The Irish Youth Choir premieres new commission by Jonathan Nangle

Jonathan Nangle

The Irish Youth Choir, a mixed-voice choir for Irish singers aged 18-28, is celebrating their 30th anniversary in 2012 with a series of concerts in a tour called Soundworlds. The tour will be a celebration of free-thinking, featuring a mix of innovative and classical pieces, with Haydn, Mozart and Arvo Part.

Part of the programme is a specially commissioned work by Irish composer Jonathan Nangle, known for his exploratory music and innovative soundworlds. The commissioned piece is called to see a landscape as it is when I am not there and is for choir and a random shuffle playback system. The piece is inspired by the writing of religious French thinker Simone Weil, intended to express a spiritual goal, as well as the visual work of Edward Hopper, in which landscapes are defined by the absence of people. Jonathan Nangle explains the piece in his own words:

“The title is an oxymoron from the religious French thinker Simone Weil, her words meant to express a spiritual goal. Of course any landscape, no matter how familiar, will always change from one viewing to the next – a shift in the play of light and shadow bringing a whole new perspective. And so it is with this piece. Each performance will bring a new perspective, a subtle shift in light, as the random introduction of pre-recorded choral harmonies float out and interact with the fixed piece.’

The Irish Youth Choir will visit three locations across Ireland as part of the Soundworlds tour. The first is St. Finbarre’s Cathedral in Cork, where the performance will form part of this year’s Cork Midsummer Festival on 30 June 30. The IYC will then team up with Ireland’s youth mental health organisation Headstrong in presenting a concert at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin on 1 July. Finally, the programme will be performed as part of the Kilkenny Arts Festival, at The Black Abbey on 11 August.

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