hcmf// presents Ireland: A Dataset by Jennifer Walshe (World Premiere)

24 November 2023 21:30

Bates Mill Blending Shed

Image: Still from Ireland: A Dataset film version.

Conceived during the COVID-19 lockdown as an online project, CMC Composer Jennifer Walshe's Ireland: A Dataset is performed in front of a live audience for the first time at hcmf// 2023.


Tonnta Vocal Ensemble:
Robbie Blake
Elizabeth Hilliard
Simon MacHale
Bláthnaid Conroy Murphy 

Nick Roth, saxophones
Úna Monaghan, sound engineer
Aedín Cosgrove, stage / lighting
Jennifer Walshe, music / text / direction / video

Experimental vocal group Tonnta will be joined by saxophonist Nick Roth along with sound engineering from Úna Monaghan and lighting from Aedín Cosgrove, the group coming together to deliver a boisterous radiophonic play exploring Irish identity through issues of nationalism, representation, and inclusion.

Identity, Walshe suggests, is created by the ‘dataset’ we consume: 

An idea of a country is built from the films you watch about that country, the images that are presented to you… But we can change it, we can intervene, and AI [Artificial Intelligence] shows that very bluntly.

Just as an AI is trained by a determined dataset, Walshe looks to develop a new dataset through this performance, assisted by that same technology: neural networks dream in psychedelic John Hinde greens, while AI listens to Enya, Riverdance and the Dubliners, and develops its own version of sean-nós singing to be performed by Tonnta.

A narrative featuring visual imagery, musical accompaniment, projections and radio drama routines, Ireland: A Dataset is an intrepid attempt to discern Ireland in a time when everything from its landscapes to its identities have been idealised, appropriated, and remixed beyond recognition.

Produced by hcmf// supported by Culture Ireland and Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation.

Ireland: A Dataset is commissioned by the National Concert Hall Ireland and Sounding the Feminists.


Jennifer Walshe - Ireland: A Dataset (2020) 50’ World Premiere (live version)


Tickets £21 // Concession £17 // Under 30 £5
Advance booking required at hcmf website.


Bates Mill Blending Shed

Colne Road

Venue Contact Info