The art of sound

THE Art of Sound - A Glimpse Into the Creativity of Irish Composers exhibition will open in the Arthouse in Stradbally on Monday November 5. The exhibition is free and will be open until November 30.

THE Art of Sound - A Glimpse Into the Creativity of Irish Composers exhibition will open in the Arthouse in Stradbally on Monday November 5. The exhibition is free and will be open until November 30.

The Art of Sound is a photographic and multi-media exhibition devised by the Contemporary Music Centre, Ireland. It explores the creative process in music as well as providing an introduction to a number of the leading figures in Irish composition. 

The exhibition comprises Eugene Langan’s striking portraits of Irish composers together with images of their musical handwriting, whilst an audio-guide with music and narration takes the visitor on a journey of discovery into their musical worlds.

Presented by the Contemporary Music Centre this multi-media exhibition looks at new music making from the first idea through to the final performance. The creative process usually takes place behind closed doors, but this exhibition brings it to life through striking photographs of the composers and images of their work.

Originally devised in partnership with the Music Department of University College Cork, the exhibition is made possible through the support of the Arts Council, Laois County Council and Music Generation. The Art of Sound exhibition features photographer Eugene Langan’s dramatic and perceptive photographs of Irish composers. An audio-guide narrated by Eamonn Lawlor of RTÉ’s Lyric FM, brings to life the music that is displayed, leading to a truly unique and rich experience for the visitor. The creativity behind music is often a mystery. Who writes the music, where do the ideas come from, and how are they brought from concept to performance?

Everyone knows that artists use paint and brushes, and sculptors use bronze or wood, but what tools and materials does a composer use? With perhaps as many as 100 musicians in an orchestra, how is music communicated? Irish composers have approached the task in many ways, some traditional and some highly unusual. In looking at their music on paper the audience sees not only their instructions to the musicians, but all kinds of evidence of their creative personalities at work.

This exhibition is not a survey of contemporary Irish music: it would be impossible to represent all the significant works and composers of the last century in a single room. It is an attempt to bring to life that missing ‘middle bit’ between the musical idea, existing only in the composer’s head, and the finished performance on stage before an audience.

These photographs and music scores, linked to an audio soundtrack, offer a glimpse of the composers in their workshop, a chance to enter their world, to share in the music making. By participating in this way people can enter into the real excitement of hearing the music.

The exhibition features Gerald Barry, Mícheál Ó’Súilleabháin, Seán Ó’Riada, Jennifer Walshe, Seóirse Bodley, Barry Guy, John Gibson, Frank Corcoran, Rob Canning, Aloys Fleischman, Fergus Johnston, Grainne Mulvey, Kevin Volans, Judith Ring, Stephen Gardner, James Wilson, John Wolf Brennan, Benjamin Dwyer, Deirdre Gribbin, and Raymond Deane with audio-visual guide by Eamon Lawlor, RTÉ lyric FM.