New choral award for City of Derry International Choral Festival announced

35d385dc-c6ea-4794-b279-c2ed1c16bb06The award in partnership with the Contemporary Music Centre will be for the best performance of a piece by an Irish composer at this year’s City of Derry International Choral Festival. The festival takes place from 21–15 October.

All choral works found in the CMC’s library are eligible for consideration. Works from the graded CMC Choral Catalogues as detailed below are particularly recommended, as they have been selected by specialist curators with a comprehensive set of guidelines about each work and a full set of sample pages. A cash prize plus vouchers to redeem on choral works from CMC will be awarded to the winning choir.

CMC Choral Catalogue for Mixed Voice Repertoire

CMC Choral Catalogue for Children’s and Female Voice Repertoire

City of Derry International Choral Festival

Kaleidoscope Night in May features the work of Aloys Fleischmann and Garrett Sholdice in Dublin and Cork

unnamed (1)Entitled Songs That Fall On The Turn, the monthly series pays homage to the Irish composer, educator and conductor Aloys Fleischmann, and is presented in association with the Goethe-Institut Ireland.

Fleischmann’s setting of four poems by Padraic Colum for soprano and Irish harp, The Poets’ Circuits, will be performed by German soprano Janina Staub and Irish harpist, Clare McCague.

Also on the programme is a new commission for the same instrumentation from composer Garrett Sholdice, who’s paternal grandfather knew Aloys Fleischmann in Cork during the 1950s.  The work, entitled Unter Träumen, takes its title from a German translation of one of the last lines of W. B. Yeats’ poem Men Improve with the Years. Garrett Sholdice on the piece:

“As I composed, a Sebaldian nexus of associations took shape in my imagination: the life of German- Irish composer Aloys Fleischmann (1910-1992), my paternal grandfather who knew him in Cork in the 1950s, fragments of my music that I associate with my grandfather (whom I never met), the German origins of my father’s side of the family, the voice, singing, the Irish harp, the early-twentieth-century Ireland of W. B. Yeats, my childhood affection for his poetry, his daughter-in-law Gráinne (an Irish harpist and singer for whom Fleischmann composed), history, memory…”

The works will be performed alongside excerpts from Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire and a programme of works by the Gregory Walkers in a concert in Dublin at 9pm on 6 May at The Odessa Club, and at Crane Lane in Cork on 7 May at 8pm.

Tickets available for the Dublin performance here and at the door for the Cork show.

The 9th annual SONIC VIGIL takes place on 2 May in Cork

Sonic Vigil 2014 Photography by Doreen KennedyThe improvisation and sound art event, which takes place at St. Anne’s Church, Shandon, Cork from 2–8pm on 2 May brings together improvisers, sound artists and field recordists from Ireland and abroad in a multi-hour celebration of cutting-edge, radical sonic experimentation.

This year’s event features renowned multi-award winning German composer, recordist and installation artist Christina Kubisch, musician and soundscaper Hein Schoer. Also on the programme are Arif Ayab, David Bremner, Mikael Fernstrom, John Godfrey, Paul Hegarty, Anthony Kelly, Danny McCarthy, miXile, Harry Moore, Irene Murphy, Katie O’Looney, Mick O’Shea, Robin Parmar, Karen Power, Caroline Pugh, Nick Roth, David Stalling, Sean Taylor.

Managed by Danny McCarthy, Mick O’Shea, Karen Power, Irene Murphy and John Godfrey SONIC VIGIL has been running since 2007. The musicians are placed into a randomly-generated timetable, producing, according to the organisers “instant, unknowable and unexpected interactions: sounds of kaleidoscope beauty, teetering on a tantalising abyss of risk make for an immersive, mesmerising and ever-evolving experience”.

Audience members are free to come and go as they please, and are invited in amongst the musicians, encouraging an exploratory approach to hearing, an approach that is unique to the event.

Irish composers feature this week on WNYC’s New Sounds

Irene Buckley

Following John Schaefer’s visit to Ireland last month on the invitation of CMC, the well known US new music broadcaster presents a number of programmes featuring music by Irish composers this week.

The first programme, broadcast on 14 April and available to listen to here, includes music from Irene Buckley, Benedict Schlepper-Connolly and Garrett Sholdice, while the second episode from the following day focuses on composers Ronan Guilfoyle and Gráinne Mulvey.

Many of the tracks featured come from CMC’s recent promotional disc, new music::new Ireland 2, which was launched by John Schaefer as part of his visit to Ireland.

A number of other episodes featuring new music by Irish composers will be broadcast in the coming weeks and will also be available to listen on demand here.

New Music Digest: 13 – 19 April

ourtunesEvents This Week:

CMC present OurTunes, a mini-festival of music for children aged 5-10, as part of the MusicTown festival

  • 18-19 Apr, Contemporary Music Centre, Fishamble St, Dublin
  • More

The first annual MusicTown Festival continues this week, with many genres of performers performing in venues across the city

  • 10-18 Apr, venues across Dublin
  • More

The Elwood Guitar Quartet will premiere a new concerto for four guitars and piano by Martin O’Leary, who will also perform music by John McLachlan and John Cage at a Fuaim lunchtime concert

  • 16 Apr, 1.10pm, Riverstown Hall, NUI Maynooth
  • More

The next event in the new concert series Listen @ Wellington takes place on Friday, with Fuzzy Logic Ensemble, The Gregory Walkers, Helen McNulty and Re:Ellington

  • 17 Apr, 7pm, Wellington, Baggot St, Dublin
  • More

A Gamelan New Music Weekend takes place and features performances of new music from Gamelan Nua and a quintet of the National Concert Hall Gamelan Orchestra

  • 17 Apr, 8.30pm and 18 Apr, 8.30pm, Kevin Barry Room, National Concert Hall
  • More

A concert by pianist Noriko Ogawa features a new work with movements written by Alan Mills, Stephen Hough and others

  • 19 Ap, 7.30pm, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester
  • More

The MATA Festival in New York includes a performance of a new work titled eöl by Ann Cleare performed by Talea Ensemble, and Jonathan Nangle‘s untitled (after Dan Flavin) installation.

  • 13-18 Apr, 8pm, The Kitchen, New York
  • More

A 400-piece children’s choir from Northern Ireland, with Ulster Orchestra and narrator Aoife Duffin, conducted by Fergus Sheil, will perform Bluebottle, a new work by Brian Irvine

  • 15 Apr, 7pm, Ulster Hall, Belfast

Kirkos Ensemble is planning a series of concerts played in darkness

Kirkos Ensemble

Kirkos Ensemble

The series by the Dublin-based ensemble, entitled Blackout, combines music, food and darkness, and takes place between May and July at the Royal Irish Academy of Music, Dublin.

The central themes of war and darkness inform the programming, with the first two concerts centring on Messiaen’s Quartet for the end of time and Reich’s Different Trains.

In response to these works, Irish composers have written new pieces for the project: Kevin Volans, Raymond Deane, Roger Doyle, Ed Bennett, Seán Clancy, Tom Lane and Robert Coleman. A work by Gráinne Mulveyperihelion-aphelion – also features because of its resonances with Reich’s Different Trains.

The third concert features a new large-scale work for quartet (flute, horn, cello, piano) written by Kirkos founder Sebastian Adams. This eight-movement work will be all about the futility of war, taking the reluctant WWI hero Harry Patch as a figurehead. This will be surrounded by rarely heard solo pieces for the instruments involved.

The group is currently running a Fundit campaign to raise funds towards the costs of the series, which finishes on 13 April. More details on it here.

Concert 1 :: May 8/9 :: Quatuor pour la fin du temps by Olivier Messiaen
Concert 2 :: June 12/13 :: Different Trains by Steve Reich
Concert 3 :: July 17/18 :: Harry Patch by Sebastian Adams

More information on Kirkos here.

new music::new Ireland 2 launch video

Footage from the launch of CMC’s new promotional album, new music::new Ireland 2, at the Contemporary Music Centre on 5 March 2015.

The album was launched by John Schaefer, presenter of WYNC New Sounds and Soundcheck, and featured a performance of Jonathan Nangle’s ‘where distant city lights flicker on half-frozen ponds’ by violinist Daragh Morgan, one of the works on the album.

Jennifer Walshe announced as this year’s artist-in-residence at the soundSCAPE festival

Jennifer_Walshe_web_big.jpgThe annual residency, in association with CMC and supported by Culture Ireland, is now in its third year and takes place as part of the soundSCAPE new music festival in in Maccagno, Italy, near the Italian alps.

The festival takes place from 3–16 July and features participating composers and performers from around the world for a programme of concerts, lectures, masterclasses and workshops.

Natanael May, soundScape festival director:

“Now in it’s eleventh season, soundSCAPE is pleased to welcome composer and soprano Jennifer Walshe to our 2015 festival in Italy this July. We have enjoyed a long and fruitful collaboration with young composers from Ireland who have attended soundSCAPE, and we’re thrilled to host this annual residency. Jennifer wields a unique combination as composer and vocalist-performer, which will offer our participants the chance to hone their improvisatory and performance-art skills.”

Irish composers feature at the 2015 MATA Festival in New York

Ann Cleare

Ann Cleare

Now in its 17th year, the MATA Festival showcases a wide range of new music by emerging composers. This year’s festival, which takes place from 13–18 April 2015, includes works by Ann Cleare and Jonathan Nangle.

Commissioned by the festival, Ann Cleare’s work eöl is for a newly built collection of small percussion instruments surrounded by a chamber ensemble of clarinet, saxophone, accordion, cello and double bass. The percussion instruments are based around the melding of different metals to create unusual timbres and resonances, and were developed and realised by Ann Cleare in collaboration with Dublin sculptor Brian Byrne and Talea percussionist, Alex Lipowski. The collection includes metallic arm and hand pieces that the percussionist simultaneously wears and plays, and a metallic table instrument with rods that detach on to the percussionist’s fingers to create a solo for metallic hands.

Ann Cleare on the background to the piece:

“From a geological influence, the word eolian signifies something borne, deposited, produced, or eroded by the wind. This particularly connects to the wind-like role that the accordion plays in the piece, acting as medium through which the other instruments of the ensemble grow and interact through. And from a mythical energy, the title alludes to Eöl, an elf from J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth writings, who skillfully wove metals into various magical armours.”

The work will be performed in the final concert of the festival on 18 April – entitled ‘Incomparable Contrivances’ – by New York-based new music group the Talea Ensemble.

Also on the MATA festival programme is Jonathan Nangle’s work for soundtrack and 8 computer controlled lights untitled (after Dan Flavin), which will open the concert on 17 April. The work draws upon the work of American visual artist Dan Flavin, known for creating sculptural light installations arranged in simple geometric patterns, and commercially available fluorescent light fixtures.

13 Vices: Interview with Brian Irvine and Jennifer Walshe

Composers Brian Irvine and Jennifer Walshe talk about their collaboration on the project, ’13 Vices’, a work for ensemble, improvisers, conductor and voice inspired in part by Mihail Chemiakin’s Children are the victims of adult vices, a series of grotesque sculptures located in a park in Bolotnaya Square, Balchug, 800 metres south of the Kremlin in Moscow.

Presented by Moving on Music, the work will be premiered in Belfast on 8 April 2015, and will tour to Derry on 9 April, Drogheda on 10 April, Dublin on 11 April and London on 12 April.

Performers are Jennifer Walshe (voice), Brian Irvine (conduction), the strings of the Red Note Ensemble (violin, viola, cello), Paul Dunmall (saxophone), Paul Rogers (double bass) and Mark Saunders (percussion).

Wed 8 April | The MAC, Belfast | 8pm | £12 – £17 |
Thu 9 April | Great Hall, Derry | 7.30pm | £10 /£6 |
Fri 10 April| Droichead Arts Centre, Drogheda | 8pm | €18/16 |
Sat 11 April | National Concert Hall, Dublin | 5pm | €20 |
Sun 12 April | King’s Place, London | 4pm | £12.50/9.50 |


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