CMC Ireland announces six works nominated by the Irish Section for the 2025 World New Music Days Festival

Following a call for works to represent the Irish Section at the 2025 International Society for Contemporary Music - World New Music Days festival, the Contemporary Music Centre, Ireland is delighted to announce the six nominated works which will be put forward for consideration by the festival organisers.

The ISCM World New Music Days festival is an annual international showcase of new music representing contemporary work from across the globe. The 2025 edition, Thirst for Change takes place in Portugal from 30 May - 7 June. For the 2025 call for works, former members of the AIC and CMC-represented composers were invited to make submissions under any of the 14 categories for performance set by the festival organisers.

The following works by composers Kerry Hagan, Ruaidhri Mannion, Anselm McDonnell, John McLachlanJonathan Nangle and Yue Song were selected by an independent panel convened by the Irish Section (CMC Ireland), and have been put forward for consideration by the 2025 festival jury. Of these six works, one must be programmed for performance at the 2025 ISCM World New Music Days Festival.

Kerry Hagan - lineament (2019)

In geology, a lineament is a linear topological feature on a large scale, such as a fault line or a straight coastline. Underlying lineament for chamber ensemble is a straight, sweeping gesture starting at the lowest ranges of the instruments and rising slowly to the highest registers. Like geological features, at smaller scales the line is jagged, interlocking and contrapuntal. The ensemble acts as one, complicated instrument moving at unhurried, geological speeds in a single musical action that becomes obvious as the piece progresses over time.

Ruaidhri Mannion - Clapsholas na Maidine (2021)

Written for three violins, three cellos, six sine waves and live projections, 'Clapsholas [na maidine]' (Irish for half-light, gloaming, twilight) is the second piece of an evolving series exploring transcendence in the natural world. The live projections and lighting design draw on abstract depictions of the movement of celestial bodies in the sky and the blushing transfiguration of colours and hues which are unique to the half-light of the moon and the rising sun.

Anselm McDonnell - 'Three Words for Light' III. Bánú an Lae (2021)

Bánú an Lae is the final movement from my cello suite Three Words for Light, which is inspired by Irish phrases that depict different light phenomena. This movement, which translates as ‘whitening of the day’, describes the moments on the cusp of dawn, where the sky has begun to turn white from the sun’s light. 

John McLachlan - Qualia I (2024)

Qualia is a term used to describe the ineffable quality of human consciousness. Qualia are the aesthetic or experiential bonuses of human existence. It is posited that machines will never experience qualia no matter what else they can achieve (though we can not be sure). Qualia are the sensations that arise in doing or experiencing something which do not feed into the practical doing of it, nor do they particularly determine your next move. Human qualia include the redness of a sunset or the experience of drinking a particular wine in a particular time and place.

Jonathan Nangle - Artificial Blissful State (2016)

Artificial Blissful State is a commentary on the rise of AI (artificial intelligence) within our daily lives, from voice-activated personal assistants on our mobile devices to home assistants, self-driving vehicles to online stores tracking our browsing history in an effort to ‘suggest’ things that might be of interest to us based on search terms and past transactions. 

Yue Song - Senses IV (2023)

The subject of this piece is the relationship between humans and the natural environment; the first section is an imitation of plants growing in nature; the second section expresses the rapid development of humans; the third section seems chaotic but has its own order, representing the harmonious coexistence of all living things.

Editor's note:
A work by composer Ailís Ní Ríain was selected by the Irish Section judging panel but was later withdrawn by the artist due to a contractual obligation.