In all their shows, Kirkos reimagine ideas of performance, creating unique experiences for audiences. The first week of September sees the group carry this forward with their next set of encounters, Biosphere, a programme of experimental performances in different outdoor locations around Dublin. With ecological challenges deepening around the globe, this work seeks to address the effects of environmental damage.
As they describe it “from sound art, to pop-up concerts, to installations and interventions, the programme across the week involves works by Irish and international composers that find new, beautiful ways to explore our relationship with Dublin’s natural & built environment as we confront the climate crisis.”
The whole week offers a series of works, from improvisational text pieces inviting online followers to take their plant for a walk, to seeing (and hearing) a string quartet playing until submerged, to a piece structured around the Clare v Galway 2018 All-Ireland semi-final – replayed over a salvaged piano – and to Qi Gong exercises in a Zorb ball filled with single-use plastics, navigating between land and water.
Nick Roth’s ‘Flocking III’ takes its inspiration from murmuration patterns of flocks of starlings, while ‘Tide’ by Tom Lane creates a site-specific meditation on time and tide for solo horn, beach, and sea, on the low sands of Sutton’s Burrow beach. Other composers and performers taking part include Robert Coleman, Jennifer Walshe, Susan Geaney, Paul Scully, Patrick Ellis, Andy Ingamells, Seán Clancy, Natasha Bourke, Laura Sarah Dowdall, and Joan Somers Donnelly.
Introducing the programme, director Sebastian Adams explains that “Biosphere originated simply from a long-term ambition to do a significant site-specific concert… but as we prepared for it over the last nine months, it seemed increasingly obvious that an event like this in the current moment simply couldn’t take place without climate change and waste being central to it.” Audience engagement will extend to participants being invited to contribute to the task of tracking and reducing the event’s carbon footprint, with the information to be made publicly available. The safety of those attending is also being closely managed, following public health guidelines, with attendees being asked to bring their own masks and maintain social distancing.
Further details are on the website www.kirkosensemble.com/biosphere, with lineup, locations and performance times to be announced one week before the series, set to run September 1-6.
Poster art by Éna Brennan