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.