Friday 12 February 2016, 1:10 pm - Aula Maxima, UCC

Tommy Halferty Trio

Tommy Halferty Trio

A unique collaboration between acclaimed saxophonist Seamus Blake and Ireland’s finest trio.

 New York based tenor saxophonist/composer Seamus Blake is recognized as one of the finest exponents of contemporary jazz. His music is known for its sophistication, bold improvisations and “sheer swagger". John Scofield, who hired Seamus for his Quiet Band, called him “extraordinary, a total saxophonist.” Seamus Blake’s recent releases, Live at Smalls, Bellwether and Live in Italy, have garnered considerable critical praise for his masterful playing, his fine compositional skills and for his facility as a leader. Described as “a knockout”, “one of the elite albums of the year” and “as exhilarating as a shot of espresso”, it is on many Top of the Year lists. 
 Jazz Guitarist Tommy Halferty has been performing & composing for the last 30 years and in that time has gained a wealth of experience performing with musicians from all over the world such as Lee Konitz, Benny Golson, Norma Winstone and many more.
Halferty's latest group features one of Ireland's most experienced rhythm sections Dave Redmond on Double-Bass and
Kevin Brady on Drums, both of whom have been recording and touring together for ten years. To date, the trio have been performing Halferty's exciting and energetic new original compositions which feature a blend of improvised music, swing, rock and blues. The trio has proven to be a well integrated ensemble and have become one of the most successful jazz trios in Ireland.

Posted by John Hough on 01/11 in Permalink

Thursday 25 February 2016, 11:00 am - Ó Riada Hall, Music Building, UCC

Seminar - Desi Wilkinson, UCC, Traditional Artist in Residence

Idir, Kabyle song and the festival du Film Amazigh: encouraging cultural plurality in Algeria.
My first encounter with berberitude or Berber cultural identity happened through the medium of music and song and was experienced while living in France during the late 1980s early 1990s. My direct experience of Algeria is based on research carried out whilst ‘floating around the periphery’ of two specific events, the Amazigh film festivals of December 2005/6 and 2007/8. Drawing upon the work of Goodman, (2005), Bourdieu (1978) and Evans and Phillips (2007), I wish to deal with two main issues in this presentation, firstly the promotion of Berber/Amazigh identity narrated through music and song (linked to the activities of the artist known as IDIR in France and Algeria from the 1980s until the present time) and secondly the forging of inclusive Algerian citizenship through the medium of cultural celebration (the Amazigh film festivals of 2005/6 and 2007).

Posted by John Hough on 02/09 in Research SeminarsPermalink

Friday 26 February 2016, 1:10 pm - St. Fin Barre's Cathedral

FUAIM at the Cathedral - Irish Guitar Quartet

FUAIM at the Cathedral - Irish Guitar Quartet

IGQ members Jerry Creedon, David Keating, Colin McLean and Caoilfhionn Ni Choileain have garnered acclaim as soloists on concert stages around the world, with each member contributing their individual strengths toward creating an exciting, dynamic and engaging ensemble. Programmes including Latin, Far East, Folk and American Classics transport listeners around the world in a single concert experience.


1. Organ Fugue in G minor BWV 578 – ‘little Fugue’, J.S. Bach (1685 - 1750)

2. (a) Spin (b) Lotus Eaters, Andrew York (b. 1958)

3. Cuban Landscape with Rain, Leo Brouwer (b. 1939)

4. Stairs (1998), David Pritchard

5. Sarajevo Nights (2011), Almer Imamovic

6. Grises y Soles, Maximo Diego Pujol (b. 1957)

7. Bluezilian, Clarice Assad (b. 1978)

1. Organ Fugue in G minor BWV 578 – ‘little Fugue’
Fugue in G minor, BWV 578, "Little" (popularly known as the "Little Fugue"), iis one of Bach's best known organ fugues. The fugue's four-and-a-half measure subject is one of Bach's most recognizable tunes and is in four voices.

2. Spin /Lotus Eaters
Andrew York, a former member of the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, took his initial inspiration from a line of poetry written by a friend: “Let love spin you around and around…” York was suddenly aware of the various and diverse meanings of the word “spin.” In the most literal sense, an object can be set spinning on its axis. A storyteller might spin a tale. A spider spins a web. A deejay spins records. In the world of physics, quantum mechanics dictate the spin of subatomic particles.
Lotus Eaters is written in a reggae style.

3. Cuban Landscape with Rain
Cuban Landscape with Rain, by Cuban composer Leo Brouwer, creates a complete rainstorm, beginning occasional water droplets and ending with a raging torrent complete with hail.

4. Stairs
Stairs by L.A.-based musician David Pritchard, is a deceptive piece in that it bears a minimal, new-age sensibility on its surface, yet is underscored by a subtle yet unmistakable rhythmic complexity.

5. Sarajevo Nights
“So many images come to mind when one thinks of the beautiful city Sarajevo, capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In 1984 Sarajevo was the proud host of the Winter Olympic Games. Just ten short years later Sarajevo was under siege. Now, the resilient city and its people are trying to re-capture their soul and make up for lost time. I wanted to express this spirit of Sarajevo through this piece. Walking through Bascarsija (the old city), eating pita and drinking yogurt, hanging out with friends in the quaint cafes...these are all images I have when I think of Sarajevo. “ Almer Imamovic

6. Grises y Soles
“Buenos Aires suffers from the same schizophrenia as its inhabitants. Ciudad Oculta* and Paler-mo Chico** offer us the same expression the most beautiful theatres, the cafes, the green open spaces and the most extreme misery, inside and outside alike. People living there experience the most extreme loneliness, but they have a sad and ageless look. These are the “Greys and Suns”, from inside and outside. “ Maximo Diego Pujol
*A shantytown in the suburbs of Buenos Aires where drug addicts and delinquents hang out. ** A well-off part of Buenos Aires

7. Bluezillian
“This piece came to me very naturally, I guess in part because I feel very close to blues, jazz and Brazilian styles. It is made up of a few main themes, which are woven together and were written to work in their own individual styles, but which can also be shaped to cross over among themselves. It uses rhythms such as samba and baião in the Brazilian portion, as well as rhythms and colours that are found in North American blues, rock and jazz. Thus, the title... “ Clarice Assad

The lrish guitarist Jerry Creedon was born in Cork and has studied guitar from a young age. After graduating from University College, Cork, he studied with the famed German guitarist Siegfried Behrend in Germany; a Spanish Government Scholarship enabled him to study at the Andres Se-govia Summer School in Santiago de Compostela; the Irish Arts Council grant-aided him to at-tend master classes given by world-famous virtuoso John Williams in Cordoba. Jerry is the senior lecturer in classical guitar studies at the CIT Cork School of Music. He participated at the October 2001 Guitar Foundation of America International Convention and Competition in San Diego, California. Jerry is an experienced musician and has performed in Ireland, Germany and Spain, both as a soloist and a chamber musician. He has appeared with numerous orchestras and chamber en-sembles and has his own Jazz Ensemble with which he performs at the Guinness Cork Jazz Fes-tival. He has performed at the National Concert Hall, Universities, and numerous Festivals. Jerry has recorded CDs of music by Sanz, Pujol and Villa-Lobos.

Colin McLean is one of Ireland’s leading Classical Guitarists. He has studied with some of the most prestigious teachers including Jerry Creedon, Fabio Zanon and Tilman Hoppstock. He has received master classes from Paul Gregory, David Leisner, Magnus Anderson and Craig Ogden. Some of his achievements include winning Feis Maitiu two years running for solo Classical Guitar and being the first ever guitarist to win the Senior Recital Competition in the CIT Cork School of Music. He has an Honours Degree and an Honours Masters from the CIT Cork School of Music which he completed with the great virtuoso Fabio Zanon. Recently Colin has formed his own Latin Trio. “The Colin McLean Latin Trio” perform a mix of South American and Spanish guitar music which is influenced by great artists including Rodrigo y Gabriela, Oscar Lopez and Luis Villegas.

Irish guitarist David Keating was recently awarded a First Class Honours MMus Degree in classi-cal guitar performance at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, where he studied with Craig Ogden. Previously David studied in Dublin with John Feeley and in Cork with Jerry Creedon. He achieved a First Class Honours degree at the CIT Cork School of Music, where he now teaches classical guitar.
David has won many of the important music prizes in Ireland including the John Vallery Memorial Prize in the Irish Freemasons Young Musician of the Year Competition, the CIT CSM Senior Re-cital Competition and the Feis Ceoil Cup and Gold Medal for Classical Guitar Performance. He has attended masterclasses with some of the world’s leading guitarists including Xue Fei Yang, Gary Ryan, William Kanengiser, and Scott Tennant. Following his London debut at Bolivar Hall in November 2013, David was invited to perform at a masterclass with the renowned classical gui-tarist John Williams in CIT CSM in 2013.

Cork born Caoilfhionn Ní Choileain began her music studies at the Cork School of Music at the age of five. Caoilfhionn studies both violin, with Cornelia Zanidache and guitar with Jerry Creedon. She has been a member of the highly acclaimed Cairde Quartet, as well as the Cork Youth Orchestra and the National Youth Orchestra of Ireland. Caoilfhionn began her guitar studies at the age of nine and is a multiple award winner in competi-tions in both Cork and Dublin. Caoilfhionn has received masterclasses from Berta Rojas, Xue Fei Yang and John Williams in 2013. John Williams has said that “She has that rare quality, she plays from the heart”. This quite a comment coming from the World’s Number 1 Classical Guitarist. Caoilfhionn is a member of the CSM senior Guitar Ensemble, Guitar Plus, who perform regularly at the CIT Cork School of Music and who gave the Irish premiere of Steve Reich’s ‘Electric Coun-terpoint’ in May 2012.

Posted by John Hough on 01/11 in Permalink

Thursday 03 March 2016, 11:00 pm - Ó Riada Hall, Music Building, UCC

Seminar - Laudin Nooshin, City University London

Re-Imagining Musical Difference: Creative Process, Alterity and ‘Improvisation’ in Iranian Music from Classical to Jazz
Since the late 1980s, an important strand of my research has sought to understand the underlying creative processes of Iranian classical music (musiqi-ye asil), a tradition in which the performer plays a central creative role and which is therefore often described as ‘improvised’, both in the literature and – since the mid-20th century and drawing on concepts initially adopted from European music – by musicians. Methodologically, one of the greatest challenges has been tracing the relationship between musicians’ verbal discourses - usually taken by ethnomusicologists as evidence of cognitive processes - and what happens in practice. Of course, the relationship is a complex one and the dual ethnomusicological methods of (a) ethnography and (b) transcription and analysis don’t always tell the same story. In the case of my work, I found a disjuncture between musicians’ discourses of creative freedom, albeit underpinned by the central memorised repertoire known as radif, and the analytical evidence which showed the music to be highly structured around a series of what could be termed ‘compositional procedures’, but which are not explicitly discussed by musicians. The results of analytical enquiry thus led me to problematise the dominant discourses which reify improvisation (bedāheh-navāzi) and emphasise the oral, ephemeral and improvised nature of Iranian classical music against something more planned and structured as represented by the concept of (usually implying notation) composition (āhang-sāzi); and ultimately to an interest in the implications of such binary thinking, both for the study of Iranian music and more broadly for (western) musicology.

More recently, I have been working with younger musicians - university-educated and cosmopolitan - who are developing new discursive frameworks for their creative practice, including an explicit articulation of compositional intent and an intellectual-analytical approach to performance which are quite new to Iranian music. From the researcher’s point of view, this closer alignment of practice and discourse makes it easier to discuss finer details of creative process with musicians. Of particular interest are the ways in which some of these musicians are moving beyond the accepted oppositional discourses of creativity and are re-imagining notions of musical difference, including a more porous understanding of creative practice and a more integral relationship between the ‘improvisational’ and the ‘compositional’.

This talk will explore various themes and issues arising from my work on creative processes in Iranian classical music, particularly in relation to questions of alterity. As well as discussing specific examples from Iranian music, I will engage broader questions concerning musicological paradigms, particularly where these have been mobilised as a marker of ‘otherness’, as in the case of (western) musicological discourses of creativity or in Iran where some scholars have drawn on notions of difference to distinguish a local ‘indigenous’ musicology from an externally-imposed (Euro-American) ‘imperialist’ musicology. I examine the implications of such paradigms for the analysis and understanding of musical creativity.

Posted by John Hough on 02/09 in Permalink