Béal 2012

Béal Festival 2012 is a festival of new music and poetry. We are entranced by the fascinating capacity of words to be both pure sound and a means o fcommunication, and our mission is to explore this in the spoken and sung word. Our festival this year is all about finding alternative ways (no matter how rough and ready) of thinking and experiencing, building alternative combinations of words and music. The whole festival takes place over three days (Nov 7th – 9th) in the Banquet Hall at Smock Alley. The format is open-plan, trying wherever possible to allow different aesthetics and approaches to rub against each other. There is much emphasis on multiple streams of text at once, where the overload of information can provoke a joyfully intuitive reaction to the streams of meaning – more about experiencing the moment than understanding it

Wednesday 7 November

from 6.30 pm (finishing at 10.30 pm)
including: TheOpenRehearsals, Gráinne Mulvey: The
Seafarer (world première), readings / projections by
Aodán McCardle, LeucladeSegundo Hechizo
8 pm main event
a method: the road climbs
ConTempo String Quartet, Elizabeth Hilliard, Tom
Johnson, Billy Mills perform Tom Johnson:
Counting Music, Aperghis: Récitations (exc.), Tom
Johnson: Formulas for String Quartet, Haydn:
String Quartet Op 64, No 6
The first evening concert simply sets out the Béal take
on text and music. Here gobbets of information are
presented in a simple format where their mystery can
emerge. Pattern as meaning – sound as physicality.
The inclusion of Haydn’s work draws links with the
unabashed constructivist energy of the Enlightenment

Thursday 8 November

from 6.30 pm (finishing at 10.30 pm)
including: TheOpenRehearsals,
Christopher Fox: MERZsonata,
Bernadette Comac: The Virtual Performer
Aodán McCardle: Work responding to Robert Ashley
7.30 pm main event
World War III Just the Highlights
Tom Buckner performs Robert Ashley: World War
III Just the Highlights, (European Première), The
Producer Speaks and When Famous Last Words
Fail You
Ashley’s visionary work will open your ears to a world
of music previously unexperienced.
Come and hear the Nobel acceptance speech of the
man who invented the immortality salve, the
adventures of a put-upon French jazz promoter,
reflections on the campaigns of El Cid, amongst much


Friday 9 November

from 4 pm (finishing at 9 pm)
including works by Derek Ball, Gráinne Mulvey, Michael O’Holohan, Katherine Wyers, Sinéad Finegan, Christine Murray, TheOpenRehearsals, a talk on New York in the 1970s by Tom Johnson all interspersed with readings by Maurice Scully.
7.30 pm main event
the air fills us & we fill the air
Iarla Ó Lionáird, ensembÉal, Orla Flanagan,
Andrea Scott perform
David Bremner: Round, (world première)
Ailís Ní Ríain: Eyeless,
(world première, commissioned by Béal)
Scott McLaughlin: Phon 2,
Tom Johnson: Tick Tock Rhythms,
(world première, commissioned by Béal),
Christopher Fox: A Glimpse of Sion’s Glory,
Billy Mills: Loop Walks,
(world première, commissioned by Béal)
Seán Doherty: Saccade
The final concert presents choral music conceived as theatre: incisive, angular, text-oriented. Bremner’s work explores the presentation of the same text (by radical psychoanalyst R.D. Laing) simultaneously at multiple speeds in a context influenced by seventeenth-century polyphony.
Fox’s work A Glimpse of Sion’s Glory encapsulates the festival’s theme of breaking down and rebuilding: from the ferment of revolutionary seventeenth-century England, competing visions of the future society (the Sion of the title) jostle for attention.
Ní Ríain’s work, Eyeless, featuring sean nós singer Iarla Ó Lionáird, is a somewhat subversive reflection on the dual traditions of classical and sean nós singing.
Director Andrea Scott has custom-designed the visual aspect for each piece so this will be a vivid occasion making full use of this wonderful space