Irish composers feature at the 2015 MATA Festival in New York

Ann Cleare

Ann Cleare

Now in its 17th year, the MATA Festival showcases a wide range of new music by emerging composers. This year’s festival, which takes place from 13–18 April 2015, includes works by Ann Cleare and Jonathan Nangle.

Commissioned by the festival, Ann Cleare’s work eöl is for a newly built collection of small percussion instruments surrounded by a chamber ensemble of clarinet, saxophone, accordion, cello and double bass. The percussion instruments are based around the melding of different metals to create unusual timbres and resonances, and were developed and realised by Ann Cleare in collaboration with Dublin sculptor Brian Byrne and Talea percussionist, Alex Lipowski. The collection includes metallic arm and hand pieces that the percussionist simultaneously wears and plays, and a metallic table instrument with rods that detach on to the percussionist’s fingers to create a solo for metallic hands.

Ann Cleare on the background to the piece:

“From a geological influence, the word eolian signifies something borne, deposited, produced, or eroded by the wind. This particularly connects to the wind-like role that the accordion plays in the piece, acting as medium through which the other instruments of the ensemble grow and interact through. And from a mythical energy, the title alludes to Eöl, an elf from J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth writings, who skillfully wove metals into various magical armours.”

The work will be performed in the final concert of the festival on 18 April – entitled ‘Incomparable Contrivances’ – by New York-based new music group the Talea Ensemble.

Also on the MATA festival programme is Jonathan Nangle’s work for soundtrack and 8 computer controlled lights untitled (after Dan Flavin), which will open the concert on 17 April. The work draws upon the work of American visual artist Dan Flavin, known for creating sculptural light installations arranged in simple geometric patterns, and commercially available fluorescent light fixtures.

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