07 Jul 2022

Louth Contemporary Music Society presents their midsummer festival: “Nothing has Changed. Everything has Changed”

Louth Contemporary Music Society presents their midsummer festival: “Nothing has Changed. Everything has Changed”

Bára Gísladóttir and Skúli Sverrisson :Credit Juliette Rowland

Louth Contemporary Music Society (LCMS) is delighted and relieved to be back with its midsummer festival, running on 17 and 18 June 2022 in Dundalk, County Louth. 

“Nothing has Changed. Everything has Changed” – that’s the title. Nothing has changed: we’re still here, aren’t we? But everything has changed. Our relationships have been tested. We’ve seen more of life’s fragility. Art can help – especially new art, that has lived through these experiences with us. 

With a great line-up of world-renowned composers and soloists, from Ireland and beyond, the festival opens on Friday 17 June at St Nicholas Church of Ireland in Dundalk with a repeat performance of Linda Caitlin Smith’s “Meadow” for three string players. LCMS released a recording in 2020 of this miraculous wander through green pastures of harmony, and it’s become an international hit.

Elsewhere in the opening concert there’ll be more music from lockdown, with a chance to hear Sam Perkin’s “Flow” live. This is also for string trio, and another LCMS recording that has been making waves. 

On the same programme are world premieres of new works by Irish composer Andrew Synnott and by one of the foremost composers in England and internationally, Gavin Bryars, whose music always comes from off-centre to take you by surprise. Among the ace performers are the outstanding Irish string quartet, the Esposito, and the breathtaking soprano Juliet Fraser. 

The next day’s events start at lunchtime, in St Nicholas Church of Ireland, where Australian singer Mitch Riley and French pianist Vanessa Wagner will pull in at 1pm for their acclaimed performance of “O Mensch!”. You just have to witness this wild and intimate portrait of Nietzsche by the leading French composer of today, Pascal Dusapin. 

There’s bass in the early afternoon at 3pm at the Spirit Store, where the stunning Icelandic improvisers Bára Gísladóttir and Skúli Sverrisson take the stage. Be prepared for electricity and heat. 

But it doesn’t end there. In the chapel of St Vincent’s School, Dundalk at 5pm, there will be an absorbing delve into slow sound and interference patterns by Catherine Lamb, scored for string bass and quarter tone bass flute. 

The festival closes that evening at the same venue with the Vox Clamantis choir of Estonia, who will present the world premiere of Siobhán Cleary’s “Storm in Devon”, and perform Arvo Pärt’s LCMS commission “The Deer’s Cry”, music by the younger Estonian composer Helena Tulve, Lou Harrison’s ecstatic “Mass for St. Cecilia’s Day”. 

“Nothing has Changed. Everything has Changed” programme 

Music from: 

Gavin Bryars 

Andrew Synnott 

Linda Catlin Smith 

Catherine Lamb 

Bára Gísladóttir & Skúli Sverrisson 

Pascal Dusapin 

Arvo Pärt

Sam Perkin 

Siobhan Cleary 

Lou Harrison 

Concert 1 

8pm on Friday 17 June 2022 St. Nicholas Church of Ireland 

Flow by Sam Perkin ( String Trio) 

Meadow by Linda Catlin Smith ( String Trio) 

The world premiere of Andrew Synnott’s ‘I follow, I follow’ for string quartet and flute The world premiere of Gavin Bryars’ ‘Wittgenstein Fragment’ performed by Esposito Quartet, Silvia Scerbaviciute, flute and Juliet Fraser 

Concert 2 

1pm on Saturday 18 June 2022 St. Nicholas Church of Ireland 

Pascal Dusapin O Mensch 

Vanessa Wagner, piano and Mitch Riley 

Concert 3 

3pm on Saturday 18 June 2022 The Spirit Store 

Bára Gísladóttir & Skúli Sverrisson 

two basses and loops, improvised 

Concert 4 

5pm on Saturday 18 June 2022 St. Vincents Church 

Catherine Lamb's 60 minute work Muto Infinitas for string bass and quarter tone bass flute 

Concert 5 

8pm on Saturday St. Nicholas Church of Ireland 

Vox Clamantis perform the world premiere of Siobhan Cleary’s ‘Storm in Devon’, and works by Lou Harrison, Helena Tulve and Arvo Pärt. 

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