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Finghin embraces diversity in Music for Galway role

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Arts Week with Judy Murphy

I’m not trying to re-invent the wheel and I’m not introducing radical changes,” says Music for Galway’s recently appointed Artistic Director, Finghin Collins as he prepares to launch the organisation’s programme for 2013-14.

Finghin, who has taken over the role from Music for Galway’s co-founder and longstanding director Jane O’Leary, is also one of Ireland’s leading classical performers who is on the international stage for much of the year. He’s just back from Switzerland and is preparing to spend three weeks in America, so the old adage ‘if you want the job done, ask a busy man’ certainly is relevant when applied to him.

The work he is doing with Music for Galway can be summed up simply, he says.

“I’m introducing fresh, new musicians who I am aware of through my own work and I’m offering a diverse offering of events. There will be things people recognise and a few new things; there is an opera and an oratorio and a little bit of everything.”

The season will open on November 14 with a new piece from Jane O’Leary, which was commissioned by Finghin, who “wanted to pay tribute” to his predecessor. O’Leary is a renowned composer and her new solo piece, Five Bagatelles will be premiered by Korean pianist Ah Ruem Ahn on November14. 

The Irish premiere of Ian Wilson’s The Little Spanish Prison by David Cohen and Sasha Grynyuk will take place on October 30. Both O’Leary and Wilson will be present at each of these concerts to introduce their works.

A highlight of each season is the Midwinter Festival in January. Te event for this season focus will on the period from 1893 to 1913.

“They were 20 years in musical history when things changed dramatically. Composers were leaving tonality behind and not wanting in any particular key,” explains Finghin. During the Festival, which runs from January 17-19 audiences will get to relive the ground-breaking new sounds created by Debussy, Schoenberg and Stravinsky  alongside contemporary ‘old-style’ masterworks by Brahms, Fauré and Vaughan Williams. The event is programmed so that people can hear the music in a chronological order, as would have happened when these new, often controversial works – most notably Stravinsky’s 1913 piece, The Rite of Spring – were performed.

The world of visual art also took off during in the late 19th century with the Impressionist movement, says Finghin, and art will be involved in this Mid-Winter Festival too. Music for Galway is hosting a competition for students and recent graduates of the Centre for Creative Arts and Media (CCAM) of the GMIT, where the students are asked to respond to the music of the era. The resulting exhibition will be launched along with the Festival at the Town Hall Theatre.  Fifteen leading classical musicians from all over the world will take part in the event.

It’s a big undertaking, says Finghin, as he praises Music for Galway’s board and administrator Anna Lardi Fogarty for their role in bringing it to this stage.

“I’ve thought big on this one. I’ve had the idea and worked it and pushed for it.”

The brochure features a drawing by French artist Jean Cocteau of Stravinsky performing the Rite of Spring, which Anna located and is absolutely striking.

Other highlights in Music for Galway’s 2013-14 season include Handel’s popular Messiah in a period performance by the Irish Baroque Orchestra and Resurgam in St Nicholas’ Collegiate Church on December 8.

 

CITY TRIBUNE

‘World in a Window’ – a unique perspective of lockdown life

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Helium Artist Chelsea Canavan, Galway-based artist and parent Yvonne Cullivan and her son at the launch of Helium Arts’ ‘Our World in a Window’ exhibition at Galway City Library. PHOTO: ANITA MURPHY.

A new exhibition, Our World in a Window, which is currently running in Galway City, focuses on the experiences of children who have been living with long-term health conditions during lockdown

Facilitated by Helium Arts, the national children’s arts and health charity, the exhibition features animations and mechanised artwork produced by young people from across Ireland who took part in Helium’s remote programme ‘Distance Creates’.

Our World in a Window can be seen until August 4 at Galway City Library before it goes on tour to Dublin, Cork, Kilkenny, Limerick and Longford.

Since last February, children aged 9-12 who are living with long-term health conditions have been exploring the world of animation, guided by Helium artist, Chelsea Canavan. From tinfoil and claymation characters to foam sculptures and hand-drawn illustrations, these young creators have brought their stories to life in unique and imaginative ways.

The origins of Our World in a Window date back to the beginning of Covid. That was when Helium Arts began adapting its usual in-person programmes, moving to digital and postal formats to allow vulnerable young people to be creative from the safety of their homes. The goal was to offer respite during a time of social distancing and to support the youngsters’ mental health, which is part of Helium’s brief.

In non-Covid times, Helium Arts supports sick children via arts-based projects in hospital, community and public settings. More than 5,000 children and their families have availed of its service since 2010.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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CITY TRIBUNE

126 Gallery fundraising for new studio spaces

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126 Gallery and Studios, based in St Bridget’s Place in Galway City

The artist-run 126 Gallery and Studios, based in St Bridget’s Place in Galway City, has established a satellite studio space on nearby Saint Francis Street, in response to members’ need for working spaces that are affordable, secure and easy to access. The new Barton Studios will host four studio spaces and the artists using them will have access to 126’s main facilities.

Submissions for Barton Studios and any further spaces are open to current members of 126, in recognition of those artists and creatives who have supported the members-run gallery over the past 16 years.

The group is currently raising money to fit out the studios and because normal methods such as table-quizzes and its ‘drink and draw’ nights are out of bounds, the 126 steering committee has turned to GoFundMe to try and raise €2,000, which is what they estimate it will cost.

If any extra money is raised, it will be used to subsidise the rest of costs for the studios to artists for the remainder of 2021. Some €1,800 would be needed to lower the rent to €50 per week for each artist. A breakdown of all costs will be posted on 126gallery.com and made available to donors.

Initially, the studios will have a communal computer, a private workspace with wi-fi, and access to all resources at 126’s main facility, just six minutes’ walk away. Active studio members will have free 126 membership.  The mission of 126 is to support its members to work and to access opportunities, supports, and spaces. With that in mind, the gallery team is available for one-to-one conversations to facilitate group engagement between both facilities, or with other organisations in Galway.

To contribute, go to www.gofundme.com/f/barton-studios-2021. For more information on how to get involved, email contactg126@gmail.com.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Film Fleadh enjoys its day in the sun

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Dónal Ó Héalaí and Fionnuala Flaherty in Foscadh with writer and director Seán Breathnach in the background. The film won Best Irish First Feature at the Fleadh.

The winner of Best Irish Film at this year’s Galway Film Fleadh, which closed on Sunday night, was Here Before, a psychological thriller set in Northern Ireland. The feature debut of Belfast television writer and filmmaker Stacey Gregg, it stars Andrea Riseborough as a bereaved mother whose new neighbours stir up uncomfortable feelings of grief.

The award for Best Irish First Feature went to Foscadh, an Irish language drama set in the mountains of North Conamara, based on characters from Donal Ryan’s novel, The Thing About December. This delayed coming-of-age story about a bereaved young man, an only child, who inherits the family farm was written and directed by Seán Breathnach and stars Dónall Ó Héalai.

Pure Grit, directed by Kim Bartley, won best Irish documentary. It explores the male-dominated world of Native American bareback horse racing and the impact of a young woman, Sharmaine, who is determined to break the mould.

Galway Film Fleadh is an Oscar-Qualifying Festival in three categories: Best Fiction Short, Best Short Documentary and Best Animation Short.

The Tiernan McBride Award for Best Fiction Short went to Saul & I, written and directed by Jon Beer.

The Best Short Documentary Award was won by Nothing to Declare, directed by Garrett Daly.

The James Horgan Award for Best Animation Short was won by Memento Mori, directed by Paul O’Flanagan, written by Paul O’Flanagan and Laura O’Flanagan.

The Fleadh’s Pitching Award for 2021 went to Athenry man Giles Brody for his teen caper, Top Marks.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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