Focus

Balfe's 'Sleeping Queen' Returns to Dublin Balfe's 'Sleeping Queen' Returns to Dublin Una Hunt Michael William Balfe's 1864 work 'The Sleeping Queen' was his only operetta and written for surprisingly small forces. Una Hunt tells the story of the work ahead of its performance at the NCH – the first staging in Dublin in modern times.
Uncommon Roscommon Uncommon Roscommon Brendan Finan 'The Golden Cassette', a recording of work by prolific outsider artist Caoimhín Breathnach, includes his subliminal tapes, which he subjected to odd physical processes, from burning them to screening kung fu films for them. The experience of listening goes beyond the music, writes Brendan Finan.
Once Was Dust Once Was Dust Don O'Mahony Exploring scientific theory, natural phenomena and human behaviour, 'In Clouds' is a new collaborative performance directed by composer Peter Power. Commissioned by Cork Midsummer Festival and Triskel Arts Centre to mark 40 years of the venue, the work was performed on 15 June. Don O'Mahony reviews.
Honesty and Vulnerability Honesty and Vulnerability Anna Murray Chamber Choir Ireland, conducted by Nicolas Fink, created a programme of sacred but intensely personal music with Between Us. Anna Murray reviews their performance at Hugh Lane Gallery.
A Global Ireland Without Musicians? A Global Ireland Without Musicians? Toner Quinn The Irish Government has launched a new initiative, 'Global Ireland', with international aspirations – but what does it mean for Irish music?
The Truth About Country Music in the USA The Truth About Country Music in the USA Mark Allan Jackson Music is playing its part in the new battle of ideas in American politics, and perhaps none more so than country. But where does it sit – on the right or the left – and who decides? Mark Allan Jackson, editor of a new book on country, challenges the perspectives on both sides.
Irish Stew Irish Stew Anna Murray As he tours, experimental vocalist Damo Suzuki creates ad hoc bands, formed only for each performance. In Dublin and Cork, he gathered a rare mix of artists from the Irish indie and improvisation scenes – Anna Murray reviews.
A High-Wire Act A High-Wire Act Toner Quinn The debut album from The High Seas trio contains feverish music and some classic moments, writes Toner Quinn.
The New Normal? The New Normal? Adrian Smith The RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra has just announced its 2018/19 season. Adrian Smith looks at the range of music on offer – from contemporary and classical to traditional – and considers some of the overall trends in programming.
Calls for National Music Policy at Oireachtas Meeting Calls for National Music Policy at Oireachtas Meeting Representatives of DIT, Music Generation, the Irish Chamber Orchestra and Comhaltas call for legislation to address issues in music education.

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