Today in the office we're enjoying listening to American Journey, a free CD that came with the latest issue of BBC Music Magazine (February 2014) - a 'riot of Ameria's many musical colours'. Included on the CD is a 2004 recording of the Ulster Orchestra performing Brazilian composer Heitor villa-Lobos' Bachianas Brasileiras No. 9, conducted by Celso Antunes.

Also on the CD are Leonard Bernstein's Symphonic Dances from West Side Story by BBC National Orchestra, Aaron Copland's Three Latin-American Sketches by BBC Concert Orchestra and Alberto Ginastera Estancia (Ballet Suite) by BBC SymphonyS Orchestra.




Austrian hurdy-gurdy player Matthias Loibner will be joining Dúlra as a special guest for the Wexford Carols in Drogheda and Dublin. In this video with TradRadi TV he talks about how he began playing the instrument, and about the different techniques that players use to move beyond the traditional 'drone-and-melody', and that give it its strengthening reputation as one of the most expressive traditional instruments. His playing proves that this old instrument - in his case a modern-style instrument, with expanded range - can be very beautiful, and is still relevant to traditional and new music today.




Extensive research into two books of hymns that formed the basis of the carol-singing tradition in Wexford for centuries has led to the revival of long-lost music. These 'new' old carols will be performed by Caitríona O'Leary and Dúlra in December.



The Brazilian Guitar Quartet take to Dublin's National Concert Hall for a Sunday matinee on 27 October, as part of the Latin American Music weekend. The BGQ take the listener on a musical journey with 3 African Folk Dances by Villa-Lobos, four Spanish dances by Manuel de Falla, Azulejos by Isaac Albéniz and El Fandango de Candil and El Pelele by Enrique Granados. Winners of the 2011 Latin Grammy Award in the 'best classical album' category, the Brazilian Guitar Quartet has established itself as one of the world's leading guitar ensembles.




Watch a short video from the Contemporary Music Centre in Dublin about The Death by Fire of Giordano Bruno, with interviews with the composer and director Eric Fraad, and extracts from and photos of live performances.




Spanish documentary filmmakers Crónicas (Chronicles) from Radio y Televisión Española recently visited Ireland, researching and shooting footage for a piece about Spanish sea captain Francisco de Cuellar's remarkable adventures in Ireland. As part of their film, Chronicles spoke to Eric Fraad and Caitriona O'Leary of eX, who in 2009 produced a staged musical production of the story of de Cuellar and the Spanish Armada.


(A Work in Progress)Trial

On Wednesday evening (14 August) I travelled to Kilkenny to see Roger Doyle’s new (first) opera “The Death by Fire of Giordano Bruno”. I was interested in the project on two counts – one it’s a first opera by a well-established Irish composer best known for his electronic and electroacoustic music and two, the subject matter, a heretic priest, hermetic philosopher and one of the renaissance’s most brilliant figures, burned at the stake for his beliefs… intriguing on both counts.

Composer Roger Doyle tackles his first Opera


This week, the first act of a new chamber opera by Irish composer Roger Doyle will be premiered at the Kilkenny Arts Festival, followed by full performances at venues in Dublin. Called The Death by Fire of Giordano Bruno, this is the composers' first opera: so why did a composer, best known for his electronic and electroacoustic music who openly admits to 'not being an opera lover', finally turn his hand to the form?









- there is no why here -

Virtual Chorus

Call for contributions

-there is no why here- is a multi media music theatre project created by Andrea Molino, produced by Muziektheater Transparant (B) and Teatro Comunale di Bologna (I) and in collaboration with David Moss and Institute for Living Voice. The premiere is scheduled for April 2014 in Bologna at the Teatro Comunale, as a part of the Opera Season.

Click on the grey banner above to read the whole post and find details of how to apply.



How should composers and performers approach presenting electroacoustic and acousmatic music?

This Wednesday I will be premiering a new electroacoustic piece called Rndr at a concert of experimental music and improvisations by Irish composers and performers, called Strings and Drones. This piece isn't exactly improvisation in so far as the sounds are already created; the Rndr patch selects not one but fifteen samples from a bank of over 300 that I created and plays them all back in a loop at random speed, meaning the computer does the improvising and choice of sound, leaving the performer to 'react' to those sounds and shape the form of the piece.


Dúlra Love of Loves, Irish Songs of Love and Loss

St. John's Smith Square, London

Friday 14 June 2013, 7.30pm


If you are going to be in London on 14 June this is a concert not to be missed - great artists and great music (and some great guests). Please share if you can.

Caitriona O'Leary & DulraSupported by Culture Ireland and the Embassy of Ireland in Great Britain, traditional Irish band Dúlra featuring singer Caitríona O’Leary will perform a special concert on Friday 14th June at 7:30 PM at St. John’s Smith Square, London.  The concert is being held in celebration of Ireland’s six-month Presidency of the Council of the European Union which ends on 30th June 2013.