@TheDrawingRoom in partnership with Association of Irish Composers present Irish harpist and composer Anne-Marie O’Farrell.
Part of Irish Composers on Irish Music, a new concert and talk series from the Association of Irish Composers.
Irish Composers on Irish Music is supported by the Arts Council of Ireland.
The Association of Irish Composers is supported by IMRO.
Anne-Marie O’Farrell’s harp recital on 31st May features two kinds of harp, the pedal harp (normally used in classical orchestral settings), and the Irish harp, a modern version of our national instrument. The repertoire chosen expresses a range of musical languages explored by composers on these instruments over the last fifty years, from John Kinsella’s ‘Allegro Giocoso of 1966, when the semitone mechanism on the Irish harp was an extremely basic one, to Anne-Marie’s own recent composition, ‘Chromatétude’ which creates 12-note textures on the harp while also giving a nod to much older music heard at the Belfast 1792 harp festival. Kinsella’s work is also a representative piece from Sheila Larchet Cuthbert’s seminal volume for Irish harp, ‘The Irish Harp Book’. Pedal harp repertoire features the voices of James Wilson in his Sonata, Frank Corcoran with ‘In the Deep Heart’s Core’ and Gráinne Mulvey in ‘Explorations’, who in their distinctive ways delve into the large timbral and pitch range of the pedal harp. A number of the works are receiving their first performance, including Mary Kelly’s three ‘Aislingí’ for Irish harp. The recital creates a welcome opportunity to perform Boydell’s seldom heard but most idiomatic ‘Triptych’ for Irish harp, and to give a further performance of David Bremner’s miniature ‘Pool’.
Composer Anne-Marie O’Farrell has received many national and international awards for original composition. An honours BA and BMus graduate of UCD, she was awarded a first class honours MA in Composition from the NUI Maynooth. She is currently undertaking doctoral studies in composition at Queen’s University, Belfast under Professor Piers Hellawell. She has composed for a variety of instrumental and vocal media, and her compositions are featured on the higher examination grades of conservatory syllabuses around the world including the Royal Conservatory of Canada, the UK’s Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, Trinity College London, and the RIAM. She lectures in composition at the DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama and her research project, Composers in the Community, with DIT colleague Dr Lorraine O’Connell was awarded a DIT Teaching Fellowship Grant, the resulting research now having been presented internationally.
She is the winner of the BBC Baroque Remixed composition competition with her orchestral work, Rann Dó Trí, which was performed by the BBC Concert Orchestra conducted by Charles Hazlewood at London’s Roundhouse and broadcast live on BBC Radio 3. Her choral work, Skimming Stones, has been recorded by the BBC Singers in Maida Vale Studios London, and its premiere in St Paul’s, Knightsbridge in London was broadcast on BBC Radio 3.
Numerous and wide ranging commissions include Deis Arts Council funding for the writing of original score of Cailleach: The Wilder Wisdom of Auld Ones with actor and storyteller Nuala Hayes. Her solo clarinet work, Ruach is featured on Volume 8 of the Contemporary Music Centre’s New Music from Ireland performed by Deirdre O’Leary.Performers of her music also include Chamber Choir Ireland, the Tribal Chamber Choir, Cantique, the Limerick County Youth Choir, mezzo soprano Aylish Kerrigan, pianists Dearbhla Collins and David Adams, cellists Aron Rao, Eckard Schwarz-Schultz, trombonists Roddy O’Keeffe, Karl Ronan and Gavin Roche, percussionist Roger Moffatt, organists Siobhán Kilkelly, Carole O’Connor and Donna Magee among many others who have performed her music internationally. She is regularly invited to give lecture recitals, workshops and masterclasses at festivals around the world in addition to presenting regularly at international conferences. She has been appointed Composer in Residence at Mary Immaculate College in Limerick.