Library Ireland Week 2021: featured works from CMC's Archive - Linda Buckley's 'Sólás/Solace'

In today’s feature for Library Ireland Week 2021, in keeping with the theme of Our Future Story: Recharge, Reconnect & Re-emerge, the featured work from the CMC Archive is Linda Buckley’s Sólás/Solace.

Library Ireland Week is an annual initiative of the Library Association of Ireland. Each year Library Ireland Week (LIW) invites libraries across Ireland to host events, campaigns, activities or exhibitions to celebrate the annual theme.

Originally from Cork, Linda Buckley has written for orchestral, chamber, solo and electronic forces. She studied music at University College Cork, and Trinity College Dublin, where she received a PhD in Composition. Awards include a Fulbright scholarship to New York University, a Civitella Ranieri Fellowship, the Frankfurt Visual Music Award, and Gold at the New York Festivals Radio Awards.

The Glasgow-based Irish composer was elected to Aosdána in November 2021. Membership of Aosdána, which honours artists whose work has made an outstanding contribution to the creative arts in Ireland, is by peer nomination and election.

Sólás/Solace was commissioned with funds from the Arts Council for the Irish Language Art Song Project in 2019 - read more about this project here.

Sólás/Solace is a work for mezzo-soprano and piano and comprises three songs; I. marginalia (foraois gan fhaobhar)/marginalia (impossible forest), II. Sólás/Solace, III. Faoi Shamhain/In November.
The text is by Doireann Ní Ghriofa.

Linda Buckley on meeting Doreann Ní Ghriofa -

I first encountered Doireann Ní Ghríofa while living in New York on a Fulbright scholarship – she was reading at the Irish Arts Centre in the heart of Manhattan. We connected immediately on a personal and artistic level, and this chance meeting has led to a deeply inspiring and enriching collaborative relationship, working on many projects together. These poems in particular resonated strongly with me, for their connection to the sensual, to nature, to heartbreaking loss and ultimately hope. There is also a musicality in her work, with these three poems linked together by the hearing of something otherly, beyond ourselves.

Listen to Doireann Ní Ghríofa reading her poem Sólás as part of #ShineYourLight, a 2020 collaboration between RTÉ and Creative Ireland:

Sólás/Solace | Linda Buckley
meánsoprán & pianó/mezzo-soprano & piano
Text in Irish and English by Doireann Ní Gríofa

II. Sólás/Solace


Faoi cheo gealaí meán oíche,
de cheol caillte,
filleann sí ó chríocha ciana:
Aithním do bhall broinne,
a cheolaire chíbe
agus is fada liom go bhfillfidh tú arís


Listen: in midnight
moon-mist, in snatches of lost music,
I've heard her return from the distance.
Little visitor, your birthmark looks so familiar
My small warbler, every night, I'll wait,
awake, facing north, until the last star-light fades.
Find me, child; I yearn for your return.

Listen to: II. Sólás/Solace

Guth/Voice | Rachel Kelly
Pianó/Piano | John Hess

Listen to the full work here.