The large-scale work for solo piano, What Is Living And What Is Dead, by Dublin-composer and founder member of Dublin psych-rock band The Jimmy Cake, receives its premiere on 30 January in the Pepper Canister Church, Dublin.
The title of the work is taken from a lecture by the late Tony Judt and is a tribute to the author’s insistence that we have lost the ability to imagine our way out of the kind of society the developed West has become in recent decades.
“There is a life within this music that I cannot release myself,” says Simon O’Connor. “Like a song, it is for the performer and listener to breathe their own life and understanding into it. It is in sympathy with an older tradition of music that approaches the listener at both emotional and intellectual levels, rather than placing up barriers to understanding. I believe that right now, the world doesn’t need difficult art that makes an audience feel stupid – it needs art that can help us deal with the society we are inheriting, art that shows us the possibility of a more beautiful world. That is what this music is trying to achieve.”
Belfast born pianist Michael McHale will perform several pieces from the piano suite, with variations for synthesizers performed by the composer and pianist Paul G. Smyth. Tickets €10/15 are available to book from ergodos.ie.