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Tuesday, 17th May 2022

Three world premieres at Louth Contemporary Music Society’s midsummer festival

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Icelandic improvisers Bára Gísladóttir and Skúli Sverrisson who play the LCMS midsummer festival, “Nothing has Changed. Everything has Changed” on June 18. Photo: Juliette Rowland.

After a three-year hiatus Louth Contemporary Music Society (LCMS) is delighted and relieved to be back with its midsummer festival, “Nothing has Changed. Everything has Changed” running on 17 and 18 June 2022.

“Nothing has Changed. Everything has Changed” – that’s the title. Nothing has changed: we’re still here, aren’t we? But everything has changed. Our relationships have been tested. We’ve seen more of life’s fragility. Art can help – especially new art, that has lived through these experiences with us.

With a great line-up of world-renowned composers and soloists, from Ireland and beyond, the festival opens on Friday 17 June at St Nicholas Church of Ireland in Dundalk with a repeat performance of Linda Caitlin Smith’s “Meadow” for three string players. LCMS released a recording in 2020 of this miraculous wander through green pastures of harmony, and it’s become an international hit.

Elsewhere in the opening concert there’ll be more music from lockdown, with a chance to hear Sam Perkin’s “Flow” live. This is also for string trio, and another LCMS recording that has been making waves.

On the same programme are world premieres of new works by Irish composer Andrew Synnott and by one of the foremost composers in England and internationally, Gavin Bryars, whose music always comes from off-centre to take you by surprise. Words for the new Bryars’ work Wittgenstein Fragments are provided by Irish poet Vincent Woods based upon Wittgenstein’s time in Ireland.

Gavin Bryars.

Among the ace performers are the outstanding Irish string quartet, the Esposito, ace flautist Silvija Scerbaviciute and the breathtaking soprano Juliet Fraser.

The next day’s events start at lunchtime, in St Nicholas Church of Ireland, where Australian singer Mitch Riley and French pianist Vanessa Wagner will pull in at 1pm for their acclaimed performance of “O Mensch!” You just have to witness this wild and intimate portrait of Nietzsche by the leading French composer of today, Pascal Dusapin.

There’s bass in the early afternoon at 3pm at the Spirit Store, where the stunning Icelandic improvisers Bára Gísladóttir and Skúli Sverrisson take the stage. Be prepared for electricity and heat.

Pianist Vanessa Wagner.

But it doesn’t end there. In the chapel of St Vincent’s School, Dundalk at 5pm, there will be an absorbing delve into slow sound and interference patterns by Catherine Lamb, scored for string bass and quarter tone bass flute.

The festival closes that evening at the same venue with the Vox Clamantis choir of Estonia, who will present the world premiere of Siobhán Cleary’s “Storm in Devon”and perform Arvo Pärt’s LCMS commission “The Deer’s Cry”, music by the younger Estonian composer Helena Tulve, Lou Harrison’s ecstatic “Mass for St. Cecilia’s Day”.

For more information about the Louth Contemporary Music Society see https://www.louthcms.org/

For tickets see https://www.eventbrite.com/cc/nothing-has-changed-everything-has-changed-168359

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