Wednesday 7th November
1 Portobello Harbour, D8.
For the 3rd chapter of the Kaleidoscope 2018/2019 season, the series meditates on the embrace of the winter season. The London-based Eblana string trio, comprising Dublin sisters Lucy and Peggy Nolan, violist and cellist respectively, makes its debut at the series with works by Luigi Boccherini and UK composer, David Moran. There will be an intimate solo traditional Irish fiddle performance from Clareman, Tola Custy, recently known to audiences as a member of the “Edges of Light” quartet with dancer Colin Dunne and harpist Maeve Gilchrist, who performed at the series in September. To launch a new cd release on the Metier label, composers Grainne Mulvey and Christopher Fox will each present excerpts of their electronic works that feature on that cd. And the evening will come to a close with the Chatham Saxophone Quartet, who make a welcome return to the Kaleidoscope stage for a performance of a clever all-saxophone arrangement of George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” and a knock-your-socks off work called by Dutch “avant pop” composer, Jacob TV.
Boccherini Trio Op. 14 No. 4
The London-based Eblana string trio makes its debut at the series with works by Luigi Boccherini and UK composer, David Matthews. Comprising Dublin sisters Lucy and Peggy Nolan, violist and cellist respectively and Jonathan Martindale on violin, the trio were formed in 2006. Recent seasons have seen them giving acclaimed performances at both the Wigmore Hall for the Park Lane Group and at the Bridgewater Hall for the Manchester Midday Concerts Society, as well as performing live on BBC Radio 3’s “In Tune” programme. The trio presents the 4th of Op. 14 string trios by Luigi Boccherini, written in 1773 and the 2nd string trio by UK contemporary composer (born 1943) David Matthews, an artist closely aligned with two great pillars of British music- Michael Tippett and Benjamin Britten.
There will be an intimate solo traditional Irish fiddle performance from Clareman, Tola Custy, recently known to audiences as a member of the “Edges of Light” quartet with dancer Colin Dunne and harpist Maeve Gilchrist, who performed at the series in September. He comes from Toonagh in County Clare, where his father, Frank, was the local primary school teacher and also inspired many people to play traditional music. Names such as James Cullinane, Siobhán Peoples and Sharon Shannon all owe their musical beginnings to him. In the 1990s he teamed up with the Moynihan family, that of Kaleidoscope’s 2017/2018 featured artist Deirdre Moynihan, to form the renowned group “Calico”. Lately he has been working and touring with the group “Guidewires”, taking his musical influences to Greece, Macedonia and Bulgaria.
Jacob TV: Heartbreakers
The Kaleidoscope series is always delighted to welcome back to the fold the Chatham Saxophone Quartet, former winners of Music Network’s “Young Musicwide Award”. Daniel Dunne, Darren Hatch, Ciaran Sutton and Ian Finlay will present a clever all-saxophone arrangement of George Gershwin’s effervescent “Rhapsody in Blue”, written in 1924 and premiered in New York with the composer at the piano. The quartet will also perform a knock-your-socks off work called by Dutch “avant pop” composer, Jacob TV, his “Heartbreakers”, premiered in 2001. The work is a brilliant example of the composer’s so-called “boombox repertoire”, works for live instruments with a grooving soundtrack. With about a 1000 performances of his work worldwide every year, Jacob TV is one of the most performed European composers. The soundtrack is “Heartbreakers” is composed of samples of emotional confrontations from American talk shows of the 90s, such as the once unavoidable Jerry Springer Show.
Gráinne Mulvey: Aeolus + Christopher Fox: Untouched
The night will hail the launch of a new cd single release on the Metier label by composers Grainne Mulvey and Christopher Fox. Both composers have had their work presented at Kaleidoscope previously by the wonderful soprano Elizabeth Hilliard. The cd features an electronic work by each composer, both written in 2017 and we will hear excerpts of these works with introductions by the composers. Mulvey’s “Aeolus” was created to compliment an installation sculpture “Spatial Reverberation” by Mark Garry and refers to the Aeolus “keeper of the winds” in Homer’s Odyssey while Fox’s “untouch” is the first of a two- part work for Thai gong percussion and electronic reconfiguring of those gong sounds.
Since its formation in 2006, the Eblana String Trio has been performing regularly for music societies and festivals throughout the UK and beyond, winning praise from audiences and critics alike for the depth and insight of their performances of this often neglected repertoire. Recent seasons have seen the trio giving acclaimed performances at both the Wigmore Hall for the Park Lane Group and at the Bridgewater Hall for the Manchester Midday Concerts Society, as well as performing live on Radio 3’s ‘In Tune’ programme.
The trio are City Music Foundation artists giving them access to both high-level performance opportunities as well as world-class professional and artistic mentoring. They have also performed under the auspices of the Park Lane Group and gave a critically acclaimed concert of works by Robin Holloway, Joel Rust (world premiere), and Schoenberg at St John’s Smith Square – “Finally, we heard that towering masterpiece of the chamber repertory, Schoenberg’s String Trio. (Why, o why, do we not hear it more often?) Febrile, intense, this was a fine performance indeed…The players’ instrumental singing of Schoenberg’s lines, flexible yet ever goal-directed, would have drawn in the most skeptical of listeners…” (Seen and heard international)
Other notable appearances over the past decade have included Keele Concerts Society, Derby Chamber Music Society, Bollington Chamber Concerts, Holmes Chapel Music Society, MusikFest Goslar (Germany) and the North Norfolk, King’s Lyn, Stratford-upon-Avon and Salisbury International Festivals. The trio has for many years also made appearances at the annual RNCM Chamber Music Festivals including a critically acclaimed performance of the Schoenberg Trio in their Festival of Viennese chamber music – “…the late, mercurial, if elliptical, String Trio, a sort of 12-tone divertimento, was brilliantly undertaken by the RNCM’s Eblana String Trio.” (Paul Driver – Sunday Times)
During their time at the Royal Northern College of Music the trio won all the major chamber music prizes, notably winning the 2010 RNCM chamber music award and audience prize for their performance of Britten’s Phantasy Quartet for Oboe and Strings. They are also fortunate to have received coaching from many eminent chamber musicians such as Gabor Takacs-Nagy, Hugh Maguire, Robin Ireland and Petr Prause, and have also attended the International Musicians’ Seminar at Prussia Cove studying with David Waterman. The trio has also been invited on a number of occasions to participate in the European Chamber Music Academy, most recently studying with Christoph Richter, Peter Cropper and Hatto Beyerle.
From 2013 until 2015 The Eblana String Trio were Junior Fellows in chamber music at Birmingham Conservatoire, a post which encompassed performing, studying and teaching whilst acting as ambassadors for the Conservatoire. The members of the trio are now visiting tutors in Chamber Music at Birmingham Conservatoire.
Chatham Saxophone Quartet
Formed in the late summer of 2008, the Chatham Saxophone Quartet was named after the street on which it’s members first met. Since their foundation in 2008 they have performed at the Boyle Arts Festival, International language Conference at Alliance Francaise for president Mc Aleese, INVITE: International Music Education Conference April 2010, the Unitarian church and, most recently, the quartet launched the RDS Summer Recital Series 2011. The CSQ is dedicated to the performance of a wide range of music from the standards of the saxophone quartet repertoire to new contemporary works. Each of the quartet’s members are also active in composing and arranging new works for the group. They have transcribed and performed Debussy String Quartet in G minor and Shostakovich’s String Quartet No.6 following studies with the RTÉ Vanbrugh Quartet. This process has been documented and also presented in two lecture recitals at the conservatory of music as part of their Masters in Music performance course at DIT. Apart from transcription the quartet has an enthusiasm for contemporary music and has performed works by Irish composers such as Ian Wilson, Greg Caffrey and John Buckley. They have also participated in workshops where they showcased works by new Irish composers who are completing postgraduate study at the DIT Conservatory of Music.
The name of Custy is synonymous with Clare fiddle music and the fiddle playing of Tola Custy is one reason for that. In the 1990s, as a member of the legendary Calico, Tola recorded two albums and toured the world.
In the years since, Tola has been in great demand playing with many bands and musicians including Mirella Murray, Flook, Padraig Rynne, Arty Mcglynn, Heidi Talbot, Pauline Scanlon and Grada. He is currently a member of the supergroup Guidewires, as well as playing with The Alan Kelly Gang and touring with Laoise Kelly, The Albiez Trio and Lunasa.
Tola is an experienced and in demand tutor appearing regularly at both Meitheal Summer School and Willie Clancy week. As well as his traditional Clare heritage, he has a large repertoire of foreign and newly composed material. At the top of his game within his tradition, Tola is a patient tutor offering tuition to benefit all ages.
Gráinne Mulvey + Christopher Fox EP Launch
A new EP out on the Metier label brings together two works that each exist in an interesting relationship to real sounds. Irish composer Gráinne Mulvey‘s Aeolus, as the title suggests, takes its inspiration from the eponymous king of the island of Aeolia, names better known to us today via the Aeolian harp and its associated mode. Her piece is an acousmatic exploration of material rooted quite obviously in field recordings, though subjected to considerable amounts of processing and sculpting. Throughout, there’s a strong sense that the work is, if not about, then deeply informed by the idea of sound as the result of wind and air friction. The piece begins with, and from time to time returns to, the ambiance of the open air, to the soft accompaniment of birdsong, and Mulvey’s subsequent treatment of sounds transforms them into sheets of shimmer, or as if being propelled through tubes or tunnels, or even heard only by their reverberation, making identification difficult. There’s a lovely intimate tactility in this, made more fascinating by the hands-off nature of these transformed sounds, seemingly all the product of no direct physical contact. At various points there are distinct aural similarities to The Hafler Trio (particularly Intoutof), but for the most part Mulvey avoids the clichés of acousmatic music, producing something far more abstract, yet in which its points of origin remain (just about) tangible.
The other work on the disc, Christopher Fox‘s untouch, is the first of a two-part work (untouch—touch) for solo percussion. While the second part involves the soloist striking Thai gongs, untouch reconfigures their actions to the triggering of sine tones. There’s something genuinely uncanny about this abstraction (surely enhanced by seeing it in performance) both in the nature of the tone’s timbre – which doesn’t bear any meaningful similarity to gongs yet knowing about the second part continually brings them to mind – as well as their unfolding over time, begging the question of whether their continuity and the patterns that briefly emerge are arbitrary or closely-controlled. An intriguing, unconventional pair of works.
Simon Cummings (5aganst4)