James Camien McGuiggan

James Camien McGuiggan studied music in Maynooth University and has a PhD in the philosophy of art from the University of Southampton. He is currently an independent scholar.

A Composer's Guide to Cataclysm
RTÉ Lyric FM recently broadcast a two-part documentary on Irish composers and climate change, presented and produced by Jonathan Grimes of the Contemporary Music Centre. James Camien McGuiggan reviews.
Excellence But Lacking Surprise – New Music Dublin: Days 2 and 3
New Music Dublin took place at the National Concert Hall and other venues in the city from 25 to 28 April with many world and Irish premieres. James Camien McGuiggan reviews days 2 and 3. For a review of days 1 and 4 by Brendan Finan see the link below.
Revealing the Thinking Behind the Music: Seán Clancy's 'Four Sections of Music Unequally Divided'
Composer Seán Clancy has just released a recording of 'Four Sections of Music Unequally Divided' on the Birmingham Record Company label. James Camien McGuiggan reviews.
Bringing to Light a Forgotten Anglo-Irish Composer
Harpsichordist, conductor and musicologist Bridget Cunningham has just released an album of work by the eighteenth-century Anglo-Irish composer Thomas Roseingrave. James Camien McGuiggan reviews.
Bringing an Irish Dimension to the Bach Cello Suites
Ailbhe McDonagh has just released a recording of the complete Bach solo Cello Suites, the first Irish cellist to do so. James Camien McGuiggan reviews.
The Forgotten Influences on Pianists and Composers of the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries
A new book by Gabriela Mayer, 'The Art of the Unspoken', explores how rhetoric, linguistic parallels and the singing voice were understood by pianists and composers of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and how performers can interpret these aspects today. James Camien McGuiggan reviews.
The Remarkable Consistency of John Buckley
The composer John Buckley has recently released 'Boireann' on the Métier label, a collection of works for flute and piano featuring Emma Coulthard, David Appleton and Emma Halnan. James Camien McGuiggan reviews.
Is This Contemporary Dublin?
John Francis Flynn's second album 'Look over the Wall, See the Sky' was released this month on the River Lea label. James Camien McGuiggan reviews.
Never Taking Communication for Granted
'The Body That Breathes', a silent concert experience directed by violinist Jane Hackett and devised with George Higgs and the Dublin Theatre of the Deaf, took place on 1 November at Unit 44 in Dublin. James Camien McGuiggan reviews.
Duos Moving in Many Directions
NMC Recordings have recently released 'The Last Time I Died' by Ailís Ní Ríain, the first full-length album from the Irish composer. James Camien McGuiggan reviews.
Marking a Decade Exploring the New Music Scene
The 10th New Music Dublin festival took place last weekend and featured major new works by Donnacha Dennehy, Ann Cleare, Kevin Volans, Karen Power and more. James Camien McGuiggan reviews.
A Soundworld that has Become Deeper and Richer
Lankum's fourth studio album, 'False Lankum', is a refinement of their sound more than it is something radically new, but there are many other achievements, writes James Camien McGuiggan.
Every Note to Be Magical
'Litir ó Do Chara', a portrait film about the late guitarist Dennis Cahill, was broadcast on TG4 on 5 March. James Camien McGuiggan reviews.
A Tempered Solitude
Harper Úna Monaghan's new album 'Aonaracht' is a collection of six pieces for solo traditional musicians and computer, featuring Tiarnán Ó Duinnchinn, Jack Talty, Pauline Scanlon, Saileog Ní Cheannabháin, Paddy Glackin and Monaghan herself. James Camien McGuiggan reviews.
So That They are Not Lost
The Dublin-based Dutch soprano Judith Mok, born to Jewish survivors of the Holocaust, has recently published 'The State of Dark', a book telling the story of her family. James Camien McGuiggan reviews.
The Things That Keep People Connected
The 2022 Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival took place on 18–27 November and included a focus on Ireland and Australia as well as performances by Pat Thomas, Explore Ensemble and more. James Camien McGuiggan reviews the final weekend.
A Tradition Carried Forward
'MÁM' by Michael Keegan-Dolan and dance company Teaċ Daṁsa, featuring concertina player Cormac Begley and the Berlin-based collective s t a r g a z e, is currently on tour. James Camien McGuiggan reviews a performance in Portarlington Community Centre on 28 October.
Starting with Intent
Music Network's first tour of the autumn season began with Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh, Cormac de Barra and Mark Redmond at the Sugar Club in Dublin on 14 September. James Camien McGuiggan reviews.
Clarity of Vision
Celebrating ten years, Kirkos ensemble hosted their festival '10' in Dublin in July, featuring new work from Susan Geaney, Sebastian Adams, Jonathan Nangle, Áine Mallon and Robbie Blake. James Camien McGuiggan reviews.
In-Depth Experience in West Cork
Returning for its first live festival since 2019, the West Cork Chamber Music Festival took place from 24 June to 3 July with over 100 concerts. James Camien McGuiggan attended for three days and reviews a number of events.
Representing Ireland's Damaged Past
Farpoint Recordings have recently released 'SacrumProfanum' by composer Benjamin Dwyer, a work for ensemble and tape inspired by the medieval Sheela-na-gig carvings found in Ireland. James Camien McGuiggan reviews.
Shades of Drama and Light
Last week, the National Symphony Orchestra performed under Portuguese conductor Joana Carneiro a programme of works by Salonen, Mahler, and Stravinsky, featuring mezzo-soprano Tara Erraught. James Camien McGuiggan reviews.
Making Unlikely Things Possible
The Music Current contemporary music festival returned last week post-pandemic and featured international groups Splinter Reeds, Loadbang and Ensemble Garage, Barry Guy and Maya Homburger, and a range of premieres. James Camien McGuiggan reviews.
Reflections on Home from Norway to Ukraine
Norwegian violinist and composer Henning Kraggerud recently performed with the Irish Chamber Orchestra at the NCH. James Camien McGuiggan reviews.
Drawing on a Host of Traditions
The Fidelio Trio have recently released an album of chamber music by Ernest Moeran with works dating from the 1920s to the 40s. James Camien McGuiggan reviews.
Remembering Stanford
Music for Galway's annual Midwinter Festival took place last weekend (21–23 January) and focused on the Irish composer Charles Villiers Stanford. James Camien McGuiggan reviews.
Capturing the Darkness and Lightness of Maxwell Davies
Peter Maxwell Davies' 'The Lighthouse', Irish National Opera's most recent production which ends its national tour this week, is based on a true story about keepers who go missing without a trace. James Camien McGuiggan reviews.
Picturing Flutes
The Music Current festival in Dublin ended with concerts by Lina Andonovska and Richard Craig. James Camien McGuiggan reviews.
Hear Him Out
Composer Dave Flynn has recently released an album of string quartet and chamber works, 'Irish Minimalism', which combines traditional Irish and contemporary music. James Camien McGuiggan reviews.
Shouting About Housing
'Music for Cranes', a site-specific performance by Kirkos ensemble, recently took place as part of the Dublin Fringe Festival. James Camien McGuiggan reviews.