That The Night Come (originally written for Dawn Upshaw and Crash Ensemble) is receiving a number of performances this month, including at the Podium Festival in Esslingen, Germany (by the Festival musicians) and at Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. on April 18. The soloist at the Kennedy Center is the wonderful Rachel Calloway. Stainless Staining also features in the Podium Festival.
The film version of The Last Hotel (an opera by Donnacha Dennehy and the writer/director Enda Walsh) will be broadcast on Sky Arts in the UK on April 11. The specially made film of the opera was directed by Enda Walsh and produced by Brink Films for Sky Arts. The Last Hotel won 'best opera' in the annual Irish Times Theatre Awards on March 6 2016.
The Dark Places (for baritone, bass and ensemble) will be premiered on March 31st at the National Concert Hall in Dublin by Robin Adams (baritone), Stephen Richardson (bass) and Crash Ensemble. Colm Toibin wrote the text especially for the piece, and it concentrates on the unlikely friendship forged between Joseph Conrad and Roger Casement. The piece was commissioned by the National Concert Hall to mark the 100th anniversary of the 1916 Rising in Ireland.
Third Coast Percussion gave a wonderful premiere of my Surface Tension on January 30 at Notre Dame's De Bartolo Performing Arts Center. Further performances include one at the University of Chicago on February 5, and its New York premiere on February 10 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (a co-commissioner of the piece, along with Notre Dame). Nadia Sirota and a viol consort led by Liam Byrne will premiere my 40-minute Tessellatum on Friday, Feburary 5 at Symphony Space. A recording of the work made by Nadia and Liam, both of whom multitrack the various lines to produce a dense web of varying canons slipping in and out of overtone-based tuning, will be released by Bedroom Community later this year.
Further productions of The Last Hotel, my opera with Enda Walsh, will be hosted at the Royal Opera House, London (October 2015), St. Ann's Warehouse, New York (January 2016) and at the Dublin Theatre Festival (September 2015). More details on these in CONCERTS.
The Last Hotel, an opera that I have written to an original libretto by Enda Walsh, will premiere at this year's Edinburgh Festival in August. Enda Walsh will also direct. For more information, check out the information on the Edinburgh Festival website or else you can read more about it on a special site that the producers have created here.
Andrew Clements in the Guardian gives the new orchestra CD a four star review in the Guardian. You can read the review here.
Ivan Hewett discusses new orchestral CD (Crane/O/The Vandal/Hive) on BBC Radio 3's CD Review, available here.
I only just discovered a short review of my Nonesuch CD of 2011, Grá agus Bás, that the New York Times published on December 31 2014. Here's a link.
Back in 1997, I founded Crash Ensemble in Dublin along with a number of friends. I could never have anticipated then how much it would prosper, although I was always optimistic about what could be achieved. Since 2012, when I started to spend more time in the States, I have shared the role of artistic director with the wonderful Kate Ellis. I am now moving to the role of artistic partner, leaving the artistic directorship in Kate's very able hands. I am very proud of what Crash Ensemble has done and continues to do, and I am very excited about Kate's vision for it in the future.
I’m heartbroken that my dearest friend, the brilliant musicologist Bob Gilmore (1961-2015) is no longer with us. He died peacefully in Amsterdam early on the morning of January 2nd, with his partner Elisabeth Smalt by his side. He meant the world to me, and I still can’t get my head around the fact that he has gone. Knowing how important Bob was to me, my friends in Crash Ensemble asked me to write a little bit about him. I’ve just finished a little personal memoir of him that they are putting up on their website (www.crashensemble.com). It was difficult to write, as I still feel enormously sad at this news. Bob was a wonderful man, and his spirit touched so many. The world is a much grayer place without him.
My new orchestra CD is the recording of the week (of December 22) on Q2 Radio in New York. Writing about it, Jeffrey Zeigler calls it an "essential statement". Also I'm pleased that NPR considers Typical Music's blazing performance of Bulb one of its best in-studio performances of the year.
The heroic Rachel Calloway replaced Dawn Upshaw for the premiere of The Hunger in St. Louis on December 11. Dawn unfortunately had to pull out due to a bad cold, and we were very lucky that Rachel was available to step in at short notice. Rachel did an absolutely brilliant job, and it was great to have her sing the role of Asenath Nicholson.
On December 11th, Alarm Will Sound, Dawn Upshaw and Iarla O'Lionaird will premiere the full concert version of The Hunger. The piece also features video interviews, especially done for the piece, with Noam Chomsky, Paul Krugman, Branko Milanovic, Maureen Murphy and Megan Vaughan. Jim Findlay is in charge of the video design. www.alarmwillsound.com
I'm involved in a great new series that Q2 and Nadia Sirota have dreamed up. It's called Meet the Composer, and you can check it out here.
RTE Lyric FM have just released a new CD of my orchestral music played by the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland! It features Crane, O, The Vandal and Hive. Here's a link to it on spotify.
I was delighted to be involved in the Nonesuch at 50 celebrations at the Barbican in London in May. It was a joy (as usual) to work with Kronos Quartet, Iarla O'Lionaird and my own Crash Ensemble. I really enjoyed doing a new arrangement for the wonderful English singer Olivia Chaney and Kronos too for their folk song collection (which they are devising with Bob Hurwitz and others at Nonesuch). You can read a little of it here in the Telegraph. Further Nonesuch celebrations took place at BAM in New York in September, where Alarm Will Sound played Gra agus Bas along with Iarla O'Lionaird. You can read the New York Times review here.