Music Current at the PROJECT ARTS CENTRE

Garage Ensemble

Ireland’s most ambitious and adventurous contemporary music festival Music Current returns from its Covid slumber and moves into a brand new home at Project Arts Centre for 2022. With many new concerts over five days, as well as participation workshops and panel discussions, this year’s concerts showcase some of the most adventurous groups in Irish and international contemporary and electronic music today, many performing in Ireland for the very first time, at this unique event which runs from 19 – 23 April. In their first concert of the 2022 festival (Tue 19 Apr), Currents, Dublin Sound Lab present four new works that have been developed in close and extended collaboration between the composers and performers throughout 2021; including premieres of new works by Paul Scully, Jane Deasy and Gráinne Mulvey.
With a second performance Elis Czerniak’s and the Acceptance of Death, as well as new works by Panayiotis Kokoras (Greece/USA) and Brona Martin (Ire/UK), commissioned as part of their annual commissioning scheme.
On Wednesday (20 Apr) Splinter Reeds from San Francisco’s East Bay Area, comprise of five virtuoso musicians. They present a concert entitled Hypothetical Islands, an adventurous programme of acoustic and electroacoustic works for reed quintet that highlight a range of extended techniques and vibrant sound worlds. The programme comprises entirely of Irish and world premieres that are a result of in-depth collaborations, and reveal the unique musical vocabulary of the individuals within the ensemble, as well as three new works written especially for the group by Irish composers Siobhán Clear, Gráinne Mulvey and Fergal Dowling.
Explicitly committed to the cutting edge of contemporary composition, Splinter Reeds freely juxtaposes multiple styles and aesthetics in their programming in order to enthusiastically share adventurous new music with the widest possible audience. The quintet has worked closely with such composers as Eric Wubbels, Sky Macklay, Paula Matthusen, Marc Mellits, and Ken Ueno, while presenting North American premieres by European-based composers Dai Fujikura, Matthew Shlomowitz, and Yannis Kyriakides, among others.
Music Current’s Thursday (21 Apr) concert features New York music chamber group LOADBANG, who will perform a programme called IRRATIONAL, which showcases the breadth of their creative work in the past decade. Ranging from off-kilter grooves to apocalyptic soundscapes, the programme features works by some of their favourite collaborators including Eve Beglarian, Taylor Brook, Chaya Czernowin, George Lewis, Alex Mincek, and Angélica Negrón as well as a world premiere by Irish composer Fergal Dowling. The group relish in a new kind of music for mixed ensemble of trumpet, trombone, bass clarinet, and baritone voice.
Their unique lung-powered instrumentation has provoked diverse responses from composers, resulting in a repertoire comprising an inclusive picture of composition today. They have premiered more than 400 works, written by members of the ensemble, emerging artists, and today’s leading composers. Their repertoire includes works by Pulitzer Prize winners David Lang and Charles Wuorinen; Rome Prize winners Andy Akiho and Paula Matthusen; and Guggenheim Fellows Chaya Czernowin, George Lewis, and Alex Mincek.
Friday’s (22 Apr) concert brings us Maya Homburger and Barry Guy who join forces to present a programme called DUO, combining new compositions, masterful improvisations and Baroque masterpieces.
Barry Guy is renowned as one of the most virtuosic and imaginative improvisers and Maya Homburger’s interpretations of solo violin sonatas are inspired by the duo’s freedom and creativity.
In this programme for Music Current 2022, they feature works by H.I.F. Biber, J.S. Bach, György Kurtág and Barry, the Homburger/Guy Duo creates a conduit through which music from the 17th century and earlier can flow effortlessly into contemporary compositions and improvisations.
This performance will take place within a special loudspeaker system designed originally by a Stanford University team of Professor Jonathan Abel, Dr Eoin Callery, and Dr Elliot Canfield-Dafilou, which immerses both the audience and the performers in virtual acoustic spaces. This system imposes a new alternative acoustic on the performance space and can render a transparent and realistic sensation of listening (or performing) within entirely different spaces, such as: historic buildings, natural spaces or even synthetic spaces. This new sound technology continues to be developed at Stanford University and at the Irish World Academy of Music And Dance in the University of Limerick.
The concert will be preceded by a lecture-recital on the Duo’s concept of “musical stretching”, and will give insight into their approach and creativity, highlighting some of the extended techniques on bass and violin with which they create unique sound worlds.
Music Current’s closing concert of the 2022 festival (Sat 23 Apr), Invisible Hand, welcomes German band Ensemble Garage to Ireland for the first time. They will present a true multimedia concert of works combining choreographed movement, video, instrumental practice and cynical play to create a uniquely curious and disconcerting performance.
Ensemble Garage’s programmes are at once playful and politically engaged.
This concert mixes dark comedy with the absurdity of life, love and politics. While maintaining a foothold in the abstract, their work is conceived as an attempt to reveal the connection between art and the experience of life.