New Music from Ireland concert in Cardiff

17 March 2019 15:00

Chapter Arts

Join this trinity of Irish musicians and composers for an alternative St. Patrick’s Day celebration at Chapter Arts Centre.
This event is delivered in partnership with The Contemporary Music Centre, Ireland, and CMC’s Linda O’Shea Farren will MC the event and interview composers and performers.  
Internationally esteemed composer and virtuoso guitarist Benjamin Dwyer, composer and voice & electronics artist Jenn Kirby and flautist Emma Coulthard present an exciting collection of contemporary music that reflects the extraordinary diversity and richness of output from the island of Ireland.  Ranging from a new incantation for St. Patrick to the witnessing of the ancient Sheela-na-gig, this music will challenge definitions and present a fresh perspective of contemporary music from Ireland.
£10 (£7 conc) to include post-concert wine reception hosted by CMC Ireland
Age 14+


Emma Coulthard, flute
Frank Corcoran One Minute for St Patrick (world premiere)
Fergus Johnston Planxty
John McLachlan Filament I (world premiere)
Benjamin Dwyer Crow
John Buckley les oiseaux rèvent dans les arbres (UK premiere) 
CMC Composer's Voice: Linda O'Shea Farren talks to flautist Emma Coulthard and composer John McLachlan
Jenn Kirby, voice/electronics
Jenn Kirby The Phonetics Project
Jenn Kirby Take a Trip
CMC Composer's Voice: Linda O'Shea Farren talks to composer performer Jenn Kirby
*** Short Break ***
Benjamin Dwyer, guitar
Benjamin Dwyer Ètude No. 1 'Relentless'                                              
John McLachlan Sympathetic Strings (UK premiere)
Benjamin Dwyer Ètude No. 6 'African Print'                                                
Benjamin Dwyer from KnowingUnknowing                                                
(with Emma Coulthard, flute)
Benjamin Dwyer HAG from SacrumProfanum (world premiere)

CMC Composer's Voice: Linda O'Shea Farren talks to composer performer Benjamin Dwyer

*** Please join us for a post-concert wine reception hosted by CMC Ireland ***


Benjamin Dwyer on his new work HAG:

HAG from SacrumProfanum 

SacrumProfanum is work-in-progress that explores the enigmatic stone carvings found all over Ireland (and in parts of Britain) known as Sheela-na-gigs.  I have spent the last ten years travelling across these lands studying, photographing and sketching these mysterious figures. It is clear to me that this abject though mysterious figure, because of her very complexity, has an extraordinary associative power. What could she represent as witness to Ireland’s unfolding political, religious and social histories?

I have thus tried to create music exploring themes such as feminism, colonialism, identity, religion, symbol, rite, sexuality and the disintegration of Gaelic culture.  In a score that combines contemporary music interfacing with traditional Irish forms, instruments and sean-nós singing, SacrumProfanum explores these themes through raw, visceral, often abject music.  

HAG is perhaps the most abject of all the works in SacrumProfanum.  Composed for amplified flute and bowed guitar, it takes on the role of the Sheela-na-gig, or the HAG, as she has often been called.  She’s an underdog to fight for; she’s a defiant hag that rejects colonial narratives; while she’s a witness that shows her scars of damage, she also rebelliously spits back in the faces of her oppressors; disrupting dominant notions of beauty and feminine grace, she is an ‘ugly’ feminist that asserts her sexual agency and defiantly returns the gaze of the male uncomfortably back at him.


Chapter Arts

Market Road, Canton

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