Mirrors of Earth
Project Arts Centre, Dublin, 9 November 2013
Mermaid Arts Centre, Bray, 14 November 2013
Kaija Saariaho's haunting chamber-ensemble composition MAA was originally conceived as a ballet; in Mirrors of Earth the choreography is replaced by a newly commissioned seven-part video work by Cork-based artist Ailbhe Ní Bhriain. Varying in forces from surround-sound 'tape' to septet, each movement is counterpointed by a large format, cinema-quality, HD video work projected above the performers.
MAA (meaning "land", "country", "world" or "earth") is one of Saariaho's first large scale works. Ní Bhriain's remarkable response in seven projected video works, combining filmed and computer-generated imagery, matches Saariaho's score in scale and rhythm and confronts the themes which permeate Saariaho's work – journey, distance, longing, memory and sense of place. The musical/visual engagement operates at multiple levels, in keeping with a composition which is not obviously narrative or goal-directed, and which explores a myriad of timbres through combined electronic, surround sound and instrumental forces.
Performers: David Adams (conductor), Bogdan Sofei (violin), Andreea Banciu (viola), Adrian Mantu (cello), Julie Maisel (flute), Cliona Doris (harp), Michael Quinn (harpsichord), Maeve O'Hara (percussion), Fergal Dowling (computer), Alexis Nealon (sound projection), Mihai Cucu (video projection).
Mirrors of Earth has been supported by an Arts Council Music Project Award, and with assistance from Dublin City Council, the Finnish Music Foundation, Cork City Council, the Finnish Embassy in Ireland and the Contemporary Music Centre.