Irish Composers perform in Strings and Drones

Though the Irish Composers’ Collective is known for its 60-strong complement of composers of new music, the wealth of performing talent in that membership is often overlooked. Within those 60 members are musicians that work – whether regularly or just occasionally – as soloists and chamber musicians, jazz improvisers and band members and electronic experimenters. This month’s concert takes a break from the 2013 Solo Series to explore some aspects of this bank of performers, with a night of improvised music.

Called Strings and Drones, the concert will feature mainly improvised music performed by ICC member composers on an array of instruments and electronics. Solo viola, violin and piano will be placed beside processed guitars, vocal drones and electronics, while Galen MacCába’s experimental Water Music will see some of the audience get involved too. In Rachel Ní Chuinn’s Walking Space, members of Dublin’s Sacred Harp Singing group will lead a walking vocal drone in which shifting circular movement patterns create shifting relationships between notes. Ben McHugh’s DDI is an improvised noise piece created from a guitar feedback loop, which Anna Murray‘s Rndr creates loops of randomly chosen samples. Sebastian Adams, director of and performer with the Kirkos ensemble, will improvise on viola using electronics controlled by a ‘big red button’. Not all works will be totally improvised: Breifne Holohan will perform his own semi-improvised arrangement of American composer Charlemagne Palestine’s One + Two + Three Fifths, and Éna Brennan will perform two of her own solo violin works.

Strings and Drones takes place at the Kevin Barry Room of the National Concert Hall on Wednesday 19 June at 8.30pm. For more information see, and tickets, costing €10/€5 concession, are available from the NCH box office at or 01 4170000.

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