Works by John Buckley and David Fennessy selected for the ISCM World Music Days 2019

The programme for this year’s International Society of Contemporary Music (ISCM) World Music Days has been announced and Irish composers John Buckley and David Fennessy feature in the programme for the 8 day festival.

The annual ISCM World Music Days festival is organised by a different host each year and showcases the incredible diversity of musical practice in our time. The 2019 festival takes place in Tallinn and Tartu, Estonia from 2–10 May.

John Buckley’s Alla Luna will be performed by Kristi Mühling, and David Fennessy’s Hirta Rounds will be performed by the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra.

The festival organisers, the Estonian Composers’ Union, received over 500 submissions of which 99 were selected for performance at the festival. The Irish submission to the festival was made by the Association of Irish Composers (AIC), as the Irish section of the ISCM. Six works were submitted for consideration, selected from a call for scores.

Written for solo kannel, John Buckley’s Alla Luna takes its title from a poem by Giacomo Leopardi.

The poet reflects on the beauty of the moon and the consolation it gives him in his recollection of sadness and trouble in his life. The entire poem is imbued with a type of mystical reflection on how the quality of moonlight influences our recollections and feelings.

Fennessy’s Hirta Rounds was written in 2015 for the Munich Chamber Orchestra without a conductor.

The title refers to the remote island of Hirta, part of the St Kilda archipelago in the Outer Hebrides, where for centuries a small community had survived until 1930, when they were forced to evacuate. Today, only the shells of their stone houses remain on this otherwise barren rock in the middle of the ocean, and one can almost sense the traces of a once vibrant society.