Crash 25! Living Perspectives

Crash 25! Living Perspectives

Sunday, 4 December 2022, 7.00pm

Barry O’Halpin - Composer/Solo Guitar
Ryan McAdams - Conductor

Crash Ensemble

*Extinction Events and Dawn Chorus

Extinction Events and Dawn Chorus - Liza Lim Wingform - Barry O’Halpin

In 2022, Crash Ensemble celebrate their most significant birthday to date - the 25th! Drawing together noteworthy past works with present and future explorations of sound and environment; these concerts feature the group in all their glory, collaborating with some of the most influential global music makers of today.

Liza Lim’s influential work Extinction Events and Dawn Chorus explores themes of desire, memory, and the uncanny. Lim’s music centres around collaboration and transcultural ideas.

Vast conglomerations of plastic trash circulate in five gyres in the world’s ocean currents. Like this plastic waste, all time and its traces are with us still, albeit in residual and pulverised states. There is broken grandeur and there are attempts to sing. There is the uncanny dawn chorus of the fish-life that populates an endangered Australian coral reef. Time breathes out an improbable hope.

Widely commissioned by some of the world’s pre-eminent orchestras and ensembles, Lim is Sculthorpe Chair of Australian Music at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and was a Fellow of the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin in 2021-22. Her music is published by Ricordi Berlin.

Wingform is an hour-length work in four movements, with solo electric guitar passages as connective tissue. It serves as the culmination of Barry O’Halpin’s period as Crash Ensemble’s composer-in-residence, alongside his first few years as the group’s guitarist.

Teeming with living energy, Wingform takes advantage of Crash’s unique ability to cover a breadth of musical ground: winding melodies, mechanical rhythms, rapid lines and hypnotic drones.

Swarming mosquitos and electrical hum are mimicked by the ensemble, recurring in mantra-like waves, constantly contorting into new shapes.

Barry’s exploratory and highly personal approach to the electric guitar weaves through these uncanny combinations of wild and human-made sounds.

“From the opening moments of [Wingform] it was clear that something quite special was happening….it was impossible not to visualise diverse soundscapes from underwater cries of whales or dolphins to more industrial sounding material. The second movement demonstrated how to write pointillistic music and yet make it sound utterly fresh with some wonderful writing for prepared piano and percussion…The piece didn’t sag at all throughout the sixty-five minute duration, a testimony to O’Halpin’s compositional skill and inventiveness. A sure candidate for the revelation of New Music Dublin 2021, this piece simply has to be top of Crash’s list of priorities for a live, in-person performance when things get back to normal.“ - ‘Wingform’ premiere review, Adrian Smith, The Journal of Music.

Crash Ensemble is funded by the Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaíon and Dublin City Council and is resident ensemble at the National Concert Hall.

Presented by NCH and Crash Ensemble

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Published by Journal of Music on 29 September 2022

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