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.

Is Music Timeless?
Presented as part of the MusicTown festival this year, 'A Weldon Kane Report – Joe Heaney Is a Time Traveller' explores the revelation that there exists a secret society of time-travelling Irish traditional musicians. James Camien McGuiggan reviews.
Love of the Living Sounds
Composer Karen Power's new album 'human nature' combines recordings of the living world with improvisations from musicians such as Michelle O'Rourke and Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh. James Camien McGuiggan reviews.
Is Great Music Always Subversive?
A major book by American writer Ted Gioia, published last autumn, explores the history of music and many overlooked traditions, and argues that the best music has almost always been subversive. James Camien McGuiggan reviews.
Bringing Out the Stillness
Violinist Darragh Morgan and pianist John Tilbury have recently released a recording of the demanding work 'For John Cage' by Morton Feldman on Diatribe records. James Camien McGuiggan reviews.
Celtic Connection or Talented Imitator?
Axel Klein, who has written a number of works on Irish classical music, has recently published a voluminous biography of the almost totally unknown Irish-American, Paris-resident composer Swan Hennessy. Is his music worth reviving? James Camien McGuiggan reviews.
The Breadth of Contemporary Flute
Flute-player Lina Andonovska's much-anticipated debut album 'A Way a Lone a Last' features five new works by Barry O'Halpin, Nick Roth, Donnacha Dennehy and Judith Ring. James Camien McGuiggan reviews.
Making the Case for Ina Boyle
A recent book on the life and work of the Irish composer Ina Boyle suggests an oeuvre worth uncovering. James Camien McGuiggan explores the arguments.
Extreme Encounters
American composer Missy Mazzoli's 'Breaking the Waves' received its European premiere at the Edinburgh International Festival in August. James Camien McGuiggan reviews.
The Freedom of Feakle
The Feakle Festival in County Clare featured a range of traditional music acts, from the Martin Hayes Quartet to Cormac Begley and Steve Cooney. James Camien McGuiggan reviews two of the weekend concerts.
Dark Clouds Will Gather 'Round Me
Rhiannon Giddens and Francesco Turrisi's opening concert from their current Irish tour had a leitmotif of displacement, writes James Camien McGuiggan, as well as political moments.
Trading Licks
The Saturday night double-header at the Spike cello festival featured traditional musicians Liam O’Connor and Cormac Begley with Cello Ireland, and free improviser Ernst Reijseger – a night that went from Irish slow airs to musical comedy. James Camien McGuiggan reviews.
Broaching the Disconnect
The Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival is gradually transforming our concept of the new music event, writes James Camien McGuiggan, addressing the disconnect from the rest of musical life – this year's 10-day festival showed we are beginning to see the rewards.
Closed-hearted Ranting on Pop
Roger Scruton's new book 'Music as an Art' is generous and insightful when it comes to some musics, but those moments are far too rare, writes James Camien McGuiggan.