A CELEBRATION OF THE MUSIC OF SHAUN DAVEY
National Cancert Hall, Dublin
June 23rd 2006
Fri 23rd June, 8:00pm A celebration of the music of Shaun Davey - one of Ireland's leading professional composers - featuring the atmospheric and deeply moving The Brendan Voyage and the memorable music of the 2003 Dublin Special Olympics Opening Ceremony. With his first major work, The Brendan Voyage, Shaun Davey opened up totally new musical territory, integrating the traditional and classical instruments to create a music that is captivating, dramatic and beautiful. The piece tells the heroic story of St. Brendan's epic journey in a leather boat from the south-west coast of Ireland to the coast of the New World. In the musical drama that Davey unfolds, the tiny boat is represented by a master uilleann piper pitted against the massive forces of sea and storm, ice and monsters as depicted by the huge orchestra.
1] The first half of the concert will be The Brendan Voyage composed 1980 and first performed at the National Concert Hall in 1983. It will be performed by Liam O'Flynn, for whom it was specially composed, with the RTE National Symphony Orchestra conducted by David Brophy. Tim Severin, the explorer-historian who made the epic voyage upon which the music is based, has kindly agreed to introduce the piece. To date 'The Brendan Voyage', with the uilleann pipes representing Severin's medieval leather boat and the orchestra the Atlantic seascape, has been performed around the world. This year, after 25 years and over 100,000 album sales, the CD is being re-released by Tara Records.
2] The second half contains music specially composed for the Opening Ceremony of the Special Olympics World Summer Games held in Croke Park, June 21, 2003. This large-scale suite for traditional soloists, singers, choir, pipeband, percussion and orchestra contains the anthem 'May we never have to say goodbye', performed on the night by 6 of the largest Dublin choirs, and which topped the Irish singles charts for 5 weeks. It will be performed by many of the original soloists, including Rita Connolly, Liam O'Flynn, Seamus Begley, Nollaig Casey, Noel Eccles, Triona Marshall and pipers led by Dave Rickard. The choir will contain members of the Guinness Choral Society and Tallaght Choral Society. The suite also features the spectacular work composed by Noel Eccles for multiple percussion, which is currently receiving great acclaim in performances at home and in the USA.
3] The second half also contains dramatic, large-scale pieces from Shaun Davey's narrative concert work, 'The Pilgrim' [last performed live in Ireland with the actor Sir Ben Kingsley in 2000 in Blanchardstown Shopping Centre]; the performance will contain the unusual sound of the Galician Gaita, played by Edelmiro Fernandez.
4] Shaun Davey's work over the past 10 years in film will be represented by the popular and evocative song 'Fill to me the Parting Glass', specially composed for the film 'Waking Ned', and first performed in its new orchestral and choral version at the opening of the Helix Concert Hall, Dublin, in 2002.
5] A magical piece from the Royal Shakespeare Company production of Shakespeare's 'Pericles' represents Shaun Davey's contribution to theatre both at home and abroad over the past 20 years. He has specially orchestrated this for the performance at the National Concert Hall, Dublin, featuring the orchestra with handbells.
6] To mark the occasion, a special collaboration between Tara Records, RTE, Shaun Davey and the RTENSO sees the release of a new CD containing all the music from the second half of the concert, including the Suite from the Special Olympics World Games in Dublin, 2003. It is planned for release in June to tie in with the June 23 concert at the NCH.
7] This concert represents Shaun Davey's active return to the concert stage in Ireland, something he has missed during the past 10 years of working for Film, TV and Theatre. The past years have been productive and, as may not be generally known, internationally successful. Shaun Davey received an Ivor Novello award for his score for the BBC drama based on the great famine, 'The Hanging Gale'. For this he also received a BAFTA nomination and a further one for 'Ballykissangel' [which also received a UK TRIC Award for Best UK TV Signature Theme]. His score for 'Twelfth Night' was also nominated for an Ivor Novello award. In theatre Shaun Davey has composed many scores for RSC productions of Shakespeare, perhaps most notably the 1992 'Winter's Tale' which visited Dublin on its acclaimed world tour, and 'The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe' which, for many years, has been a popular Christmas production in the UK. In 1999-2000 Shaun Davey's music was heard on Broadway in 'James Joyce's The Dead', a production which won the New York Critics Award and for which Shaun Davey was nominated for a Toni Award for the music.
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