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World Premiere of Dún Laoghaire Guitars Performed by Dave Flynn

August 20, 2020

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council and Music Network announced the appointment of Dave Flynn as Musician-in-Residence for 2020 back in May. Since then, Dave has been collaborating online with musicians from the Guitar Training Centre in Dún Laoghaire and their tutor Ciarán Swift, to compose a new composition for guitar ensemble, Dún Laoghaire Guitars.

Audiences have been able to follow weekly video updates, insights, performances and playlists from Dave on dlr’s and Music Network’s social media channels.

The residency will culminate on Thursday 20 August 7pm with the online premiere of the new work ‘Dún Laoghaire Guitars’.

Dave Flynn ‘Dún Laoghaire Guitars’ – 1st Movement, Dún Laoghaire Harbour

Dave Flynn ‘Dún Laoghaire Guitars’ – 2nd Movement, Dún Laoghaire DART

Dave Flynn on ‘Dún Laoghaire Guitars’:

When I was a teenager I regularly took trips into Dún Laoghaire town. The sounds I heard by the harbour, pier, marina and train station formed a musical picture in my mind that I vowed one day to turn into a piece of music. That day arrived when I was appointed Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown Musician in Residence. For the residency I’ve composed a new piece, in two movements, called Dún Laoghaire Guitars. Eight guitars are used in the piece to create almost orchestral textures.

The first movement, ‘Dún Laoghaire Harbour’ uses special guitar techniques to evoke the sounds of creaking boats, sea-birds and the bell-like clanking of ship halyards. Meandering melodic patterns emerge out of this tone-painting, each in a different time signature. They move through a musical sea, like several boats running at different speeds.

The second movement ‘Dún Laoghaire DART’ imagines a train journey from Dublin city centre to Dún Laoghaire station. A rolling 8/8 rhythm moves the musical train forward. Looping melodic fragments hint alternately at Irish trad, Congolese rumba, jazz and classical minimalism, representing the diversity of passengers on board. The music gains momentum as ascending poly-rhythmic melodies build towards a joyous arrival at Dún Laoghaire station.

Originally this music was meant to be premiered in concert at the dlr LexIcon Studio. Covid-19 put a stop to that, but it won’t stop the music being heard. Over the past few months I have worked with Ciaran Swift and his students from Dún Laoghaire’s Guitar Training Centre to produce a video for ‘Dún Laoghaire Dart’. Before that you will hear ‘Dún Laoghaire Harbour’, which I recorded myself, over-dubbing all eight guitars.

When I finished the music I had the idea to set it to films of Dún Laoghaire Harbour and a Dart arriving into Dún Laoghaire. I found John Healy’s beautiful drone footage of the harbour and Stuart Moss’ wonderfully filmed Dart journey on Youtube. I’m very grateful to John and Stuart for allowing me to use their footage and to Ben Rawlins for putting the videos together with my music.

It’s been a very rewarding residency and I’d like to thank Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown Arts Office, Music Network and the Arts Council for making it happen. Hopefully in the not too distant future we’ll be able to give the live concert premiere of Dún Laoghaire Guitars! For now I hope viewers enjoy the videos we’ve made for Dún Laoghaire Guitars.

The dlr Musician-in-Residence scheme is jointly funded by Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council and the Arts Council and managed by Music Network.

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