Music Generation Laois Trad Orchestra – ‘The Impossible Dream’

Music Generation Laois have produced a short video to document ‘The Impossible Dream’ project. This video was produced by Naoise Kettle, with music by Martin Tourish and the Music Generation Laois Trad Orchestra.

Music Generation Laois commissioned composer Martin Tourish to create a 20 minute suite of music inspired by the life of Colonel James Fitzmaurice for the Music Generation Laois Trad Orchestra.   Colonel James Fitzmaurice was a pioneering aviator from Portlaoise who was part of the first successful transatlantic aircraft flight from East to West in 1928. 

The Music Generation Laois Trad Orchestra was established in 2016 and is a traditional music ensemble that provides a platform for the burgeoning interest in traditional music among young people in Co. Laois.  Martin Tourish is working in a highly collaborative way with the young musicians – they are creating new music together. This project moved online after Ireland went into lockdown in March 2020. After a national call out in May 2020, the Laois-based orchestra expanded from 23 members to 76, and together this group face the challenges of composing, workshopping and performing music remotely, with young musicians from different parts of Ireland, north and south, from Armagh to Cork.  The project development has unearthed many intriguing parallels between our current challenges, and those faced by Fitzmaurice in his lifetime. 

This project is supported by Creative Ireland 2020, via Creative Laois in partnership with Laois County Council. A strong partnership with the Laois Heritage office, provided MG Laois with the inspiration to develop this project, and we are indebted to the contribution and assistance of Laois Heritage Officer Catherine Casey, and Local Historian Teddy Fennelly.

This video was produced for and supported by the Laois Arts Office for Culture Night 2020.

Percussion Section Rehearsal 27 November 2020 – Image Credit Alf Harvey
Martin Tourish pictured with online orchestra members 27 November 2020 – Image Credit Alf Harvey
Sectional Rehearsal, Laois Music Centre, 27 November 2020 – Image Credit Alf Harvey

Tionól Harps and Pipes 2020

Music Generation Laois, supported by the Music Generation/Arts Council Partnership Creativity & Collaboration Fund, presents our annual Tionól for harp and pipes. Tionól 2020 has been re-imagined to go online, we are grateful to the network of Music Generation programmes around Ireland for supporting this event.

Non-Music Generation harpers and pipers can sign up to take part in our Tionól, send an email to mgl@loetb.ie including your name, telephone number, DOB if under 18, and how many years you have been playing for, or an idea of standard of playing, and we will offer you 4 workshop spaces over the weekend of the 31 October and 1 November. Payment can then be made online, and links to your classes will then be emailed to you. 4 workshops is €40.

Saturday 31 October, Sunday 1 November: Online Workshops

Louise Mulcahy (pipes) James Mahon (pipes), Paul Harrigan (pipes), Ryan Murphy (pipes), Kieran O’Hare (pipes), Leonard Barry (pipes), Joseph Byrne (pipes), Tim Doyle (pipes)

Michael Rooney (harp), Catriona McKay (harp), Rachel Hair (harp), Siobhan Buckley (harp), Grainne Hambly (harp), Anne-Marie O’Farrell (harp), Lauren O’Neill (harp), Rachel Duffy (harp), Jill Devlin (harp)

Performances series on the Music Generation Laois Youtube and Facebook channels.

Sunday 1st November @ 7pm: Live-streamed album launch of Catriona McKay’s new solo harp album ‘Love in Secret’, Dunamaise Arts Centre, Portlaoise (Free), Music Generation Laois Youtube and Facebook channels.

Creative Adaptations 2020

Music Generation Laois’ team of musician educators will take part in training to continue the provision of our high quality multi-faceted performance music education programme, where a blended learning model will be implemented (a combination of live music delivery, and online music delivery), in light of the Covid-19 Pandemic. We will also invest in equipment to supplement this delivery.

This project is supported by Creative Ireland Laois as part of the Creative Ireland Programme (2018-2022) in partnership with Laois County Council.

Call out for New Members: Music Generation Laois Trad Orchestra (online)

Martin Tourish and Michael Rooney with the Music Generation Laois Trad Orchestra onstage at the Dunamaise Theatre (Nov 2019) Photo Denis Byrne

Applications are now open for high-standard, dedicated trad musicians to join the Music Generation Laois Trad Orchestra (online).

The Music Generation Laois Trad Orchestra is embarking on an ambitious collaborative composition project with Accordionist Martin Tourish, and Orchestra Director Siobhan Buckley. Using online platforms, the orchestra will collaborate with Martin Tourish in the composition of a new suite of music.

New members are invited to join the orchestra for this exciting project, which will culminate with the premiere of new music in October/November 2020. New members can sign-up to be part of this project until the premiere of this new music in the Autumn and pay a membership fee of €50.

We would love to see old members re-join for this special project too!

Members from all over Ireland are welcome, however we remain hopeful that a live performance in Laois might be possible in the Autumn (only if safe to do so), so do take into account that if restrictions are lifted there may be some travel involved for final rehearsals and performance if coming from outside of Co. Laois. If a live performance of this music is not possible, we will create an online premiere.

The positions open for audition are:

  • Button accordion
  • Guitar
  • Concertina
  • Whistle
  • Trad Flute
  • Mandolin
  • Banjo
  • Fiddle
  • Piano
  • Harp
  • Uilleann Pipes
  • Double bass
  • Bodhrán/Percussion

Standard: This opportunity is for intermediate/advanced traditional musicians with 4 years experience and upwards

Age: Open to all ages

Weekly rehearsal: Successful applicants must be available for weekly rehearsal on Tuesdays from 12noon to 1:30pm (from Tuesday 2 June onwards – full schedule tbc, we may break at some point for holidays), Attendance is strictly monitored, if members miss more than 3 rehearsals, their membership will be relinquished.

As rehearsals will be online, a good internet connection is required.

Fee: Orchestra membership fee until November 2020, €50

How to apply: Spaces are allocated on an audition basis, in the current climate, a pre-recorded video is acceptable – send an email to mgl@loetb.ie attach a video of you playing a reel. In the email include your name, date of birth, instrument(s), standard (how many years you have been playing, any significant performances or achievements in this time), Parent/Guardian contact telephone number (for those under 18) and home address. Please Note, as this is an advanced ensemble, expression of interest emails are to come from applicants, applications made by parents/guardians on behalf of musicians will not be accepted.

For large video files, use wetransfer.

Deadline for receipt of applications is 5pm, Thursday 28 May, 2020.

The Music Generation Laois Trad Orchestra was established in January 2016 under the directorship of Paul Finn and Siobhan Buckley. In May 2016, the orchestra collaborated with Donegal Accordionist Martin Tourish to create a new 30 minute suite of music ‘1916 Visions and Voices’ funded by the Laois 2016 Community Fund, Per Cent for Art through Laois County Council and the Music Generation Arts Council Partnership.  The music was premiered on the 22 of May 2016, as part of the Music Generation Laois New Works Series, to unprecedented public response! The work has since been performed in Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann in Ennis 2016, for Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in Dublin Castle and in Powerscourt for the Ireland Funds Worldwide Conference attended by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Prince Albert of Monaco and has also been recorded an launched as a CD. In 2018, the Trad Orchestra premiered a new work ‘Loinnir Laoise,’ commissioned by Music Generation Laois and composed by Ryan Molloy as part of Music at the Malt House 2018. This suite of music was performed for a second time on the gig rig at Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann 2018 in Drogheda.

Throughout the past academic year (2018/2019) the Trad Orchestra have collaborated with many well-known musicians including Christ Stout (fiddle), Catriona McKay (harp), Zoe Conway (fiddle) and John McIntyre (guitar).

Please note: This is a highly professional ensemble, repeated absenteeism is not acceptable nor is poor timekeeping.  Frequently additional rehearsals and performances are added and these are mandatory.  Musicians must come prepared to rehearsals. Poor conduct and irresponsible behaviour is not permitted.

Current members do not need to re-audition.

This project is supported by Creative Ireland Laois.

Online Open Mic Night

(DEADLINE EXTENDED!)

Music Generation Laois Online Open Mic Night is a creative music platform for young people aged 12-18 living on the island of Ireland.

This project seeks to connect with young musicians from across Ireland, to submit a video of their original music songs/tunes/compositions/raps/electronic music. Videos will be reviewed by Music Generation Laois, and a selection of videos will then be live-streamed at the Online Open Mic Night on Saturday 13th June @ 8pm on the Creative Ireland Laois YouTube Channel, as part of Cruinniu na nÓg – a national day of creativity for young people.

What we need: a video of at least 1 minute duration and no more than 2 minutes, filmed in landscape (side-e-ways) showing you perform your musical creation. For electronic music videos you are welcome to submit visuals to accompany your music.


What kind of music creations: Perform a tune/song you composed; a rap you created; electronic music you created or even a series of sounds created by you using objects from your home …

Any genre – pop, rock, jazz, funk, soul, dance, techno, trad, folk, contemporary, world, gospel….etc

All entries will be viewed by a panel of professional musicians from Music Generation Laois. This panel of professional musicians will choose a selection of entries to be showcased at the Open Mic Night on the 13th of June 2020. We also have 2 prizes available for entries that ooze originality and musical creativity, prize-winners will be announced on the night.

National Prize:  Win 1 day recording in Golden Egg Studios world-class recording facility in Co. Laois. Open to any young musician age 12-18 living on the island of Ireland.

Laois Prize: For up and coming musicians from Co. Laois! Win 1 year’s free music lessons in Music Generation Laois. Open to young musicians age 12-18 and living in Co. Laois.

Criteria:
Age 12- 18
Original music (Original music only, created by the young person/young people in the video)

Quality video with good lighting and audio

You must introduce yourself at the beginning of the video – first/band name and where you are from, e.g. I’m Mary, and I’m from Portlaoise. For electronic music with visuals, we can add credits if you need help.

Filmed in landscape

Video duration is between 1 and 2 minutes

Group performances are accepted, as long as they are created following Government guidelines on social distancing (acappella app/similar recordings etc are welcome)

Parents/ family members can assist in making the video


Email your videos to Music Generation Laois, mgl@loetb.ie
For large files we recommend you send videos by wetransfer. We will send you an email to acknowledge receipt of your entry. Label your file properly with your name, and the title of your entry, e.g. Joe Bloggs Master of the Sea
Include your name, DOB, home address, parent/guardian phone number in your email and the title of your piece.
Deadline for entries (NOW EXTENDED!): 5pm, Friday 5 June, 2020

Some Tips for Making Videos
• Film at eye level if you can. ie do not film from a height looking down
• Don’t film outside unless you have a really still day. The mic will pick up wind and ruin your film.
• Don’t use digital zoom, ie. don’t zoom in and out. Keep it fixed.
• Don’t flip camera upside down when filming.
• Use natural lighting indoors if filming, ie. let the light from the window flood your face.
• Use bedside lamps etc to help light the face
• Don’t use filters on the video – leave it natural.
• Leave 10 secs of silence at start and end of video clip. ie don’t press record and start talking straightaway. Leave time at the start and end.
Further Details on the prizes

– 1 Day recording in Golden Egg Studio, Co. Laois, with access to top-notch recording equipment and a sound engineer.

– 1 year free lessons in a Music Generation Laois group music class in Laois Music Centre (or online depending on closures), instruments will be provided for the year (September 2020-May 2021), standard refundable security deposit payable on instrument hire, consistent attendance required upon sign-up as per the terms and conditions of MGL student enrolment.

Cruinniu na nÓg is a national day of free creativity for children and young people across Ireland. It is an initiative of the Creative Ireland Programme (2018-2022) in partnership with Laois County Council and RTÉ.
More information at:
creativeireland.gov.ie
facebook.com/creativelaois

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