Wednesday 1st November 2017
1 Portobello Harbour, Dublin 8.
€12 + booking fee
Kaleidoscope presents its second world premiere in this, just the third programme of its new season. The new work, “Piccolo Quartetto Filarmonico”, composed by the internationally renowned Tipperary-born composer Frank Corcoran, will be performed by the Robinson Panoramic Quartet, Kaleidoscope’s 2014 Ensemble in Residence. The evening’s bill also boasts another Irish composer Simon O Connor, with his critically-acclaimed song cycle, “Left Behind: Songs of the 1916 Widows”, featuring compelling multi-genre vocalist Michelle O Rourke. And speaking of multi-genres, Canadian solo trad fiddler Qristina Brooke will make her hotly-awaited Kaleidoscope debut, following the release of her debut album “Linger” in July 2017, a musical adventure in jigs, reels, loops and musings. A cello/double bass duo (Aoife Burke/David Whitla) is balanced by a viola equivalent (Karen Dervan/Robin Panter), in duos by Joseph Hadyn, Domenico Dragonetti and Frank Bridge.
Robinson Panoramic Quartet performing ‘Now’ by Jenn Kirby
Albeit just the 3rd concert in the 2017/2018 season, the Kaleidoscope series is already shouting about its second world premiere, would you believe? On this occasion, the new work, “Piccolo Quartetto Filarmonico”, is composed by the internationally renowned Tipperary-born composer Frank Corcoran and will be performed by the Robinson Panoramic Quartet. Kaleidoscope’s 2014 Ensemble in Residence, the Panoramic is a different kind of string quartet, comprising violin, viola, cello and double bass. Of the work, Corcoran says “the exciting drama of the musical mayhem, where the four voices are not exactly synchronized, pitted against the grave chordal liturgy, where they are….at the end, sweetness and light have the last say”.
Left Behind: Songs of the 1916 Widows
The evening’s bill also boasts another Irish composer Simon O Connor, with his critically-acclaimed song cycle, “Left Behind: Songs of the 1916 Widows”, featuring compelling multi-genre vocalist Michelle O Rourke. The song cycle, released on the Ergodos label, was presented in a nationwide tour last year and was praised by the Sunday Business Post as an “original (and) insightful…thought-provoking collection that focused not on the rebel leaders, but on their wives and sweethearts.”
And speaking of multi-genres, Canadian solo trad fiddler Qristina Brooke will make her hotly-awaited Kaleidoscope debut, following the release of her debut album “Linger” in July 2017, a musical adventure in jigs, reels, loops and musings. A graduate of the MA in Irish Traditional Music & Dance, her sound is a unique blend of Irish and French folk, with a touch of Americana.
Lament by Frank Bridget
The final strings of the Kaleidoscope November bow is a Cork-based cello/double bass duo (Aoife Burke/David Whitla) making their Kaleidoscope debut with duos by Joseph Haydn and Domenic Dragonetti. This is balanced by a viola equivalent (Karen Dervan/Robin Panter), in a duo by Frank Bridge who, as Dragonetti was for the bass, was a technical champion of the viola.
Simon O’Connor has studied composition under Donnacha Dennehy, Roger Doyle and Kevin Volans. He is also an award-winning graphic designer. His musical life began late as a teenager in punk bands, developing to solo electronic music and avant-rock groups, most notably The Jimmy Cake. This was followed by countless scores for theatre productions in his early twenties and subsequently study in Trinity College under Donnacha Dennehy and Roger Doyle. During this time he began informal education with Kevin Volans, and his compositional style became more focused and minimal.
His post student compositions, from the chamber opera ‘Obegon’ onward, are characterised by a reduced musical palette, clear tonality and a focus on static, almost predictable structures and singular dramatic events. This reductionism is most evident in his most recent piano suite, ‘Winteriser’, presented as a series of three concerts in the Goethe-Institut, Dublin, from January to March 2009, performed by Paul G. Smyth.
Recent commissions have included ‘60 Bars for K.V.’, for Crash Ensemble, ‘I remember you’, a guitar duo for the Ergodos Festival, ‘Blue’, recorded with Ioana Petcu Colan for release in 2010, and ‘Petryfyd Floures’ for Barry Guy and Maya Homburger.
MICHELLE O’ROURKE is an Irish singer currently based in Dublin. Her natural sound, unaffected expressivity and technical ability make for an interpreter of rare dynamism. Michelle combines her classical training and background in Baroque music with an adventurous eclecticism and a passion for collaboration.
A recent collaboration with Irish composer Simon O’Connor has resulted in Left Behind: Songs of the 1916 Widows – a suite of songs inspired by the experiences of women associated with the 1916 Easter Rising in Ireland. This work offers an emotional, human perspective on a narrative that is too often told in baldly male heroic terms. Left Behind will be featured as part of the Ireland’s official commemorative programme for 2016 and will tour Ireland during this centenary year. Left Behind was recorded in January: an album is set to be released in early March.
Michelle has worked regularly with Ergodos, a Dublin-based music company, since its inception in 2006. She has performed for Ergodos, both as a soloist, and as part of their flexible performing group Ergodos Musicians, in Ireland, UK, USA and Germany.
“Plays Irish fiddle as though she was born to it, with strong French roots and a bit of Americana thrown
in” – FolkWorld, EU
Born on Canada’s West Coast, with its signature embrace of experimentation and
improvisation, Qristina Brooke (aka Qristina Bachand) has developed her own ‘voice’,
exploring various musical traditions and fusing styles such as contemporary Folk,
Traditional Irish, Old-Time American and French Canadian to create her own distinctive
sound. Her music features a healthy sprinkling of Celtic and a dollop of rootsy goodness,
engaging contemporary listeners with jaw-dropping effect. Known for her expressive fiddling style and smouldering vocals, Qristina is a consummate performer who is clearly at ease on stage. A classically-trained violinist, her fiddle skills shine with beautiful tone and passionate delivery. Her contagious energy and love of Folk and Celtic music is always at the forefront as she captivates her audiences with moving, intimate performances. While still mindful of its origins, Qristina has the ability to add elements that bring traditional music well beyond its roots and into the 21st century.
“A feast for the ears”
– No Depression (The Journal of Roots Music), US
Qristina is also a popular and sought after fiddle teacher, having taught privately as well
as at workshops, music camps, festivals and universities in Canada, the United States and
Europe. Some of her many teaching highlights include week-long instructional camps
such as a Goderich Celtic Roots College (ON) and the Leahy Music Camp (ON) and workshops with BA Irish Music & Dance students at the Irish World Academy (IE). Originally from Victoria, BC, Qristina was living in Limerick, Ireland, for the past two years while she did her MA in Traditional Irish Music Performance, but has now relocated to Montreal, QC. Qristina is poised to release her debut solo fiddle album, ‘Linger’, which features a mix of original compositions & traditional Irish, Old-time American & French Canadian instrumental tunes.
“Her vocals and her fiddling are perfection; filled with equal pinches of salt and sugar”
– No Depression (The Journal of Roots Music), US
“Bewitching vocals and master fiddling” – Bucketlist Music Reviews, CA
Robinson Ranoramic Quartet
The Robinson Panoramic Quartet : Anita Vedres violin, Robin Panter viola, Kate Ellis cello, and Malachy Robinson bass
RPQ were ensemble-in-residence for Kaleidoscope Night 2014, resident tutors for Music Generation Carlow‘s Outstanding Young Musician programme 2014-15 and resident ensemble for the Irish Composition Summer School 2016.
This pioneering group explores the possibilities of an alternative to the conventional string quartet in which both tonal palette and range are extended. Composers have reacted very enthusiastically and we have already built a significant repertoire for Panoramic String Quartet. Audiences have been delighted by this revelation in string chamber music, and excited by the dynamic and rapport of the ensemble.
The RPQ in association with Kaleidoscope Night received Arts Council funding to commission a significant new work from Raymond Deane, Quadripartita, which was delivered at Kaleidoscope on the 3rd December 2014. This was the final of four premieres commissioned by us and performed during our 2014 residency.
This grouping is definitely not just like a standard quartet with a few extra low notes: the shift in roles for viola and cello changes everything, and the double-bass adds a wealth of potential textures and timbres. Having four distinct voices rather than two identical ones at the top invites the composer to explore four identities and also facilitates greater overall equality because no instrument has timbral dominance. The range of the violin extends far beyond the upper limit of the human voice and the extension to the lower range afforded by the double bass seems an entirely logical balance.
The Journal of Music published an article about us here in February 2013 outlining our rationale and plans for the group at its inception.
In The Irish Times (5th Feb 2014), Michael Dervan wrote with reference to the standard quartet, that the RPQ “showed what an interesting, rich middle the viola and cello can provide … And the combination of cello and double bass genuinely adds a totally new dimension.”