Music Current Contemporary Music Festival Announces 2021 Programme

Darragh Morgan

Music Current Contemporary Music Festival Announces 2021 Programme

Festival takes place from 8 to 11 November; commission opportunity for composers also available.

Contemporary electronic music festival Music Current has announced its programme for this year’s event. The festival was originally due to take place in April but was postponed due to the pandemic and is now scheduled for Dublin’s Smock Alley Theatre from 8 to 11 November. Artists including Zubin Kanga, Darragh Morgan and Lina Andonvska will perform, and the festival is also currently seeking composers for a new music commission. 

Concerts and new works
The festival will present six concerts over four days, beginning on 8 November with the Irish debut concert of Australian pianist and composer Zubin Kanga. Kanga will perform a programme of works he personally commissioned for piano and electronics including: the Irish premiere of Alexander Schubert’s WIKI PIANO.NET in which audience members can alter the score; Michael Finnissy and Adam de la Cour’s new Beethoven-inspired Hammerklavier (Part 2); the world premiere of Nicole Lizée’s Scorsese Etudes; and new works for piano and electronics by Scott McLaughlin and Artistic Director of the festival, Fergal Dowling. 

Every year Music Current invites composers to develop new works for the event and this year seven Irish composers have collaborated with five Irish soloists for a concert of new works, based on their year-long collaboration. The Music Current Soloists Concert will take place on 9 November and will feature works by composers Seán O’Dálaigh, Elis Czerniak, Jane Deasy, Gráinne Mulvey, Darragh Kelly, Paul Scully and Neil O’Connor, performed by clarinettist Paul Roe, violinist Marja Gaynor, cellist Ilse de Ziah, flautist Joe O’Farrell and violinist Darragh Morgan. 

Also performing as part of Music Current are London-based four-piece Bastard Assignments, performing in Ireland for the first time (10 November), and Darragh Morgan will perform a concert including the Irish concert premiere of Pierre Boulez’s Anthèmes 2 (9 November). The festival will close with a double-bill concert of Irish and international works for flute and electronics featuring Australian flautist, Lina Andonovska and Scottish flautist Richard Craig (11 November). 

Commenting on the event, Fergal Dowling said:

I am delighted Music Current Festival is able to return with live concerts. We always programme music that has to be experienced and not just heard, and this year’s programme has an especially strong multi-media element. In Alexander Schubert’s wiki-piano.net, Zubin Kanga performs from an online score that can be updated by the audience, or anyone; Lina Andonovska performs Nicole Lizée’s Tarantino Etudes on bass flute and mimics scenes from Tarantino movies like a Foley artist; Bastard Assignments, a four-piece composer/performer group from London, mime in the beams of intermittent video projectors; and Darragh Morgan will perform Boulez’s Anthèmes 2 where the computer follows Darragh’s performance to add an accompaniment in real-time. These works don’t lend themselves to online video streaming; they are performances that have to be experienced live.

Commission opportunity
The festival is also currently seeking composers, performers, sound artists and music technologists to make proposals for a creative engagement with Music Current. One applicant will be granted €3,600 and the result of the collaboration will be presented next year. For further information on the commission, visit www.musiccurrent.ie/2021/commission.html.

Additionally, on 28 October, Super_Human, a new concert-length work for violin, cello, interactive audio and projected video by Fergal Dowling will be presented by Dublin Sound Lab at Axis Ballymun. For tickets, see here. 

For further information on Music Current, visit: www.musiccurrent.ie/2021/

Published on 21 October 2021

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