Dublin Sound Lab presents Music Current, a contemporary music festival featuring concerts, panel discussions and a new commission with IMRO, taking place at Smock Alley Theatre this April.
DUBLIN SOUND LAB presents MUSIC CURRENT 2017, a showcase for the best in new Irish and international contemporary electronic music. This year’s festival runs for three days at The Boys School, Smock Alley Theatre, from 27th to 29th April 2017.
Considered as the ‘Fringe’ of Irish new music festivals, MUSIC CURRENT is now in its second year and gives a platform for the newest contemporary electronic music, hosting four concerts over three days. This year’s line up features Irish soprano Elizabeth Hilliard, guest composer Christopher Fox, German ensemble KLANK, a major new immersive installation by Dublin Sound Lab composers, plus a special concert of new international works developed during the festival by participating composers, one of whom will receive this year’s IMRO / MUSIC CURRENT COMMISSION award of €2,500.
The festival opens with VOX ELECTRONICA (Thursday 27 April, 8pm), a programme of new works for soprano and electronics performed by Elizabeth Hilliard. Hilliard is a pioneer of Irish contemporary music and is renowned for her exceptional musicianship, effortless creativity and emotional intensity. In this concert she gives the Irish premiere of Kaija Saariaho’s seminal masterpiece Lonh, a beguiling work for solo soprano and electronics. The concert also includes recent works by festival composer Christopher Fox: Sea to the West (for soprano and electronics) which was recently recorded by Hilliard for the Metier CD label, and Fox’s encyclopedic Catalogue Irraissonné (for solo soprano), a captivating meditation on language and the fragility of communication.
In KLANK plays KLANK (Friday 28 April, 8pm) Bremen-based quartet KLANK bring their mad, lucid logic to Dublin for the first time in a programme of works developed by the group. KLANK create their own sonic universe from a dizzying interaction of musical techniques and cultural approaches, where improvisation collides with the musical potential of everyday objects to create uniquely inventive Klang-Aktionen (sound performances). Whether using kitchen utensils, office equipment, children’s toys or cardboard packaging, KLANK is willing to declare almost everything a musical instrument. Performers: Reinhart Hammerschmidt (double bass, stuff), Markus Markowski (electric guitar, stuff), Christoph Ogierman (violin, voice, stuff), and Tim Schomacker (everyday percussion, voice, stuff).
Elizabeth Hilliard returns with Dublin Sound Lab in NEW VOICES (Saturday 29 April, 4pm), a concert of entirely new works for soprano and electronics submitted by composers from all over the world. The selected works are developed in workshops during the festival and one composer will receive this year’s IMRO / MUSIC CURRENT COMMISSION awardof €2,500. The programme also includes the premiere of Anna Murray’s commission from last year’s Music Current festival, her intriguingly cryptic and sonically audacious S:NP-VP-NP (for harpsichord and electronics). Performers: Elizabeth Hilliard (soprano), Michael Quinn (harpsichord), Fergal Dowling (computer) and Alexis Nealon (sound projection).
The festival concludes with PERISONIC (Saturday 29, 8pm), a large-scale, immersive, panoramic ‘painting’ of Dublin, using 8 loudspeakers and 4 large video screens. This concert-length installation marks the 230th anniversary year of Robert Barker’s patent application for the ‘panorama painting’, the 18th Century predecessor of today’s virtual reality experiences. In this major collaboration composers Scott McLaughlin, Gráinne Mulvey, Jane Deasy, Fergal Dowling, creative producer Sabina Bonnici, and video artist Mihai Cucu, extend Barker’s vision of a 360-degree experience by re-imagining a cityscape reconstructed in pure sound. Immersed in surround-sound and accompanied by video, the audience is invited to explore four singular perspectives of Dublin.
Music Current 2017 also features an opportunity for the public to engage with composers through a Public Panel Discussion at the Contemporary Music Centre Library, 19 Fishamble Street (Friday 28 April, 6pm). Entitled ‘Are You Talking to Me?’, the discussion considers the relationship between listeners, performers and composers from the audience’s perspective. The panel will include members of KLANK, composer Christopher Fox and other guests. Moderated by Evonne Ferguson, Director of the Contemporary Music Centre, audience members and concert-goers are encouraged to participate.
SMOCK ALLEY THEATRE, Dublin
Vox Electronica: Thursday 27 April | 8.00pm | €15/10
Public Discussion: Friday 28 April | 6.00pm | Free
KLANK plays KLANK: Friday 28 April | 8.00pm | €15/10
New Voices: Saturday 29 April | 4.00pm | €15/10
Perisonic: Saturday 29 April | 8.00pm | €15/10
Box Office – Tel: 01 677 0014 / online at Smock Alley website
Smock Alley Theatre
6–7 Exchange Street Lower
All images courtesy DSL/Music Current Festival