Big Bang – Composition & Performance


Brian Irvine led the Composition and Performance Programme for Music Generation Sligo in association with Sligo County Council Public Art Programme 2012 – 2013.  The Big Bang premiered in Hawk’s Well Theatre on Sligo on 10th November 2013.   It was performed again in October 2014 in Hawk’s Well Theatre and The National Concert Hall Dublin.  Read all about the composer in residence programme below and watch the documentary here:

The Composer in Residence Programme

The Composer-in-Residence Programme is commissioned by Sligo County Council funded by the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government Per Cent for Art Scheme.

BigBangPosterA group of young Sligo composers, working in association with Music Generation Sligo Composer-in-Residence Brian Irvine in a Young Composer Mentoring Programme. The result of their work “Big Bang” is a multifaceted, sideways study of our relationship with the universe. The premiere will take  place on Sunday 10th November at the Hawk’s Well Theatre as part of the Sligo International Choral Festival. This extraordinary performance will combine an extended Sligo Academy of Music Orchestra with the newly formed Music Generation Sligo Youth Choir made up of singers from a number of youth choirs from all over Sligo. The performance will be visually enhanced by specially created film imagery by Loch Bo Films.

The 1st movement, the Overture, is a poem recited by astronauts before the launch of a new mission

“Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth

And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings…
Where never lark nor even eagle flew —
And, while with silent lifting mind I’ve trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.”

High Flight – 1941, John Gillespie Magee, Jr.

The Composition Project 2012-2013 is the main project to be developed in this Programme over the next year. The Music Generation Sligo Composition Programme is commissioned by Sligo County Council and funded by the Department of Environment, Heritage and Gaeltacht Per Cent for Art Scheme.

Belfast-born Brian Irvine has been appointed as Composer in Residence for Music Generation Sligo Performance Programme 2012-2013. The composer, who has collaborated with everyone from Seamus Heaney to Snow Patrol and was associate composer with the Ulster Orchestra for four years, will play an integral role in the Performance Programme.
The Performance Programme 2012-2013 comprises of a number of core elements:
1. Composition Commission
MGS has commissioned Brian Irvine to compose a new composition for choir and orchestra, to be performed by children and young people in Sligo. Brian Irvine will also lead the team as Artistic Director. Niamh Crowley, (Director of SAM, member of MGS steering committee and musician) is the Creative Co-ordinator of the programme in 2012-2013.
2. Young Composer Mentoring Programme is aimed at providing a select group of six young local composers (aged 12+) with the opportunity to participate in a series of lectures & workshops about the process and art of composition, and working as a professional composer. Each composer will write a composition of no more than five minutes in duration. Each piece will be performed by the children and young people in Sligo. The young composers will participate, alongside Brian Irvine, in some of the workshops with the performers during the year. This application process is now closed.

3. Performance Groups:  MGS will arrange workshops, led by Brian Irvine, to establish a choral group for the performance of the new compositions. The objective is to introduce the idea of composition, improvisation, music technology, creating and performing music. Choirs will be invited to participate via youth projects, schools, community groups and general public calls.

4. Performance:MGS will host and stage a performance to premiere the new composition by Brian irvine and Sligo’s young composers.Children and young adults from Sligo will perform the choral and orchestral composition. The event is scheduled to take place on November 10th during the Sligo International Choral Festival 2013.