David Adams at the Project Arts Centre, Wednesday 19th November 2014.

The opening concert of ICC10, the Irish Composer’s Collective tenth anniversary festival, begins with a lunchtime concert given by Irish pianist David Adams; a fitting opening to events with Adams having performed the first ever ICC recital ten years ago.

Opening with a work by Sean ClancyTen Minutes of Music on the Subject of Furniture starts things off gently. Repetitive and atmospheric, the piece creates a wonderful ambience. The prepared piano offers some interesting timbral characteristics to the work but at ten minutes long, the piece reaches its conclusion just in time. Two Pieces for Harpsichord and Piano by Aran O’Grady follows. Although entertaining in its nature by requiring Adams to play both the piano and harpsichord at once, the piece in itself is entrancing. Modal melodies overlap, creating some very interesting harmonies. The piece is tastefully portrayed by Adams, who allows the compositional style to speak for itself.

Karen Power‘s deafening silence offers a total contrast. For piano and tape, this piece sees the piano imitate the sound of crickets. Although visually entertaining as we see Adams reaching into the piano in order to produce an array of timbres and tones, the piece is also audibly entertaining as the piano is explored. Luke Duffy‘s Earthly brings the room back to world of tonality, as his film music-esque melodies provide a brief moment of calm before the final composer of the evening, Chris M Pearson, has his piece performed.

Caprice was clearly written with the performer in mind, as Adams explains before beginning the piece, with particular reference to a section of the piece in which the work descends into a chorale. However, this personal aspect of the work gives this performance a personal element. Adams attacks the piece with the necessary fervour to bring out entirely the contrast of the chorale, and brings the afternoon’s concert to a passionate end.

Such concerts as this are a testament to not only the wonderful performers currently working in Ireland, but also of the young composers paving their way in the country. Such a vast array of compositional styles and techniques prove how developed Ireland’s young composers are, and anyone who still isn’t convinced needs to head down to any of the upcoming Irish Composer Collective concerts to find out just what they’re missing.


Sean Clancy – Ten Minutes of Music on the Subject of Furniture

Aran O’Grady – Two Pieces for Harpsichord and Piano

Karen Power – deafening silence

Dave Flynn – 12-Tone B-A-C-H

Breffni O’Byrne – Toghair

Luke Duffy – Earthly

Chris M Pearson – Caprice