'Their versatility and determination to keep performing is an inspiration': Crash Ensemble, Cathy Davey, Fears, Junior Brother and Brigid Mae Power for MusicTown 2021
MusicTown in Dublin has just announced the programme for this year’s festival, taking place from 15 to 25 April. The ten-day event, which is normally held in various venues across the city, will this year take place online and will present twenty-four concerts, films, installations and spoken-word performances.
Opening the festival on 15 April at 8pm is singer-songwriter Cathy Davey. After taking time away from live music last year to develop charity projects she is involved in, Davey will perform as part of her set a series of songs written for an upcoming animated film, due for release in May.
Crash Ensemble will present Reactions, a series of nine new commissions from David Fennessy, Deirdre Gribbin, Rachel Lavelle, Bébhinn McDonnell (of SYLK), Mount Alaska’s Steve Shannon, Anna Murray, Anselm McDonnell, Sean Ó Dálaigh and Amy Rooney. Each new work is up to five minutes long and will be performed by duos from the ensemble. Laura Sheeran, Crash’s resident filmmaker, was commissioned to make an accompanying film for each of the recorded pieces, combining footage from the recording sessions alongside text and imagery provided by each of the composers. The works will premiere, one per day, from 15 to 23 April on MusicTown’s website.
Concerts, films, installations
Also on the line-up are producer and electronic musician Fears, performing her debut album Oíche in its entirety (17 April); Paul Noonan of Bell X1 performing his family music show Electric Kazoo (17 April); and a cappella vocal group Ardú singing with the Palestrina Choir and premiering a new song by Carl Corcoran and Art McGann, ‘The Phoenix’ (18 April).
David Kitt and author Kevin Barry’s CORNALEENA – a new film project – will air on 16 April and features collaborations with video artist Claireban Coffey, Jennifer Walshe, singer-songwriter Katie Kim, guitarist and electronic artist Jonny Dillon, Sinéad Lynch of Landless and folk-singer Seán Garvey. From 23 to 26 April, New Music Dublin – which also takes place that weekend – and Dumbworld will present ‘Big Mistake’, a video installation that will be projected on multiple sites across the city.
‘A Weldon Kane Report’ Joe Heaney Was A Time Traveller will take place on 18 April and is a new piece exploring the idea of time travel, relating to innovation in Irish traditional music in the mid-twentieth century. On 24 April, filmmaker and musician Bob Gallagher will present Aiteach: From Cú Chulainn to the Quare Fellow, an exploration of sexual identities in Irish music and literary traditions featuring musical appearances from Claire Kinsella of Lemoncello, multi-instrumentalist Gareth Quinn Redmond, spoken word artist FeliSpeaks and more. The Sea and Me, a video project featuring a new piece composed by Andy Smith and Zeca Munhoz, will also air on 24 April, as well as Streams of Consciousness – a three-hour piece on DJ and club culture featuring music sets and interviews.
Also featuring in this year’s MusicTown programme are spoken word group Word Up Collective (21 April), Junior Brother (22 April), Glasshouse Ensemble (23 April), Adrian Crowley in collaboration with filmmaker Niall McCann (23 April), and Faye O’Rourke of Soda Blonde, Brigid Mae Power and alternative R&B artist Monjola (25 April).
Commenting on the the events, Festival Director Leagues O’Toole said:
Across this programme we see artists performing in historic buildings, libraries, churches, galleries but also performances on rooftops, virtually projected onto buildings, or from their own homes, and some cases collaborating online from great distance. Their versatility and determination to keep performing is an inspiration. Let’s continue to support them through this process. And let’s be waiting in the venues when they return to real life.
MusicTown features a series of free and ticketed events, the details of which can be found on the festival website. Visit www.musictown.ie/listings/