New Works by Irish Composers to be Premiered for Ulysses Centenary

New Works by Irish Composers to be Premiered for Ulysses Centenary

Music and films by Ed Bennett, Darragh Kelly, Garth Knox, Anselm McDonnell, Ailís Ní Ríain, and Ultan O’Brien to feature in Contemporary Music Centre series.

The Contemporary Music Centre (CMC) will this week present a series of music and film events celebrating the one hundredth anniversary of the publication of James Joyce’s Ulysses. The event, titled ‘Ulysses Journey 2022’, will take place from today (2 February) until June and will this month feature two concerts and two music and film screenings in Dublin, Belfast and Paris. Due to the significance of Paris for Ulysses  – the city where the book was first published – the events are presented in association with the Centre Culturel Irlandais (CCI). There will also be subsequent events in Budapest and a selection of new works by Hungarian composers, as a nod to the book’s character Leopold Bloom’s Hungarian origins. 

Today at the Irish Film Institute in Dublin at 5.30pm and the CCI in Paris, there will be world-premiere screenings of six newly commissioned music and film works by composers and filmmakers from Ireland. The new works include Luminary Reflection by composer Ed Bennett and filmmaker Laura Sheeran; Penelope by composer Darragh Kelly and filmmaker Rioghnach Ní Ghrioghair; Luteofulvous Ebullition: the qualities of water by composer Garth Knox and filmmaker Jonathan C. Creasy; Pollen, Blood, and Seaspray by composer Anselm McDonnell (with poetry by Euan Tait) and filmmakers Ross Wilson and Art Ward; I will see if I can see [Feicfidh mé má thig liom feicsin] by composer-filmmaker Ailís Ní Ríain; and cling(ing) like fire by composer-filmmaker Ultan O’Brien. The works will include performances by accordionist Dermot Dunne, spoken word artist Thomas Bennett, dancer Stephanie Dufresne, traditional singer Eoghan Ó Ceannabháin, Paul Roe, Camilla Houstoun and Eimear Walshe among others. 

The screening will be accompanied by a discussion on musical responses to Joyce and Ulysses, with composer Benjamin Dwyer and Linda O’Shea Farren from CMC. The same event will take place at the Sonic Arts Research Centre in Belfast on 5 February. 

Two concerts will also take place, featuring Hungarian guitarist Katalin Koltai and soprano Elizabeth Hilliard on Friday 4 February in the MAC in Belfast, and on Sunday 6 February at the Hugh Lane Gallery in Dublin. The concerts will showcase new and existing music by Irish and Hungarian composers, whose works were selected by Koltai following an open call. Máté Balogh’s Little Harry Hughes will receive its world premiere, along with Proteus by Daragh Black Hynes, and Berceuse sans touche by Péter Tornyai, and works by Greg Caffrey, Áine Mallon, Gráinne Mulvey, Petra Szászi and Ian Wilson will also feature.

The Belfast concert is presented in association with Moving on Music, and the Dublin event is presented in association with the Sundays @ Noon concert series. 

Commenting on the upcoming events, Linda O’Shea Farren of CMC said:

So many works by composers from Ireland are inspired by Ireland’s world-famous writers like Joyce, from our base in Dublin CMC wanted to mark this major milestone in a way that celebrates, at home and abroad, our dynamic composers alongside Ireland’s prowess in filmmaking. Given Leopold Bloom’s Hungarian origins, we have also collaborated with Hungarian artists and organisations in this celebration. 

The Ulysses Journey 2022 programme will also feature other events taking place until June 2022 that will be announced by CMC on an ongoing basis. 

For further information and tickets, visit:

Published on 2 February 2022

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