In Ireland, a festival where the orchestra plays from memory

Posted on: July 16, 2015

In Thursday’s (7/16) Irish Times (Dublin), Siobhan Long reports on the Ceol Meabhair Festival of Memorised Music later this month in County Clare, Ireland, at which “composer Dave Flynn and his 70-piece Clare Memory Orchestra perform a series of works written for an orchestral setting, but with a traditional emphasis on musical memory…. ‘I love orchestral music and I love traditional music, and I wanted to try to find ways of blending the two styles …,’ Flynn says. ‘The sound of the Clare Memory Orchestra lies somewhere between a big trad session, a modern classical orchestra, a jazz big band and an African rumba orchestra.’ … Flynn was adamant that tapping into traditional musicians’ highly developed capacity to memorize tunes had the potential to transform our usual expectations of an orchestral performance and sound. ‘When the musicians perform from memory,’ Flynn says, ‘they have spent a long time learning it by heart, so they have really lived with the music.’ … Audiences seeing the Clare Memory Orchestra for the first time may be astounded…. Feet tapping, vibrato is nowhere to be heard and the absence of sheet music means musicians connect with one another on the fly.”

Posted July 16, 2015