.

With the new piece I’m planning to use a motion sensor to enable Emma to control the electronics. I’m really interested in trying to create electronics that, once set up, the performer can control themselves so this collaboration gives me the chance to explore that desire even further.’

Emma performing Ulation at 2013 Sonorities in Belfast

Japanese pianist Satoko Inoue performs music by John McLachlan and Paul Hayes in Donegal and Dublin

Satoko Inoue

A leading interpreter of contemporary piano music, Satoko Inoue has premiered works by some of Japan’s foremost composers including Jo Kondo, Yoriaki Matsudaira, Yoritsune Matsudaira and Toshi Ichiyanagi and is known for recitals of works by contemporary composers such as John Cage, Morton Feldman, Henry Cowell, Luciano Berio, Giacinto Scelsi and Luc Ferrari amongst others.

She visits Ireland with the financial support of the Japan Foundation and will give three concerts in Donegal, Dublin and Roscommon with performances of new music by Irish and Japanese composers in Donegal and Dublin.

The programme includes the Irish premiere of John McLachlan’s Nine, a work originally premiered by Satoko Inoue in Tokyo in 2012. Also on the programme is the premiere of a new work, Lost in Carnaween, by Tokyo-based Irish composer Paul Hayes, as well as works by Japanese composers Hirokazu Hira-ishi, Sesshu Kai, Toshiya Watanabe, Yori-aki Matsudaira, Yuji Itoh and Jo Kondo.

The concerts take place on 23 July at the Letterkenny Regional Cultural Centre, Donegal at 8pm as part of the Earagail Arts Festival, and on 25 July at 7.30pm at the Kevin Barry Room, National Concert Hall, Dublin. The performance in Dublin will be preceded by a brief introduction to contemporary Japanese music by Yuji Itoh and Satoko Inoue.

Tickets for the Donegal concert are available from www.eaf.ie/booking-info (€15/12), and from the National Concert Hall for the Dublin concert (€15/10).

Following these performances, Satoko Inoue will also perform a recital at the Boyle Arts Festival, King House, Roscommon on 26 July at 11am featuring works by Bach, Debussy, Takemitsu and Janáček.

Further information on Satoko Inoue:


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