The Irish Art Song Project launches at the RIAM
The ambitious and sorely needed Irish Art Song Project launches at the RIAM this Thursday October 17th at 6pm. The project will see fifty specially commissioned art songs based on Irish poetry of the last thousand years, set by seventeen composers. Scores and recordings of these beautiful new songs will be globally accessible on this new online resource for Irish language songs, and will be accompanied by Irish text, English translation, and IPA transcription, as well as helpful programme and performance notes.
The necessity for this project came to the fore when its director Dáirine Ní Mheadhre, searching for vocal music as Gaeilge, came away from library stacks largely empty-handed. While the Irish folk song tradition is strong, an Irish answer to the late 19th Century Art Songs of Norway, Hungary, Spain, Finland, etc. is notable in its absence. October 17th will see the birth of what is effectively an entirely new vocal repertoire. RIAM alumni and staff are prominently featured among the performers and composers involved, though the project also purposefully steers away from the insular nature of so many projects of its kind, with five of the seventeen composers involved hailing from outside of Ireland.
The significance of this event for Irish singers and their teachers need hardly be stressed, and it is our hope that the Irish Art Song Project will become as indispensable a resource for them as the RIAM library, the IMSLP library, and Youtube.