Opinion & Book Reviews

Seóirse Bodley at 90
The Irish composer Seóirse Bodley is 90 this month and two of his works will be performed at the New Music Dublin festival this week. Adrian Scahill looks back over his music and his innovative work in integrating Irish traditional music into his compositional voice.
Short-term Thinking Won't Deliver Anything But Cuts to British Music
Four months after Arts Council England made cuts to opera companies and orchestras, the BBC is now disbanding its professional choir and promising a 20% cut to its orchestras. Composer Christopher Fox discusses the growing crisis in British music.
An Incomplete Journey Through Chicago's Irish Music Scene
Richie Piggott’s recent book, 'Cry of a People Gone: Irish Musicians in Chicago, 1920–2020', explores the story of Irish music in the Midwest city, documenting important milestones and including numerous biographies as well as hundreds of photos. Martin Dowling reviews.
The Story of a City
The film 'Out of Place', which features Denise Chaila, God Knows, MuRli, Hey Rusty, His Father’s Voice and more, explores the challenge of finding spaces to create and perform in Limerick, during lockdown and after. Drew Stephens reviews.
New Thinking for Sean-nós Singing?
A new collection of essays on sean-nós singing, 'Dhá Leagan Déag: Léargais Nua ar an Sean-Nós', edited by Philip Fogarty, Tiber Falzett and Lillis Ó Laoire and published by Cló Iar-Chonnacht, explores a range of contemporary issues around the art form. Dáibhí Ó Cróinín reviews.
So That They are Not Lost
The Dublin-based Dutch soprano Judith Mok, born to Jewish survivors of the Holocaust, has recently published 'The State of Dark', a book telling the story of her family. James Camien McGuiggan reviews.
'A Civilizational Battle': Russia, Ukraine and the Conflict Over Culture
There have been renewed calls for a boycott of Russian culture, but many Russian artists are at odds with the regime and we should support them, writes Adrian Smith.
One Voice, Many Paths
Bono's new memoir, 'Surrender: 40 Songs, One Story', brings the reader from his formative years up to the present and explores the rise of U2, the band's catalogue of albums, his political campaigning, and family relationships. Laura Watson reviews.
The Collector as Coloniser?
The University of Chicago Press has recently published a book on the influential Irish music collector Francis O'Neill, 'The Beat Cop – Chicago’s Chief O’Neill and the Creation of Irish Music' by Michael O’Malley. Mary Louise O'Donnell reviews.
What Ever Happened to Britten in Ireland?
Benjamin Britten is one of the most unique composers of the twentieth century, but in Ireland the programming of his work has been inconsistent, writes Thomas Neill.