The Irish Youth Choir is a mixed-voice choir for singers aged between 18 and 28 that meets annually for an intensive summer course in vocal training and choral singing. This year the choir’s meeting marks the thirtieth anniversary since its establishment by Dr Geoffrey Spratt and Aiveen Kearney, and to celebrate, the choir will be conducting a three-date national tour called Soundworlds. Soundworlds will explore ‘free-thinking’ within the history of choral music, and will include works by Mozart and Arvo Part.
Also on the programme is a specially commissioned work by Irish composer Jonathan Nangle. Nangle is probably best known for his creation of unique soundscapes through the incorporation of mixed-media and electronic elements, and for his use of field recordings in composition. This work, which will be premiered at Soundworlds, is called to see a landcape when I’m not there, and is inspired by the writings of French writer Simon Weil and the visual landscape work of Edward Hopper. It explores a spiritual goal: just as a landscape will be altered by the viewer’s presence, so will each performer change the nature of the piece in performance. Nangle makes use of a shuffle playback system alongside the voices, composed of samples of pre-recorded choir, to introduce a dynamically changing perspective on the written music.
Soundworlds will begin at St. Finbarre’s Church in Cork as part of the Cork Midsummer Festival on 30 June. On 1 July, the Irish Youth Choir will team up with youth mental health organisation Headstrong to present the programme at Dublin’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral. The final date of the tour will be as part of the Kilkenny Arts Festival at The Black Abbey on 11 August.
Published on 16 June 2012