Samuel Beckett Theatre

Dancehall: Dublin Theatre Festival

Thursday, 8 October 2015 to Sunday, 11 October 2015


Thursday 8th October: 19.30

Friday 9th October: 19.30

Saturday 10th October: 14.30 & 19.30

Sunday 11th October: 14.30

The screech of shoes, racing hearts, all of us together.

The scene is set for a dance concert that gradually warps into an unpredictable and fearless fanfare. Ominous and visually rich, a distorted display of beauty and pathos unravels to a hypnotic score, which rides the edge of ferocity and joy.

Together, choreographer Emma Martin and composer Andrew Hamilton have created Dancehall, a new work performed by a company of five exquisite dancers and a trio of musicians.

Two artforms unite in an unconstrained bombastic poem – at once classical and hardcore, noble and reckless. It manifests the contagious and vital energy that is revealed through the union of dance and music, both having been created for one another.

Contains nudity. Smoke machines and strobe lighting are used during the show.

First Look: A Brief Glimpse of The End (Working Title)

Saturday, 23 May 2015 to Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Crash Ensemble in partnership with Emma Martin Dance and Irish composer Andrew Hamilton.

“The human soul is a madhouse…” (Fernando Pessoa). Embracing this notion, choreographer Emma Martin explores dissonant pleasures and the fearless expression of the soul. who is writing a new score for piano, percussion and cello.

Work for four dancers, Cello, Percussion and Piano.  

Developmental showing for a new production which will premiere later this year.

Sat 23, Wed 27 May @ 4.30pm Sat 23, @ 5pm Wed 27

Duration - 45 mins approx. (no interval)

FREE, limited availability. Reserve with Dublin Dance Festival.

Launch Event for the Music Composition Centre, Trinity College Dublin

The recently established Centre for Composition and Contemporary Practice at Trinity College is providing a new platform to consolidate Trinity's position at the cutting edge of contemporary music. Its focus is on bridging the gap between the normal acoustic environment of concert music and the cutting-edge developments in music technology.

To launch this exciting new venture, Crash Ensemble performed a programme by a selection of Ireland's most unique musical voices of recent times, including pieces by Linda Buckley, Bill Whelan, Gerald Barry, Kevin Volans, Evangelia Rigaki, Donnacha Dennehy and Enda Bates. 

The Composition Centre will host concert series, provide a creative platform for PhD students, facilitate the work of internationally recognised composers in Trinity's Department of Music and house Ensemble Avalon as ensemble-in-residence.

This is truly a landmark event for Irish contemporary music and we were delighted to be a part of it! 

The evening featured an inaugural address by Bill Whelan and a performance by the Dublin Laptop Orchestra.

For a full press release click here

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

Double Portrait: Lang & Andriessen

Cutting-edge Irish music collective Crash Ensemble showcases the innovative music of Pulitzer Prize winner David Lang alongside that of Dutch composer Louis Andriessen in ‘Double Portrait’ on June 5th in the Samuel Beckett Theatre, Dublin.

Along with performances of music by David Lang, including the 2008 Crash Ensemble commissioned ‘Forced March’, Crash Ensemble will feature the work of Louis Andriessen, one of the most influential European composers of our time.

The works of this well matched duo will make for an energetic, high-octane performance, which has become a trademark of Crash Ensemble’s many concerts.

Louis Andreissen’s influence over the contemporary Irish music scene is palpable and his presence was instrumental in the establishment of Crash Ensemble in 1997 by composer and Crash Ensemble Artistic Director Donnacha Dennehy.  As a composer Andriessen is both provocative and enticing, his influence on the contemporary music scene resonates globally. Famed for collaborations with Peter Greenaway, Hal Hartley and Robert Wilson, Louis Andriessen is frequently credited with having changed the face of music.

Recently appointed composer in residence for 2009-2010 in Carnegie Hall, this Dublin performance of his works celebrates the composer’s 70th birthday.

In Double Portrait Crash Ensemble will also be performing works by the American composer David Lang , who is at the forefront of the dynamic contemporary music scene in  New York. Having won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for The Little Match Girl Passion; an intrepid work commissioned by Carnegie Hall, Lang continues to surprise and delight. Lang is co-founder of legendary new music group ‘Bang on a Can’ in New York City, a collective exposing exciting and innovative music to new audiences worldwide.

Double Portrait presents a musical reflection on two of the most exciting composers of these times. David Lang credits Andriessen as a major influence on his work and in turn on the celebrated Bang on a Can collective, extolling his admiration for Andriessen’s radical approach to composition: Talking of Andriessen's Worker's Union (featured on the concert) Lang praises Andriessen's radicalism in freeing us from the "tyranny of orchestration, harmony or pitch.”

Double Portrait sees a welcome return for Crash Ensemble to the Samuel Beckett Theatre and also marks the Ensemble’s indelible 11-year mark on the Irish and global music scene.


Double Portrait | Friday June 5 | 8pm |  Samuel Beckett Theatre | (01) 896 2461 | €20/15