#3721: New Music from Ireland Part 6

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Loyalist protesters hold Union Flags during a demonstration outside Belfast City Hall in Belfast, Northern Ireland on January 19, 2013

As the capital of Northern Ireland, Belfast has seen more than its share of hard times and violence, but in recent decades, peace has settled in the city, and a contemporary music scene has blossomed. In this sixth edition of our New Music from Ireland series, John Schaefer visits Belfast and talks to some of the composers spearheading contemporary music in Belfast. 

Composer Piers Hellawell reflects how things have changed since the Troubles when he first arrived in the city and how the music scene has grown around his work. Hear composers Bernadette Comac and Deirdre McKay discuss their common interests and Belfast's cafe culture. Of course, there's also plenty of music itself to listen to, and this episode includes icy compositions from Comac and Hellawell. Finally, hear pieces from Brian Irvine and Ian Wilson that hearken back to their Irish roots. 

PROGRAM #3721 New Music from Ireland Part 6 (First aired on 5/1/2015)  





BBC Concert Orchestra, Brian Irvine ensemble, and Paul Dunmall

Montana Strange

Brian Irvine: Just cut em up like regular chickens [excerpt] 1:11

FMR Records - FMRCD315-0911

Hard Rain Soloist Ensemble

Hard Rain Ensemble

Greg Caffrey: Idée Fixe [excerpt] [1:21]

Hard Rain Ensemble

Schubert Ensemble of London

a white room

Piers Hellawell: a white room[1:26]

NMC Records – NMC D075

Bernadette Comac


Voce IV  [excerpt] [:39]


Bernadette Comac


We Walk With Ghosts [excerpt] [3:19]


The Crash Ensemble

Contemporary Music from Ireland, Volume 5

Deirdre McKay: Ice Etchings [8:32]

Not Commercially Available -  Contemporary Music Ireland


Sound Carvings

Piers Hellawell: Sound Carvings form the Ice Wall I [3:13]

Metronome Recordings – MET CD 1029

Brian Irvine


Fitz [4:05]


Common Tongue

Want & Longing

Ian Wilson: Slán Le Maigh [5:03]

Nippi Records - #NIPPI 002CD

Ian Wilson’s Website