Tradition Now – West Ocean String Quartet

The West Ocean String Quartet is beyond delighted to share with you that on Sunday 25th October we will give a livestreamed concert from the NCH in Dublin, part of the Tradition Now weekend. Oh to be making music again. More details to follow over the next few days…. https://link.dice.fm/qrXfQTPocab Tickets for the stream are available exclusively via DICE.fm            Tickets: €10.…

St Patrick’s Weekend

A busy, challenging and rewarding St Patrick’s Weekend  lies ahead – on Saturday in the Waterfront Hall in Belfast, The Gloaming’s Iarla Ó Lionáird accompanied by the Ulster Orchestra under David Brophy will sing a few sections from Sweeney, a setting for solo traditional singer, narrator and orchestra of Seamus Heaney’s Sweeney Astray that I…

Neil’s End of Year Blog 2018

May you all be well as another year closes. I enjoy reflecting on the previous twelve months at this stage – a reminder, a breather. 2018 has been a year of extremes – of great rewards and great loss. It started with the RTE commission to set Seamus Heaney’s “Sweeney Astray” for singer Iarla Ó…

Neil Martin – Sweeney Programme Notes

Upcoming concert – St Patrick’s Day, March 17th 2018, 8.00pm National Concert Hall, Dublin Iarla Ó Lionáird, Stephen Rea, David Brophy, RTÉ Concert Orchestra The world premiere of Sweeney, an orchestral song cycle based on Seamus Heaney’s Sweeney Astray, featuring singer Iarla Ó Lionáird and narrator Stephen Rea. Also on the programme is Ossa, a choral…

Neil Martin – OSSA Programme Note

Upcoming concert – St Patrick’s Day, March 17th 2018, 8.00pm National Concert Hall, Dublin Iarla Ó Lionáird, Stephen Rea, David Brophy, RTÉ Concert Orchestra The world premiere of Sweeney, an orchestral song cycle based on Seamus Heaney’s Sweeney Astray, featuring singer Iarla Ó Lionáird and narrator Stephen Rea. Also on the programme is Ossa, a choral…

A quare year of it

Six world premieres in twelve months: four orchestral, one dance, one words and music. It’s been a busy year & I’ve gotten to collaborate with truly outstanding artists along the way. It all began with Jean Butler & myself opening our duet this is an Irish dance to a sell-out run in Danspace, NYC last…

This last six months

What an extraordinary year this has been so far. Excuse me not having kept the news up-to-date on a regular basis – there simply hasn’t been time. So, the family headed to the incomparable Cruit Island off the Donegal coast for Christmas. I did take Christmas day off, but continued working on the opera whilst…

100 fiddles, 55° north

The North Atlantic Fiddle Convention, NAFCO, was held in Derry in 2012 and I was commissioned to write a piece for 100 young fiddle-players from Nova Scotia, Sweden, Shetland, Orkney, mainland Scotland and from all over Ireland. The end product was a four-movement, fifteen minute suite, and the performance those young musicians gave still rings…

“this is an Irish dance” The New Yorker review

“Butler and Martin engage in an intense, affectionate, sometimes flirtatious musical conversation. Butler is an extraordinary dancer, the accent of her dancing is distinctly Irish. Her footwork is light and crisp—she skitters across the floor, like a butterfly skimming the surface of a lake.” Marina Hass The New Yorker Jean Butler’s last Danspace commission, hurry…