Dublin Sound Lab, the contemporary and electroacoustic group founded by Fergal Dowling and Michael Quinn, will present the Irish premiere of Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho’s work Maa in a multimedia project titled Mirrors of Earth.
Maa is a chamber ensemble work written for the Finnish National Ballet in 1991. Though considered her first large-scale work, Maa (meaning earth, country or world) explores similar themes to her later works – questions of distance, space and longing – the piece has been recreated in a number of different contexts since its premiere. In this production, Dublin Sound Lab have replaced the ballet by a specially commissioned seven-part video work by Ailbhe Ní Bhriain, to correspond with the seven movements of the work. The projections combine filmed and computer-generated imagery and are a reflection of the score, the interplay between acoustic and electronic elements, and these underlying themes.
Performing the piece will be a septet of musicians, conducted by David Adams, and featuring Bogdan Sofei (violin), Andrea Baciu (viola), Adrian Mantu (cello), Julie Maisel (flute), Cliona Doris (harp), Michael Quinn (harpsichord) and Maeve O’Hara (percussion). Fergal Dowling will be operating the computer for the surround-sound electronics, while on the tech side, Alexis Nealon will handle sound for the concert, and Mihai Cucu the video projection.
Mirrors of Earth has been supported by a Music Project Award from the Arts Council, along with assistance from Dublin City Council, the Finnish Music Agency, Cork City Council, the Finnish Embassy in Ireland and the Contemporary Music Centre.
Watch a short video on the project featuring Dublin Sound Lab co-director Fergal Dowling