Musical Tales series: interview with curator Mark Fitzgerald [audio]

Musicologist and DIT Music Lecturer Mark Fitzgerald talks about the idea and programme for CMC’s Musical Tales series of concerts which take place in Dublin City Libraries on 26 November and 4 December 2015.

More information on the series here.

CMC Salon: John Buckley and Cassiopeia Winds [video]

Hughlights from CMC’s October Salon featuring Cassiopeia Winds performing John Buckley’s first wind quintet alongside a new quintet specially written for the ensemble.

New Music Digest: 23 – 29 Nov

FBBanner01Events This Week:

The CMC Salon Series features a concert by the RIAM percussion ensemble, and sees the launch of a new book celebrating the work of Frank Corcoran

  • 24 Nov, 7pm, Katherine Brennan Hall, RIAM, Dublin
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A concert of Frank Corcoran‘s work, including the premieres of new works, will be presented by the James Joyce Centre and Association of Irish Composers

  • 26 Nov, 8pm, James Joyce Centre, Dublin
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CMC also present an event called Musical Tales, curated by Dr Mark Fitzgerald of DIT and celebrating the music of contemporary Irish composers in connection with four published books in the CMC Library

  • 26 Nov, 1pm, Central Library, ILAC Centre
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Ann Cleare‘s orchestral work phôsphors (…of etherreceives its UK premiere by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra

  • 26 Nov, 8pm, City Halls, Glasgow, Scotland
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Cassiopeia Winds continue their Irish tour featuring John Buckley‘s new work Wind Quintet No. 2

  • 29 Nov, 3pm, Black Abbey, Kilkenny
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Rathdown Cantori celebrate their 10th anniversary with a concert that features the premiere of a work by Norah Constance Walshe

  • 27 Nov, 7.30pm, Rathdown School, Glenageary, Dublin
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Ann Cleare’s phôsphors (… of ether) to receive UK premiere

writingA work by Ann Cleare will be given its UK premiere by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra this month.

The work, titled phôsphors (… of ether) was originally written for the RTÉ Symphony Orchestra, and premiered by them in 2013. It will be featured on a Hear and Now programme with two other UK premieres (Franck Bedrossian’s Itself and Johannes Schöllhorn’s Dämmerung Schmetterlinge (Twilight Butterflies)), as well as a World Premiere by Berlin-based composer Rebecca Saunders.

From the work’s programme note:

phôsphors (… of ether) comprises three instrumental islands, which do not know of each other’s existence. These islands have been designed with particular registral, harmonic, and timbral characteristics, behavioural qualities, and temporalities that are unique to each island…A fourth composite of timpani, percussion, and harp act not so much as an island but as a mobile force, a sonic antennae that can branch its ears and handles outward to all three islands, moving between them, carrying sonic colours, energies, and matter amongst them”

The Hear and Now concert takes place on 26 November at the Grand Hall at City Halls, Glasgow. For more information about the concert, see the BBC SSO website.

Awards and nominations for Brian Irvine

Brian_Irvine288x257Belfast-based composer Brian Irvine has recently received a number of awards and nominations for his work.

Irvine is the current, and first, Music Laureate for Belfast, and is best known for his theatre works and participatory works for children. He was recently announced as one of three composers to win the prestigious Paul Hamlyn Foundation Award (alongside Aden Ilhan and Peter Wareham). The £50,000 award is given to composers and visual artists each year in order to support them in the creation of new work over a three-year period.

In addition to this, Irvine is on the shortlist for this year’s British Composer Awards for his Stage Work Things We Throw Away. This work is a set of five short operas with texts by John McIlduff, all inspired by life on the streets of Dublin, and commissioned by the Dublin City Public Art Programme. The five short pieces were produced by Wide Open Opera earlier this year, and presented in public spaces throughout Dublin as part of the MusicTown Festival.

The results will be announced at a ceremony at BFI Southbank on 9 December. See the British Composer Awards website for more information.

New Music Digest: 16 – 22 November

Isabelle O'Connell, Irish Pianist, Ireland, New York, Classical Contemporary

Events This Week

CMC’s Four Solo Spaces concert sees works by Ed Bennett, Ann Cleare, Ben McHugh and Grainne Mulvey performed in different spaces in Temple Bar

  • 21 Nov, 3pm, View – Temple Bar Arts and Politics Festival, Contemporary Music Centre
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The Association of Irish Composers presents Piano Counterpoint, a concert of piano and electronics with Isabelle O’Connell

  • 21 Nov, 8.30pm, Lutheran Hall, Adelaide Road, Dublin
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Isabelle O’Connell will premiere loaded silence by Karen Power for a concert in Belfast

  • 19 Nov, 1pm, Sonic Arts Research Centre, Belfast
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The Hard Rain Soloist Ensemble launch their 2015/16 season with a concert in Crescent Arts Centre, where they are ensemble-in-residence

  • 18 Nov, 5.30pm, Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast
  • 21 Nov, 7.30pm, Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast
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Listen at Bello Bar features a AIC-supported performance from Massimo Davi and Monica Miuccio as Iride Project, preceded by a CMC Composers’ Voice talk

  • 19 Nov, 7pm, Bello Bar, Portobello, Dublin
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Quiet Music Ensemble perform the second concert in their Irish tour in Mayo, with works by Irish composers John Godfrey and Jennifer Walshe

  • 19 Nov, 8pm, Ballina Arts Centre, Mayo
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A Diatribe Records event features performances from sound art duo David Stalling and Anthony Kelly as well as Jennifer Walshe, Nick Roth and others

  • 16 Nov, 8.30pm, The Grand Social, Dublin
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The Romantic Voice, a concert tour with Sylvia O’Brien, Christopher Marwood and Michael McHale, features a solo piano piece from Philip Hammond

  • 17 Nov, 8pm, All Saints’ Church, Castleconnell, Limerick
  • 18 Nov, 8pm, Siamsa Tíre, Tralee
  • 20 Nov, 8pm, Model Arts and Niland Gallery, Sligo
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A Music Network tour with Benjamin Appl (Bar-solo) and Gary Matthewman (pf) features a new work by Marian Ingoldsby called Never give all the heart

  • 18 Nov, 8pm, Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane, Dublin
  • 19 Nov, 8pm, Tipperary Excel Centre, Tipperary
  • 20 Nov, 8pm, Triskel Christchurch, Cork
  • 22 Nov, 8pm, Pavilion Theatre, Dun laoghaire

A multimedia piece by Ian Wilson, premiered last month called Feldwege / Holzwege, will be performed in Leitrim by Cliodhna Ryan and crOw

  • 19 Nov, 8.30pm, The Dock, Leitrim
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A pre-Rising Centenary event celebrates the music of Dublin in 1915, including extracts from the Abbey Theatre’s 1915 music programme as well as Feis Ceoil competition pieces and traditional songs

  • 22 Nov, 8pm, Rotunda Pillar Room, Dublin
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The Spook of the Thirteenth Lock and Electric Guitar Orchestra will give the premiere of the full LOCKOUT work, with soloist Donal Lunny.

  • 21 Nov, 8pm, Hangar, Dublin
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The first movement of LOCKOUT, performed last year by Spook of the Thirteenth Lock

Contemporary musicians and composers in residence in Dún Laoghaire

grc3a1inne-mulveyno3-1Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council have announced a number of musicians in residence for 2015/16, which provides the selected composers and performers opportunity to work in the recently-built dlr LexIcon building, as well as opportunities for public performance. The selected musicians are Matthew Jacobson, Grainne Mulvey with singer Elizabeth Hilliard, The Eidola Trio, and Sebastian Adams.

Jazz drummer Jacobson will be the first to take up residency at the Library building, followed by Grainne Mulvey and Elizabeth Hilliard. During their residency time,  Mulvey will develop a new opera for electronics and voice with singer Hilliard. Some scenes from the opera will be presented towards the end of their residency period. About the new work:

Judith (libretto: Wolfgang Thompson) is based on aspects of Virginia Woolf’s life, that addresses her time spent at Oxford, her schizophrenia which beleaguers her throughout the libretto, (she converses with Milton and Lamb in the text,) her difficulties in being a female resident at Oxford, her harassment by the Beadles, her role as a feminist and her eventual untimely suicide. 

The work is in seven scenes. It will eventually be performed by a chamber orchestra with more male and female voices and with the possibility of instrument doubling if required.”

The final resident in the period will be composer Sebastian Adams, who will use the time to develop a number of strands of his practice, including multimedia composition and collaboration, performance, and computer-aided composition:

2c963-img_1949“The first is going to be a concert of improvisations with visuals and electronics, taking advantage of the amazing and unusual architecture of the LexIcon library. 

The second strand is a viola recital of works written for me. This will include works by Tom Lane and Garrett Sholdice that I’ve played already and a brand new piece by Daniel Barkley. Jenn Kirby is working on something for me with live electronics also.

Finally, I will be working on pieces for the real-time generative notation software I have been building for the last couple of years. For the first time, I will be inviting other composers to write pieces utilising my patches. I’ll also be doing a couple of pieces for it myself. We will work at these together in the LexIcon over the course of the four months and at the end Kirkos Ensemble will workshop the pieces. These will then be tweaked further and we will put them all on as a Kirkos concert at a later date.”

The selected musicians for the 2015/16 Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown Residency were selected by a panel consisting of Deirdre McCrea, Alec O’Leary and Fergus Sheil.

Cork Film Festival features music and performances from Irish composers and musicians

The Cork Film Festival, taking place all this week, features a number of performances and films with music by Irish composers.

Earlier in the festival, Cloud of Skin a new experimental documentary film by Maximilian Le Cain was premiered at Triskel Christchurch. The film explores the bond between a man and his deceased partner, a blind visionary, presented as a kind of ‘fever-dream’ sequence, with soundscape music by composer Karen Power. Le Cain and Power have collaborated on a number of works in the past, both short audiovisual pieces and feature-length films.

An film-and-music piece by Jennifer Walshe, An Gléacht, will also be premiered at the festival. The work is based on ‘outsider artist’ Caomhín Breathnach, also the basis of her work Dordán, and features film footage, tapes and live performers Nick Roth, Panos Ghikas, M.C. Schmidt, and Walshe.

In addition to film events, there are also workshops in audio production, and a number of musical events. CAOS Ensemble, a new ‘pop-up’ group led by composer Nick Roth, will create and improvise soundtracks to specially-selected footage (14 Nov). Participation is open to the public, for any age, level or ability. More information about the project is available from the National Concert Hall. The IFI and Bottlenose are also working together to present live improvised soundtracks performed by some of the country’s top contemporary performers, including Seán MacErlaine, Shane Latimer and Sean Carpio (15 Nov). Visiting audiovisual and electroacoustic artist Robert Curgenven will present a concert with multiple turntables, acetates and low frequency oscillators (13 Nov).

The Cork Film Festival takes place 6 – 15 November in venues in Cork. More information can be found at 

CMC will hold an exhibition as part of the Musical Tales series of concerts in the library this month

Musical_TalesThe exhibition takes place in CMC’s library from 16 November-4 December 2015 and marks the Library Association of Ireland’s Library Ireland Week (16-22 November) and the Archives & Records Association’s Explore Your Archives Campaign (14-22 November).

Complimenting the Centre’s Musical Tales series of concerts, the exhibition focuses on four books from the library’s collection written by or about Irish composers. Scores and recordings from some of the musical works featured in the books will be on display, and visitors will be encouraged to explore the collection further. There will also be concert programmes and other ephemera relating to the works. The books will also be available to buy from the CMC Shop.

Come along to the exhibition and find out more about the works before hearing them in concert!

The exhibition will open from 10am-5.30pm Monday to Friday for the three weeks.

For further information, contact CMC’s Library Co-ordinator, Cáitriona Honohan,

Irish Composers present a night of installations and music this Friday

12182917_918896828172251_4644976237308181644_oThe Irish Composers’ Collective present an unusual and unique event this week in association with music producers Ensemble Music. ICC TAKEOVER sees the Collective occupy a Georgian building on Merrion Square for a day, with installations and performances taking place in each room.

Installations include: a song cycle by Siobhra Quinlan; an exploration of film and music by multiple members; Silk, a sound, sculpture and spoken-word work by Maria Minguella; a collaboration between composer Breifne Holohan and artist Vivienne Byrne; Resonating Bodies, a performance exploring music and movement; a multimedia composition by Timothy Cape; a set of audience-interactive pieces by Peter Moran.

The night will finish up with a performance by contemporary ensemble and regular ICC collaborators Kirkos, of eight new works by ICC members Amy Rooney, Chris Moriarty Pearson, Christopher McAteer, Elis Czerniak, Raeghnya Zutshi, Sean O Dalaigh, Sorcha Coller and Susan Geaney. As well as the installations and performances, there will be a food and wine reception, with food from KC Peaches and lemonade from John Lemon.

ICC TAKEOVER takes place on Friday 13 November, beginning at 6pm, at the Irish Architectural Archive, 45 Merrion Square. Tickets cost €15 and are available from


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