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Music for Galway hits high note with €1m award


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Music for Galway hits high note with €1m award Music for Galway hits high note with €1m award

Music for Galway has secured €1m in funding from Creative Europe for an international project called ‘Songs of Travel’.

The project is a collaboration between Music for Galway, which runs the Cellissimo festival, and three other musical festivals –Järna Festival Academy in Sweden, Valdres Sommersymfoni in Norway, and Piano Biennale in The Netherlands, as well as Austrian game development studio Causa Creations.

Anna Lardi, Festival Director of Cellissimo, said that the idea for Songs for Travel came from the first Cellissimo festival in 2019 after interacting with musicians who had recently settled in Galway.

Swedish cellist Jakon Koranyi was also invited to the festival and said that he would only travel by “land or sea” to Galway out of respect for the environment.

“These two events planted a seed and here we are, five countries working together on the presentation of music, raising empathy towards each other and our planet and telling stories through music and a game,” she said.

Songs for Travel will include five co-commissioned works of contemporary classical music by composers who have had “conflict or migration situations” in their lives.

One of the pieces will become the soundtrack to an interactive adventure game that tells the story of five migrants fleeing their countries for new beginnings in Europe.

Ms Lardi said that Songs for Travel will act as a “strand” throughout the individual festivals and that at Cellissimo, the commissioned pieces will be part of some of the concerts.

She said that a group in each of the countries participating in the programme will learn the music to keep travel at a minimum and make it “more likely” for the pieces to be played again.

“All too often a piece gets played for the premiere and never again, and that’s not sustainable.”

Ms Lardi said that the festivals will include “measured outcomes” for sustainability and that they will be used to develop green policies for future classical music festivals.

169 projects were approved for funding by Creative Europe – only two of those projects are led by Irish organisations.

“I’m pretty proud that we got this, and slightly terrified that we have to do it now,” said Ms Lardi.

Maureen Kennelly, Director of the Arts Council, congratulated the Music for Galway on their “successful leadership” of the programme.

“It is a major achievement for the organisation, for Galway and for Ireland and we look forward to seeing exciting outcomes in the coming years,” she said.

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