Crann - a symphonic song
19:30 - 23:59
Composer Derek Ball and friends present ‘Crann’, a major new collaborative work with several strikingly unusual features. Not only is it a song of symphonic proportions: it has integral dramatic visual aspects; and it is a major work in the Irish language. Soprano Elizabeth Hilliard will take on the demanding task of performing this work lasting over an hour, along with trumpet player Mark O'Keeffe and pianist David Bremner, with stage design by Caroline Norris. The chant-poem ‘Tree’ – itself an extraordinary achievement by poet Richard Berengarten, here in its Irish transcreation by Gabriel Rosenstock – is shaped like a tree on the page and addresses every imaginable aspect of "tree-ness". In the atmospheric surroundings of the Smock Alley Boys’ School theatre space, the audience is drawn in musically, physically and conceptually. Comprehensibility will be assured by means of bilingual surtitles.The central musical and visual ambition of the project is to respond to the myriad images and concepts which the poem constantly throws out, not just illustrating and decorating them but attempting to develop them as a continuous "non-verbal footnote" to the text. The production designer Caroline Norris has devised a stage set and lighting plan which responds sensitively to the poem. The text is graphically reflected in the stage design surrounding the stage and performers creating a fully immersive experience for the audience.Eileen Donlon (1940-1991) This piece is one of 3 vocal works Derek Ball has written in memory of Eileen, who was for many years one of Dublin's leading sopranos. Although more at home in the operatic field, she nevertheless regularly performed and premiered the work of her contemporaries. She felt strongly that new work should be undertaken by interpretive artists and that new music should be given the breath of life in performance, welcoming the challenges to technique that this sometimes posed!