Free State V - Samuel Beckett Theatre, Dublin


Crash Ensemble presents a concert of all new Irish music from young Irish composers

Crash Ensemble| Free State V | March 5th, 2010 | 8pm |
Samuel Beckett Theatre, Trinity College, Dublin 2

“When it comes to music, the Crash [Ensemble] abandons ‘safety first’...its reputation at the cutting edge of contemporary composition has been veritably bulletproof for most of the decade”
Sunday Business Post on Free State III.

Continuing its commitment to showcasing the work of Ireland’s freshest composers, Crash Ensemble presents Free State V, a unique programme of innovative music created by our brightest and best new music talents. This annual concert never fails to surprise, engage and delight as Crash brings the vibrancy of contemporary Irish musical creativity to new audiences.

For one night only the Samuel Beckett Theatre will host a diverse range of music, from solo electro-acoustic works to full ensemble pieces. This concert will feature the world premiere of a new piece by Ed Bennett, specially commissioned for Free State V by the Crash Ensemble.

Characteristically blending live instruments with electronic music, while also drawing inspiration from other artforms, Bennett’s music has been described as “anarchic” (Irish Times), “manic” (Classical Music) and “beautiful”(Gramophone). His ‘Ausland’ for orchestra was awarded the first prize in the Tactus Composers Forum in Brussels in 2006 and he was a featured composer in the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland’s Horizons series.

Allowing the unique voices of a new generation of Irish composers to sound is foremost on the agenda for Crash Ensemble’s Free State V. Enda Bates is a glowing example of the calibre of today’s Irish composing talent. Bates’ back catalogue includes electro-acoustic, multi-channel and tape based pieces with a strong spatial element. Shortlisted for the prestigious Gaudeamus Prize in Amsterdam last year, ‘String Quartet No.1’ is an exceptional piece of music that Crash Ensemble are proud to present to a broader audience.

Free State V will include a performance of ‘The Room is my Resonator’, a wonderfully rich piece by David Fennessy, who was also shortlisted for the Gaudeamus Prize for his first string quartet ‘graft’. Fennessy was born in Maynooth, Co. Kildare and currently lectures in composition at the RSAMD. His works have been performed by the National Chamber Choir, the Castagneri and Zephyr Quartets, Synchronia, Concorde and Ensemble Moderne among others.

Gráinne Mulvey’s music has been widely acclaimed and broadcast throughout the world and this special concert will include the evocatively titled ‘Swirling Sea and Frightened Fish’, performed in her home county. Mulvey holds a DPhil in Composition at the University of York and has attended composition courses with notable composers such as Boguslaw Schaeffer, Peter Maxwell Davies, Louis Andriessen and Kaija Saariaho. She is Head of Composition at DIT’s Conservatory of Music and Drama.

‘Dorchadas’ (Darkness) is the creation of Offaly-born Ann Cleare, who recently finished a year’s study at IRCAM in Paris and is currently researching a PhD in Harvard. Her music has been performed around Europe, New Zealand and America by ensembles and performers such as Ensemble SurPlus, 175 East, The New York Miniaturist Ensemble and the EAR Ensemble.

Hailing from the southwest of Ireland, Scott McLaughlin is an active figure in the field of live electronics and free improvisation. He is currently undertaking PhD studies at the University of Huddersfield. This is a very special performance of McLaughlin’s ‘Marionettes’, which uses the little-known Moog Piano Bar, imported especially for this unique concert.

Ekstase III by Benedict Schlepper-Connolly concludes the Free State V programme. Born in Dublin, Schlepper-Connolly studied composition in Trinity College and New York University. He is deputy editor of ‘The Journal of Music’ and is also a director of Ergodos, the Dublin-based music company that he founded with Garrett Sholdice in 2006.

Free State V is a celebration of new Irish composers and their wonderful output and accomplishments. It is also the first concert of an action packed 2010 for Crash Ensemble, with a U.S. tour, a concert in King’s Place London, a recording for Nonesuch Records and the world premiere of a new work by Donnacha Dennehy commissioned by Grammy award-winning soprano Dawn Upshaw, to be performed at the end of the year.


Free State V: Friday March 5, 2010 | Samuel Beckett Theatre, Trinity College| 8pm | Tickets €22/ €18 (conc.) | (01) 896 2461