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Electroacoustic Music for Flute from Ireland

19 July


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Image courtesy Gráinne Mulvey

Image courtesy Gráinne Mulvey

The electroacoustic music scene in Ireland is particularly vibrant, with many composers at the very forefront of the field internationally. This programme is a celebration of some of the very best of this work from the last four decades, from Michael Holohan’s Even the Olives are Bleeding (1988) to the present day.

For technical and logistical reasons, much of the earlier work in the field languishes in undeserved obscurity. Developments in technology — in particular the use of computers — enables this work to be revisited and presented without the need for banks of equipment (much of it now obsolete and hard to find) that needed to be set up manually for each piece. Joe O’Farrell has prepared new performing versions of these works using Max/MSP, so they can have a new lease of life.

Joe O’Farrell is a flautist specialising in contemporary music. A graduate of Waterford Institute of Technology, where he studied flute with Eilis O’Sullivan and composition with Eric Sweeney and Gráinne Mulvey, he later took private lessons on contemporary flute techniques with Robert Dick. He is a passionate advocate of music by Irish composers, many of whom have written works especially for him. He served on the committees of both Hilltown New Music Festival and Waterford New Music Week.

Gráinne Mulvey is one of Ireland’s foremost composers. After graduating from Waterford Regional Technical College where she studied with the late Eric Sweeney, she went on to study privately with Hormoz Farhat before completing an MA in Composition at Queen’s University Belfast and in 1999 a DPhil from the University of York, under the supervision of Nicola LeFanu. She has also attended courses with Kaija Saariaho (at IRCAM), Boguslaw Schaeffer, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Sally Beamish, Louis Andriessen and Jonathan Harvey as well as studying computer music with Benjamin Thigpen in Brussels and sound projection with Dante Tanzi in Milan. She currently holds the post of Professor and Head of Composition at TU Dublin.


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