I was at the very heart of the city. The postal code of my office was ‘Dublin 1’. From my office window, I could eventually glimpse the Spire of Dublin, the 120-metre, shimmering, pin-like monument which I watched being erected in 2003. The site of the Spire was traditionally regarded as the exact centre of Dublin City.
Ireland in the 1990s. A country in the throes of change and traditional music was demonstrating in musical terms some of the tensions that such a transition creates. Searching albums by young musicians and bands, Riverdance, A River of Sound on television, heated debate in pubs on ‘tradition’, ‘innovation’, ‘change’, and then, excellently Continue reading →
JMI is now half way through its third year. You would imagine that things should be getting easier. I have sat down to write this editorial several times over the last two months, each time grounding to a halt after a couple of paragraphs. It seems I have become a victim of the exact subject I wanted to discuss: limits. Generally, when I Continue reading →
There is great satisfaction in producing an issue of JMI that contains reviews of both contemporary Irish music and sean-nós singing, if only because one does not observe this same sort of coupling often in Irish musical life. The division in understanding that exists between ‘classical’ and ‘traditional’ music in Ireland is a feature of our Continue reading →
This year, two young Irish composers, Jennifer Walshe and Donnacha Dennehy, both selected John Cage’s 4’ 33” (1952) to be performed as part of their ‘Composer’s Choice’ concerts at the National Concert Hall. To have Cage’s audacious four minutes and thirty-three seconds of ‘silence’ performed in an archetypal respectable venue such as Continue reading →
All musicians and singers are aware of the finely-tuned arrangement that can exist in one’s mind between self-belief and self-doubt. They know there are many different degrees and types of confidence, many factors in its generation, and many ways to disguise its absence.
The phrase ‘Music and Nationalism’ appears on the front cover of this issue because, by coincidence, several of the articles within provide (or imply) perspectives on the subject. This was not planned – although I welcome it – and I daren’t say too much about the matter because I don’t want to get in the way of Patrick Zuk’s erudite essay on page 5. But while we are in the domain of passionate causes, I would like to draw readers’ attention to a recent Hot Continue reading →