I am an Irish composer of classical music. In January of this year I was 60 and a number of events celebrating this have taken (or are still to take) place, including concerts, seminars, and the premiere of my opera The Alma Fetish in Dublin’s National Concert Hall (NCH). September 22nd will see the world premiere (in Dublin’s Hugh Lane Gallery) of "Noctuary", a 45' cycle of 12 pieces commissioned in 2010 by Hugh Tinney (with funds from the Arts Council/An Chomairle Ealaíon), one of our leading concert pianists . Hugh performed the first 6 pieces, in pairs, during his 3 "European Masterworks" concerts in the NCH in 2011, alongside classics by Beethoven, Liszt, Chopin, Debussy, and Ravel.
A noctuary is a nighttime diary, and these pieces evoke many and various images of the night, including: Minerva’s owl (which “takes flight as twilight falls”), the Versipel (a creature that turns its skin inside out, like a werewolf), the Mezzotint (from a famous ghost story by M.R. James), the “hitherandthithering waters of night” from Joyce’s Finnegans Wake, and the “night-blooming Cereus” (a cactus that supposedly flowers on only one night of the year).
A CD recording of this cycle was always planned as part of the project, and the respected digital record label Resonus Classics has agreed to come on board. RTÉ Lyric FM has very kindly agreed to make a recording studio and piano available for the recording.
It remains, however, to finance the rest of the recording process: the fees for producer Adam Binks of Resonus and Hugh Tinney, for mixing and editing, art-work (by artist Renate Debrun) and PR, for tuning the piano and keeping a tuner on call throughout the recording process, which it is envisaged will take two days in late October. It’s hoped to issue the album in spring 2014.
All involved in this project are convinced that the album will be a fitting culmination to an intense 3-year collaboration between Hugh Tinney and myself. We hope that it will be a production of the highest artistic quality, worthy of the faith you will have shown in it by making a financial contribution, however small.