Kirkos Ensemble present Attrition ж A Musical Tribute to a Lost Generation

Kirkos Ensemble present Attrition ж A Musical Tribute to a Lost Generation

Saturday, 21 September 2019, 3.00pm

€15 / €50 for four tickets

Doors open at 2.30pm for the main performance at 3pm. Robert Coleman's audiovisual installation 'Cross' will run before and after the Kirkos Ensemble presentation.

Attrition ж A Musical Tribute to a Lost Generation

With the kind support of Farmleigh House and The Office of Public Works, Kirkos are proud to present 'Attrition ж A Musical Tribute to a Lost Generation'. Set between Farmleigh’s breathtaking ballroom and conservatory on Saturday 21st September, the afternoon will present a new version of composer Sebastian Adams’ 'Harry Patch' alongside 'Cross', a new installation piece from composer Robert Coleman. The audience will be transported into a chaotic, dark yet captivating world designed to play with the listener’s perspective of time.

Taking Messiaen’s famous 'Quartet for the End of Time' as its model, and named after the longest surviving British combatant of the first World War, 'Harry Patch' is a concert-length piece for horn, flute, cello and piano in 8 movements, originally written to be played in total darkness. While “angels and paradise exist” in Messiaen’s piece, such hope is absent in Adams’ musical tribute as it becomes a secular meditation on the futility of war and exists in a world where no one is listening.

Adams on his work,‘...I disagree with Messiaen: there’s a real message of hope in his music, but 'Harry Patch' is saying that we’re a century later and nothing has changed.’

Bringing the theme of war into an Irish context, Robert Coleman’s 'Cross' is an audiovisual work taking inspiration from a leading figure of the Irish rebellion, Thomas Ashe. The soundscape created in 'Cross' features words and melodies from ‘Let Me Carry Your Cross For Ireland, Lord’, a song that Ashe wrote in 1916 while imprisoned in Brighton for his participation in the Easter Rising.

While Ashe was a militant, Patch became known for his famous line “war is not worth one life”, and as one man served in the war in France in 1917, the other passed away following a hunger strike and being violently force-fed by the British authorities.

Both founding members and directors of Kirkos Ensemble, Sebastian and Robert aim to bring audiences emotional, profound and fun experiences. Going way beyond a typical classical music concert, the audience can expect a Saturday afternoon in beautiful surroundings, with a meditation on the ugliness of war, and moments of wildness, quiet, tranquility, aggression, silence and passion.

ж About Kirkos Ensemble ж

Kirkos is a music ensemble made up of a group of Ireland’s finest young musicians, directed by Sebastian Adams and Robert Coleman. They combine high-concept programming with superb playing, and regard every element of the audience’s experience as an integral part of a concert. Everything Kirkos does pursues a larger goal of helping audiences feel, understand and love contemporary music.

Kirkos hope their off-beat take on serious new music can be a game-changer for the uninitiated. Alongside their ongoing chamber music series Kirkoskammer, past highlights include:

Fluxfest - an intermedia happening exploring the Fluxus movement, incorporating over 30 works, with props including black paint, gravel and naked bodies, immersing the audience in a ‘boundaryless environment of continuous art which would seamlessly overlap’.

Blackout - highly theatrical concerts in almost complete darkness, comprising chamber masterpieces and new solo works written in response, matched with experimental food, funded by over 80 people through FundIt. According to The Irish Times: ‘Kirkos score a bullseye’.

On the 100th anniversary of the premiere of Stravinsky's 'The Rite of Spring', Kirkos unveiled a new version reimagined for string trio and live electronic ballet, written by 14 Irish composers.

Since 2012, Kirkos have given 130 premieres, encompassing most of Ireland’s leading composers.

This event is supported by Precision Pianos, Ireland’s premier piano showroom -

Contact details:

Email: [email protected]
Instagram: @kirkos_ensemble
Twitter: @kirkosensemble

Composer biographies:

Sebastian Adams

Sebastian Adams (b. 1991) is an Irish composer, performer and artistic director with wide-ranging interests that include experimental text pieces, early music and artificial intelligence. His instrumental music is performed regularly by top Irish artists and ensembles as well as abroad. Besides this, Sebastian produces computer-generated notated music which can be written and sightread mid-concert. A significant aspect of Sebastian’s creative output is as an organiser, curator and advocate for new music. His ensemble Kirkos has become a leading light of the Irish scene, providing a vital arena for the most exciting young composers in the country and exploring the gamut of the most experimental and striking music written in our time. As a viola player, Sebastian has premiered many solo and chamber works, and enjoys working closely with composers on their new music. He is also active as an improviser, including in live theatre, and as an early music performer on viola and gamba.

Robert Coleman

Dublin born composer Robert Coleman is currently based in the Netherlands. He completed his Masters studies at the Royal Conservatory of the Hague with Yannis Kyriakides and Diderik Wagenaar in June 2019. A previous graduate of UCD School of Architecture, his research at the Hague focused on the use of musical object and combining architectural idioms within a musical context. Works related to this included a site specific performance for James Turrell’s Celestial Vault in Kijkduin, the Netherlands, performed by young Dutch ensemble But What About. In May 2019, he presented a new performance installation at the Symposium ‘Transformations of the Audible’ at West, Den Haag. He is a founding member and artistic advisor of the new music group Kirkos, and also held the position of secretary of the Irish Composers Collective from 2015 - 2017.

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