In February 2022 we joined forces with The Ark to present Wires, String & Other Things, an exciting new commission specially created for children aged 6+ which introduces young audiences to Ed, Andreea and James, three people who are crazy about music and sound. The show follows them as they find each other and start to invent music together, sharing stories and exploring the magic and mystery of how to compose, perform and improvise music along the way.
Composed by Brian Irvine, directed by Wouter Van Looy and performed by Andreea Banciu (viola), James Allsopp (bass clarinet) and Ed Devane (electronic instruments) Wires, Strings & Other Things premiered at The Ark in Dublin on 5 February. Following the premiere it toured to 6 venues in Waterford, Ennis, Drogheda, Castlebar, Bray and Letterkenny before returning to The Ark for 22 performances, the final 4 presented as part of the Big Bang! Festival. Two shows subsequently took place at Lime Tree Theatre as part of Future Limerick festival in May 2022 before the production travelled to Athens, Greece for a number of performances at the Big Bang! Festival.
This live music performance gave over 1,800 primary school children across the Ireland an opportunity to see and hear these outstanding musicians perform brand new music on a range of instruments including the viola, bass clarinet and improvised musical instruments made from a variety of objects.
The show was also filmed with support from Rethink Ireland and the Department of Education, as well as funds raised through donations from The Ark’s #ARK25 Opportunities Fund.
Following the live tour we were delighted to offer primary schools an opportunity to stream the show on-demand straight to their classroom as part of the Live From The Ark programme. It was watched online by a further:
Wires, Strings and Other Things links to the Listening and Responding strand units of the primary school Music curriculum. It fosters a sense of excellence in and appreciation of new music. Through storytelling and composing, this show encourages an awareness and sensitivity to the inter-related elements of music and musical understanding.
Performances are accompanied by a free downloadable classroom pack available in both English and as Gaeilge which provides a range of accessible music activities and creative approaches connected to the theme and songs of the show. The activities encourage music-making projects in the classroom and support imaginative music responses to the performance which are relevant to the composing and performing music curriculum strands.
Wires, Strings & Other Things is a music performance that encourages you to always be curious. To listen, respond to and communicate through the sounds, music and stories that are all around you – wherever you are and whoever you are with.
We want to leave a lasting impact on the communities we reach. Our activities are designed to spark an appreciation of music among curious audiences and participants of all ages, whilst our development programmes help talented musicians to excel in today’s competitive environment.
Attending concerts together is a great way for all generations to share the magic and joy of live music. We believe that children and families deserve only the very best, and our tours for family audiences are original, thought-provoking, entertaining and accessible.
The Ark is a dedicated cultural centre for children. We create opportunities for children, along with their families and friends or with their school, to discover and love art. Through our work with leading Irish and international artists children can enjoy performances in our unique child-sized theatre, view engaging exhibitions or participate in creative workshops.