Forge Music Venue to Present LONDON IRISH REFLECTIONS 11/14

Forge Music Venue in Camden, London on Monday 14th November 2016 at 7.30pm for the World Premiere of London Irish Reflections, which seeks to contextualise the experience of the Irish of several generations working and living in London. Daire Halpin (soprano) and Jean Kelly (harpist) - our Joint Artistic Director - will premiere Reflections as part of Irish Heritage's Season '1916-2016 A Century of Music in Ireland'.

London Irish Reflections is a new song-cycle for soprano, harp and electronics, composed by David Wallace, in collaboration with Dan Milmo who has written a set of poems derived from in-depth interviews with members of the Irish emigrant community in London.

Jean Kelly speaks about the inspiration for the idea of London Irish Reflections:

"I visited Southwark Irish Pensioners Project to perform with Daire Halpin, my cousin and a fellow Londoner. We were moved by the tales of hardship endured by the audience members - a generation of Irish emigrants who arrived in London in the 1950s and 60s. The comparison to our own trouble-free, racism-free experience of moving to London was shocking to me, and I came away feeling that I owed a huge debt to this group of people who contributed so much to change the attitude towards Irish people in Britain, and who allowed my transition from Cork to London to be so smooth."

The programme will contain well known Irish songs and harp music by Irish composers, including Percy French, TC Kelly, Hamilton Harty and Aloys Fleischmann, as well as the ubiquitous, "Traditional". The story which follows, entitled "Across The Water", is a multimedia opera-song cycle for soprano, concert harp and electric harp with music composed by David Wallace and words by Dan Milmo. It is a truly innovative representation of a very significant aspect of the Irish experience in London and our cultural contribution.

Tickets: £20 including wine reception and programme and can be booked on- line at www.irishheritage.co.uk click on DONATE (no booking fee), or through Kathy O'Regan, kathy.oregan@hotmail.co.uk tel. 020 7226 4578.

Venue: The Forge Music Venue, 3-7 Delancey Street, Camden NW1 7NL. It is 5 minutes walk south from Camden Town Underground station or 7 minutes north from Mornington Crescent. Bus numbers 24, 27, 29, 31, 88, 134, 168, 214, 253, 274 and C2 all stop close by. www.forgevenue.org.November 14th 2016 at 7.30pm Daire Halpin - Soprano
Jean Kelly - Harpist

The Forge Music Venue 3-7 Delancey St, London NW1 7NL. www.forgevenue.org.

London Irish Reflections is a new song-cycle for soprano, harp and electronics, composed by David Wallace, in collaboration with Dan Milmo who has written a set of poems derived from in-depth interviews with members of the Irish emigrant community in London.

Daire Halpin, soprano, and Jean Kelly, harp, commissioned the work from composer David Wallace (whose opera 'Lucy' won a director's choice award from the Boston Metro Opera) and writer Dan Milmo (deputy business editor at The Guardian). All the artists involved are currently living in London and have Irish roots.

Daire and Jean Kelly will premiere the piece in a London concert at The Forge, Camden on 14th November 2016 as part of Irish Heritage's Season '1916-2016, A Century of Music in Ireland'.

Tickets: £20. On- line at www.irishheritage.co.uk click on DONATE: or from Kathy O'Regan, kathy.oregan@hotmail.co.uk tel. 020 7226 4578.

The Forge Music Venue 3-7 Delancey St, London NW1 7NL. www.forgevenue.org.
Daire Halpin is a soprano who has sung prinicipal roles with the major opera companies in the UK as well as regular appearances with the RTE Concert and Symphony Orchestras. She has a keen interest in the creation of new work and has delivered world premieres of works by Nico Muhly, Craig Armstrong, Colin Mawby, Torsten Rasch and Raymond Deane.

Jean Kelly is an in-demand harpist working in London in the Classical Chamber Music and Commercial Music worlds. She works with composers such as Jonny Greenwood, Guy Barker and Dario Marianelli, on a range of projects, from Commercial Film scores to acoustic and electronic contemporary music.

Daire and Jean are both graduates of Yehudi Menuhin's 'Live Music Now!' scheme where they specialised in workshops for older people and have experienced first hand the power of memory through music and song.

The story behind London Irish Reflections

David Wallace, composer said,
"The music for London Irish Reflections ties together aspects of the classical tradition with that of the Irish tradition. I have tried to create a sound world for each of the bodies of text that allows the message behind the text to really shine through. Working with both concert and electric harps helped to create a contrast in sound world that the text seemed to contain, one where the old and and the new collide with the same agenda: the sense of loss at having to relocate."

Dan Milmo, writer
"The text for London Irish Reflections is based on interviews with relatives and friends from Ireland who had moved to the UK and, largely, conversations with attendees at the Southwark Irish Pensioners Project. Instead of singling out individual contributions, I brought the interviews together under themes - such as displacement, belonging - where all these voices can coexist and create a common identity, a shared experience. I found a lot of the discussions at the Pensioners Project very moving because the interviewees had so many fascinating stories to tell about themselves but they had never been recorded. This piece is a modest attempt at addressing that."

Daire Halpin, soprano
"For a long time, I've wanted to create a piece that offers a contemporary take on the emigrant experience. Being an emigrant myself, I found a lot of the literature focused on the darker, tragic side of life as an emigrant. I wanted to explore the experiences of other emigrants and find a way to share our stories so we can reach out to the many many people whose lives have been touched by emigration. David and Dan have produced a very special and unique piece which Jean and I can't wait to bring to life."

Jean Kelly, harpist
"I visited Southwark Irish Pensioners Project to perform with Daire Halpin, my cousin and

fellow Londoner. We were moved by the tales of hardship endured by the audience members - a generation of Irish emigrants who arrived in London in the 1950s and 60s. The comparison to our own trouble-free, racism-free experience of moving to London was shocking to me, and I came away feeling that I owed a huge debt to this group of people who contributed so much to change the attitude towards Irish people in Britain, and who allowed my transition from Cork to London to be so smooth."

Irish Heritage is a voluntary arts organisation, established in London in 1974 to promote the appreciation and understanding of classical music (broadly defined) and music composed by Irish composers, performed by young Irish musicians in Britain to a wide audience.
It is the only Irish arts organisation in Britain dedicated to helping young Irish musicians through their continuing education and the early part of their careers. This is where their need is greatest.

Irish Heritage presents a programme of events in established music venues open to the public; it showcases young Irish musicians at special events and supports other organisations which share its aims in music and the arts. It has formal links with the Royal Dublin Society (RDS) and the music conservatoires in Ireland and Britain to identify the rising stars and help them on their way. The Irish Heritage Music Bursary is awarded to an outstanding Irish musician working or studying in Britain. Nominations for the bursary are received from the six major GB conservatoires, four in London together with RNCM Manchester and Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and are adjudicated by a panel of experts, chaired by John Gilhooly OBE in the Wigmore Hall.

Tickets available from www.irishheritage.co.uk



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