Music Network has announced the six musicians appointed to the RESONATE: Music Network Artist Residencies programme. This major new initiative provides awards of between €6,000 and €10,000 and a range of additional supports to facilitate the making of new work and creative partnerships.
Fiddler, singer and multi-instrumentalist Clare Sands has been appointed to glór (Ennis), songwriter and performer Emma Langford will be resident in Ionad Cultúrtha (Baile Mhúirne), guitarist Eamon Sweeney will develop work at The National Opera House (Wexford), uilleann piper David Power has been appointed to Triskel Arts Centre (Cork City), violinist Larissa O’Grady will be resident at The Dock (Carrick-on-Shannon) and composer, improviser and performer Philip Christie has been appointed to Regional Cultural Centre (Letterkenny).
Each of the musicians in residence will develop exciting new work with a number of collaborators between July and November 2021, and audiences around the country will have opportunities to enjoy the new material created through live concert performances and online content. Dates for the concert performances will be announced in the autumn, subject to public health regulations.
Sharon Rollston, CEO of Music Network commented: "Music Network is delighted to embark on this new venture with six of our partner venues. Our shared aim was to create brand new opportunities for professional musicians. RESONATE is our most extensive residency programme to date and will provide the selected musicians with the vital time, space and income needed to devise and produce quality new work for audiences around the country. There was a very strong response to the programme, resulting in six very high calibre musicians working in a range of musical genres being awarded. We would like to acknowledge the time and effort that all of the applicants dedicated to applying for this residency opportunity.”
An overview of each RESONATE: Music Network Artist Residency follows:
Clare Sands (fiddler, singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist)
Collaborators: Steve Cooney (guitar) & Liadain Ní Bhraonáin (multi-disciplinary artist)
A unique force in Irish music, fiddler, singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Clare Sands is recognised for her ground-breaking style, passionate performances and infinite musical energy. Exploring what lies between the contemporary and the traditional, her pulsating folk music is infused with influences from around the world. A previous awardee of the Arts Council’s Traditional Arts Bursary, Clare is currently working on her self-titled album which explores her deep love of traditional music and the Irish language, whilst reimagining Irish folk music today.
During her RESONATE residency in glór, Clare will dive deep into the well of musical tradition in Co. Clare, developing new compositions in collaboration with acclaimed guitarist Steve Cooney alongside visuals working with multi-disciplinary artist Liadain Ní Bhraonáin. Clare’s residency will culminate in an immersive live show for audiences young and old, brave and bold at glór in November.
Emma Langford (songwriter/performer)
Collaborators: Alec Brown (cello) & Hannah Nic Gearailt (piano/keyboards)
Emma Langford is an award-winning songwriter and performer, whose work fuses traditional Irish music with folk and jazz styles. She creates music that is a celebration of Ireland's tradition of storytelling. She has received the RTÉ Radio 1 Folk Award for Best Emerging Artist in 2018, and in 2020 was shortlisted in the category of Best Folk Singer.
She has written and independently released two highly acclaimed full-band records, Quiet Giant (2017) and Sowing Acorns (2020). While touring has ground to a halt in the past year, she has charted more than once across iTunes and Irish radio with her epic track Birdsong, collaborated with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, joined the hugely successful Irish Women In Harmony line-up, and lent her voice to the lead role of Aedan Cara, the "last princess of Ireland" on musical-theatre concept album, Colours, which was released in April.
Over the course of her RESONATE residency at Ionad Cultúrtha, Emma will work with collaborators Alec Brown on cello and keys player Hannah Nic Gearailt, to explore local women in history and to create new work that honours and celebrates their stories, bringing them into the present day. During the process Emma will engage with a published historian and local individuals to gain a deeper insight into the rich history of the area. The residency will culminate in a performance of a new macaronic work in English and Irish that incorporates elements of electronic, folk and traditional Irish music.
Eamon Sweeney (guitars, lutes, bandora, theorbo)
Collaborators: Róisín O’Grady (soprano) & Cárthach Mac Craith (sean nós singer)
Guitarist Eamon Sweeney performs and teaches extensively in a variety of genres, giving broadcasts, lectures, and seminars in Ireland and internationally. Eamon has collaborated with some of Ireland’s leading artists including the late Seamus Heaney, Elaine Agnew, Brian Irvine, Mary Coughlan, Steve Cooney and Theo Dorgan, and is the founding member of a number of ensembles that focus on the performance of Early and Irish music: Tonos, The Gregory Walkers, and Sonamus. Eamon is committed to the provision of community music, music in healthcare settings, and early years music.
During his RESONATE residency at the National Opera House, Eamon will collaborate with soprano Róisín O’Grady and sean nós singer Cárthach Mac Craith to explore and perform lullabies from the baroque, renaissance, folk and Irish traditions. A powerful emblem of identity and tradition, lullabies are present across all recorded cultures, styles and time-periods. They provide a global cultural connection between peoples and exemplify music that is beautiful, accessible, poignant, relatable, and common to us all. Eamon and his collaborators will explore and celebrate lullabies from different cultural traditions, highlighting links and celebrating diversity. Eamon’s residency will include community engagement workshops and will culminate in a concert performance at the National Opera House in November.
David Power (uilleann piper)
Collaborators: Marja Gaynor (Baroque violin) & John Walsh (Flamenco guitar)
David Power is undoubtedly one of the finest uilleann pipers performing today. Throughout his distinguished career to date, he has travelled the world as a solo musician, in duos with fiddlers Martin Hayes and Willie Kelly and with harpist Triona Marshall. David has collaborated with many other artists, including the award-winning Music Network quartet Edges of Light, Masters of Tradition, Pipers Union, the baroque ensemble Camerata Kilkenny, ConTempo Quartet and pipe-organist Malcolm Proud.
During his RESONATE residency in Triskel Arts Centre, David will collaborate with the Finnish baroque violinist Marja Gaynor and the Irish flamenco guitarist John Walsh. The trio will research and develop unique arrangements of music from the Irish, baroque and flamenco folk traditions for their combination of instruments. The body of work they develop will be presented in concert at Triskel in November.
Larissa O’Grady (violinist)
Collaborators: Néstor Romero Clemente (filmmaker) & Sam Perkin (composer)
Larissa O’Grady is an Irish violinist dedicated to performing contemporary music and exploring adventurous interpretations of the standard repertoire. As a member of Ireland’s leading contemporary music group, Crash Ensemble, Larissa has premiered the works of composers such as Donnacha Dennehy, Ann Cleare, Nico Muhly and David Lang. She has performed as a soloist and chamber musician across three continents and frequently performs with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra and the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra.
Larissa’s RESONATE residency at The Dock will include the development and presentation of a mixed media sound and visual installation with live performance, combining solo contemporary violin repertoire with a nature-inspired video projection. The outstanding natural beauty of nearby Lough Key Forest Park will be captured by filmmaker Nestor Clemente for use in Michael Gordon’s Tree-oh and a newly commissioned nature-inspired composition by Sam Perkin for solo violin and tape will also feature. Getting outdoors and exploring her relationship with the natural world in her locality has been a hugely refreshing experience for Larissa during lockdown, and has led her to develop this nature-inspired performance, with violin as the central voice. Larissa’s residency at The Dock will culminate in November with a unique concert that will offer inspiration for a new cohort of nature lovers to engage with Lough Key Forest Park.
Philip Christie (composer, improviser and performer)
Collaborator: Ronan Kealy (aka Junior Brother)
Philip Christie is a composer, improviser and performer based in Dublin. Under the auspices of The Bonk, he writes and performs compositions with a six-piece ensemble, whose first LP The Bonk Seems To Be A Verb was released as a limited edition in 2017 by independent cassette imprint thirtythree-45. As a collaborator in the group O Emperor he was awarded the Choice Music Prize Irish Album of the Year (2018) for Jason as well as being nominated for the prize with the band in 2013 (Vitreous) and 2010 (Hither Thither). In 2020, he was awarded a Next Generation Bursary Award for Music by The Arts Council of Ireland.
The Bonk and Junior Brother will collaborate in an exploration of music for two voices, guitars and rhythm during the RESONATE residency at Letterkenny’s Regional Cultural Centre. Using stories about the mythohistorical Fir Bolg as their inspiration, they will develop an imagined traditional folk music, intertwining their voices to mimic the sounds of duophonic singing, a technique where one individual produces two strands of melody simultaneously. The work developed during the residency will be presented to audiences in November.