Experiments in Musical Language The 2018 edition of New Music Dublin featured two ambitious concertos by Unsuk Chin and Kevin Volans exploring the language of the traditional sheng from China and the Irish uilleann pipes. Brendan Finan reviews.
Shocking Invention In the first concert of their Music Network tour, Maighread Ní Dhomhnaill, Máirtín O'Connor and Séamie O'Dowd moved between playfulness and finesse, writes Anna Murray.
On Risk and Restraint Adrian Smith reviews the opening concert of the Irish Chamber Orchestra's 2018/19 season, conducted by French conductor Jean-Christophe Spinosi and featuring a new work by Sam Perkin.
Torch Carriers The first Quiet Lights festival of folk showcased a broad range of musical expression. Don O'Mahony reviews a double-bill of Dowry and Claudia Schwab.
Everything Strange In the world premiere of Jennifer Walshe's 'The Worlding' at the Model in Sligo, her 'Aisteach' project comes alive, writes Toner Quinn.
British Music Criticism and Anti-intellectualism Mark Fitzgerald reviews a new book edited by Jeremy Dibble and Julian Horton that examines musical criticism in Britain from 1850 to 1950 – including discussions of George Bernard Shaw, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Rosa Newmarch and Edward Dent.
Folk-Quake In the third review from our 2018 Northern Ireland Music Writer Mentoring Scheme – supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland – Stevie Lennox writes about This is the Kit – music of gentle restraint and the pure unwavering vocals of Kate Stables.
Why was Hamburg the Perfect Fit for the Beatles? 58 years ago this month The Beatles began their legendary residency in Hamburg, but what was it about the German port city that was ideal for their sound? Julia Sneeringer explores the confluence of factors that allowed rock 'n' roll gain a foothold.
Somebody is in Control The first All Together Now festival took place on 3–5 August on the Curraghmore Estate in Waterford. It's where the new Irish generations come for freedom – or is it order, asks Toner Quinn.
Ireland Past, Present and Future? In the second review from our 2018 Northern Ireland Music Writer Mentoring Scheme – supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland – Marc Gregg writes about the Hard Rain Soloist Ensemble's 'Involute' concert, which provided a range of perspectives on Irishness.