Reviews

Adventures in the New Music Fringe
The Music Current contemporary music festival – which took place last week in Dublin – has a radicalism in curation that can give listeners a real feeling of discovery. Adrian Smith reviews the four days and asks: can it grow its 'fringe' status in the Irish new music scene?
Playing for an Inside-Out World
In the first review from our new Music Writer Mentoring Scheme, supported by Galway City and Galway County Arts Offices, James Fleming reviews a performance by Sarah Nicolls of her new political work 'Twelve Years'. Presented by Galway Jazz Festival at the Mick Lally Theatre on 29 March, the composition by the British pianist and composer is a direct call for action at a time of crisis.
Some People are Frightened
The second Cork Sound Fair took place last week. Spread over four days (28–31 March), the festival displays the fascinating diversity of Irish electronic music. Don O'Mahony reviews a selection of performances from Saturday night and Sunday.
Uncomfortable Story Beautifully Told
Irish National Opera's current production of 'Madama Butterfly', exploring themes of exploitation and naïveté, works extremely well – sometimes disconcertingly so, writes Brendan Finan.
When Concertina Meets Concerto
The RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra marked St Patrick's Day with a performance of a new concerto for concertina by Niall Vallely, a set by the group Moxie, and Seán Ó Riada's 'Mise Éire'. The concert highlighted the different directions in which Irish traditional music is developing, writes Tim Diovanni.
Life is Beautiful if You Leave it Alone
From expressive audience participation with the Brian Irvine Ensemble to people unenthused by Finnish experimental jazz, Tim Diovanni reviews two nights of the recent Spectrum festival in Dublin.
Dark Clouds Will Gather 'Round Me
Rhiannon Giddens and Francesco Turrisi's opening concert from their current Irish tour had a leitmotif of displacement, writes James Camien McGuiggan, as well as political moments.
The New Music Festival Ireland Deserves?
New Music Dublin 2019 featured four days of contemporary music including over twenty-two world premieres. Does Ireland now have the new music festival it deserves? Adrian Smith provides a comprehensive review of 15 events, with additions for two concerts from Ryan Molloy and Toner Quinn.
Leaving a Trail for New Composers
The fourth concert in the Female Composer Series at the National Concert Hall – programmed in partnership with Sounding the Feminists – featured music by Thea Musgrave, Sofia Gubaidulina, Jane O'Leary and Kaija Saariaho. Tim Diovanni reviews.
Trading Licks
The Saturday night double-header at the Spike cello festival featured traditional musicians Liam O’Connor and Cormac Begley with Cello Ireland, and free improviser Ernst Reijseger – a night that went from Irish slow airs to musical comedy. James Camien McGuiggan reviews.