Wednesday 5th September
1 Portobello Harbour, D8.
The Kaleidoscope Night series’ 10th Season Launch will take place on Wednesday 5th September, with a special visit to Bello Bar from Brooklyn-based Scottish harpist Maeve Gilchrist, described as a “phenomenal harp player who can make her instrument ring with unparalleled purity” by Dirty Linen. In the company of the RTÉ ConTempo Quartet and some live electronics, Maeve will give the Irish premiere of her 2018 piece “Red Pastures”, which draws inspiration from the iconic Beckett passage in the novel Watt. Curators Karen Dervan and Lioba Petrie are also thrilled to introduce the series’ “Featured Artist” for 2018/2019, baroque music specialist and recorder player, Laoise O Brien, well-known to Kaleidoscope audiences for the last 9 years. The RTÉ ConTempo Quartet will also perform Haydn’s Op.76. No.1 string quartet and an extraordinarily meditative work by Co Down-born composer Deirdre McKay, entitled “Mr Shah Stares to the Heavens”, with the evening rounding off with a solo set from Maeve Gilchrist, of the jazz-trad fusion style for which she enjoys world renown.
Following her spell-binding performance at the series in April 2015, the series is thrilled to present the Brooklyn-based Scottish harpist Maeve Gilchrist, described as a “phenomenal harp player who can make her instrument ring with unparalleled purity” by Dirty Linen. Born and raised in Edinburgh, Maeve’s innovative approach to her instrument stretches its harmonic limits and improvisational possibilities. She is as at home as a soloist with an orchestra as she is playing with a traditional Irish folk group or using electronic augmentation in a more contemporary, improvisatory setting. In the company of the RTE ConTempo Quartet and some live electronics, Maeve will give the Irish premiere of her 2018 piece “Red Pastures”, which draws inspiration from the iconic Beckett passage in the novel Watt. “I’m using elements from…a gritty earthy passage where he’s talking about his father’s earth and his mother’s earth. He goes on to talk about the cycle of the year and the seasons and the passage really spoke to me: he insists on a reinspection of everything, every time”. The evening will also feature a solo set from Maeve, of the jazz-trad fusion vernacular for which she enjoys world renown.
Laoise O Brien
Curators Karen Dervan and Lioba Petrie are also thrilled to introduce the series’ “Featured Artist” for 2018/2019, baroque music specialist and recorder player, Laoise O Brien. She is well known to Kaleidoscope aficionados for her solo performances and those with The Gregory Walkers and the Temenos duo with clarinetist Paul Roe over the course of the last 9 years. A true pillar of music-making and production in Ireland for the last 20 years, she has appeared at all the country’s major arts and music festivals. She has also recently set up a music production company, “Jiggery Pokery Productions”, in collaboration with sound engineer Ben Rawlins. Laoise will make 3 appearances throughout the 2018/2019 including as guest curator for January 2019.
Deirdre McKay: “Mr Shah Stares to the Heavens”
Arguably the busiest music group in Ireland, the series curators are delighted to welcome to Bello Bar for the first time, the RTE ConTempo Quartet. Long-time residents of Galway through their work with the Galway Music Residency, they are as vibrant and dynamic in their presentations as they are in their vast repertoire. As well as performing in Maeve Gilchrist’s “Red Pastures”, they will also perform Haydn’s Op.76. No.1 string quartet and an extraordinarily meditative work by Co Down-born composer Deirdre McKay, entitled “Mr Shah Stares to the Heavens”, written for and premiered by the RTE ConTempo Quartet in 2012. The Irish Examiner said of McKay’s work: “(her music is) exceptionally imaginative in the sound world she creates”
Described by one critic as “a phenomenal harp player who can make her instrument ring with unparalleled purity”, Maeve Gilchrist has taken the Celtic (lever) harp to new levels of performance and visibility.
Born and raised in Edinburgh, Scotland, and currently based in Brooklyn, New York, Maeve‘s innovative approach to her instrument stretches its harmonic limits and improvisational possibilities. She is as at home as a soloist with an internationally renowned orchestra as she is playing with a traditional Irish folk group or using electronic augmentation in a more contemporary, improvisatory setting.
She tours internationally as a band leader as well as maintaining a number of collaborations including a duo with project with percussive dancer Nic Gareiss, her more electronics based project with Viktor Krauss and as a member of the Irish network commissioned ‘Edges of Light’ quartet: a multidisciplinary group featuring the piper David Power, dancer Colin Dunne and the fiddler Tola Custy. She has appeared at such major music events as Celtic Connections in Glasgow, Tanglewood Jazz festival, the World Harp Congress in Amsterdam and the opening of the Scottish Parliament. She has played with such luminaries as Kathy Mattea, Esperanza Spalding, Tony Trishka, Ambrose Akinmusire and Darol Anger.
Maeve has released five albums to date, including her most recent recording, Vignette, on Adventure Records, with bassist Viktor Krausse while on her own label her solo Ostinato Project is a beguiling exploration of the possibilities of her instrument.
Maeve was the first lever harpist to be employed as an instructor by Berklee College of Music in Boston, where she taught for five years before switching to a visiting artist this spring. She has written several instructional books published by Hal Leonard Music. Also an in-demand composer and arranger; this year, Maeve premiered her first concerto for lever harp and symphony orchestra.
Laoise O Brien
Laoise O’Brien is an award winning musician with twenty years professional performance experience. During this time she has managed, produced and delivered multiple performances, tours, festivals and events. Since 2011 she has been active as a music producer, producing first her own albums, and later large-scale projects involving diverse genres and large forces. Laoise’s background is in early music but she is equally at home in classical (both instrumental and vocal), traditional and folk idioms.
Her skill-set includes: project management, programming, score reading, studio supervision, music editing, and art-work management. Laoise runs a music production company, Jiggery Pokery Productions in collaboration with sound engineer, Ben Rawlins.
As a performer, Laoise is in regular demand and has appeared as a soloist and guest musician with numerous ensembles including the Irish Chamber Orchestra, Irish Baroque Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, Opera Theatre Company, Vanbrugh Quartet, Resurgam, The Irish Consort, Camerata Kilkenny, The Gregory Walkers, and is one half of the duo, Temenos with clarinetist, Paul Roe. She has been involved in the design and delivery of programmes for Kilkenny Arts Festival, Galway Early Music Festival, East Cork Early Music Festival, Killaloe Chamber Music Festival, MusicTown, The Ark Children’s Cultural Centre, Culture Night, LoveLive Music, Music Network, Music Generation, Dublin Institute of Technology, The Heritage Council, and RTÉ.
Laoise lectures at the DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama, Dublin. She has previously lectured in the CIT Cork School of Music and is regularly invited to examine, adjudicate and deliver workshops in institutes around the country.
RTÉ ConTempo Quartet
The RTÉ ConTempo Quartet is currently Ireland’s National Television & Radio Broadcasters Quartet in Residence and is also the resident quartet on the West Coast of Ireland in the Galway Music Residency. Praised as a “fabulous foursome” (Irish Independent) and noted for performances which are “exceptional” (The Strad) and “full of imaginative daring” (The Irish Times), RTÉ ConTempo Quartet has forged a unique place in Irish musical life.
Since its formation in Bucharest in 1995, the quartet has performed more than 1,800 concerts world-wide in 46 countries, including prestigious venues such as Wigmore Hall; Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris; St Martin-in-the-Fields; Berliner Philharmonie; Palazzo del Quirinale, Rome; Carnegie Hall and the Opera House Tel-Aviv. ConTempo have had the honour to meet and play in front of world personalities such as Prince Charles, Nelson Mandela, Pope John Paul II, EU Ministers, Michael D. Higgins, Hollywood stars and Nobel Prize winners. The ensemble has won a record of 14 international prizes (including Munich, Rome, Berlin, Prague and London) and worked alongside artists of the highest calibre including Emma Johnson, Yuko Inoue, Hugh Tinney, Chen Zimbalista, Jérôme Pernoo, Peter Donohue and Martin Roscoe. Collaborations with other distinguished quartets have also been a feature, such as the Amadeus, Arditti, Vanbrugh, Casals and Endellion.