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This September, come witness a provocation on WB Yeats at Dublin’s National Concert Hall.
Blood and the Moon takes place at the NCH on Sunday 13th, and Monday, 14th September, bringing together some of the most intriguing international musical talent at work today. The concerts are part of the NCH Perspectives 2015 series.
Thomas Bartlett, best known for his Burgundy Stain Sessions and an integral member of super group The Gloaming, will lead Anna Calvi, folk icon Sam Amidon, Robert Forster of The Go-Betweens, and NYC cabaret icon Justin Vivian Bond, amongst others, in these debut concerts of this new contemporary take on Yeats, creating new songs from the work of the poet.
The artists involved in this special project include:
Listed in the BBC Sound of 2011 Poll, The British Breakthrough Act at the Brit Awards in 2011, Mercury nominated for her debut in 2011, and revered by Nick Cave and Brian Eno, she counts Django Reinhardt, Jimi Hendrix, Ravel and Debussy amongst her influences.
Born and raised in Vermont, and now living in London, Amidon has just released his latest album Lily-O on Nonesuch Records. He is known for his reworking and repurposing of traditional melodies in such a way that makes them feel very much his own.
Thomas Bartlett aka Doveman
Best known in Ireland as a member of The Gloaming, Bartlett is a talented pianist who has worked with other top artists like David Byrne, The National, and Antony Hegarty. He is regarded as one of America’s current finest producers and collaborators, and most recently he produced Sufjan Steven’s Carrie and Lowell.
Australian singer-songwriter Forster co-founded The Go-Betweens with song-writing partner Grant McLennan, and has also released a series of acclaimed solo albums. A longtime admirer of Yeats, he is regarded as one of rock music’s most literary writers.
Coughlan is best known as being a founding member of seminal Irish bands, The Fatima Mansions and Microdisney. Singer, songwriter and polemicist, he is a key figure in Irish music, The Irish Times even going as far as to dub him the ‘genius of Irish rock’.
As a composer, Muhly has worked with an impressive array of ensembles, soloists and organizations, counting amongst them the Boston Pops, Carnegie Hall, The Metropolitan Opera, New York Philharmonic, Paris Opéra Ballet, and soprano Jessica Rivera. Nico will write a new Yeats song for the event.
Justin Vivian Bond
Justin Bond – American writer, singer, performance artist, painter, and sometime drag queen, has been described as a “fixture of the New York avant-garde”. He has received numerous accolades for performing, including a Tony nomination in 2007 for Obie (2001). He is as comfortable on stage in New York as elsewhere, having performed at London’s Soho Theatre and Queen Elizabeth Hall, as well as a host of other venues worldwide.
Crowley, a Choice Music Prize winner, is one of this country’s most highly regarded songwriters. He has been touring extensively in Europe of late in support of his latest album, “Some Blue Morning”, whilst also working on his eighth album and a collection of prose.
Tom Kalin (Film and Imaging)
Tom Kalin is a screenwriter, film director, producer, and professor of experimental film at European Graduate School in Saas-Fee in Switzerland. His critically acclaimed work runs the full gamut, from short experimental videos to feature-length narrative films, and his work has been screened throughout the world. His films and videos are in the permanent collection of the Whitney Museum, the Centre Georges Pompidou and MoMA. His first feature, Swoon, won many awards, and is considered an integral part of the New Queer Cinema. He is currently collaborating with Thomas Bartlett on an evening of live music and film and developing several feature projects.
Benedict Schlepper-Connolly is a Dublin-based composer, with a repertoire of works that include chamber music, orchestral works, solo performance projects and music for dance and film. He has worked with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, Iarla Ó Lionáird, the Crash Ensemble, Slagwerk den Haag, Resurgam, and the choreographer and dancer Liv O’Donoghue, amongst many others.
Pat McCabe is a well known Irish novelist, based in Sligo. His works include The Butcher Boy (1992), The Dead School (1995), and Breakfast on Pluto (1998), the disturbing tale of a transvestite prostitute who becomes involved with Republican terrorists. The Butcher Boy and Breakfast on Pluto were both shortlisted for the Booker Prize for Fiction.
Paul Muldoon [Literary Advisor]
Pulitzer Prize winning Paul Muldoon is an Irish poet and professor of poetry, as well as an editor, critic, and translator. He is the author of twelve major collections of poetry. According to The Times Literary Supplement, Muldoon is “the most significant English-language poet born since the second World War.”
Blood and the Moon is curated by Thomas Bartlett, Paul Muldoon and the National Concert Hall, with live-imaging by Tom Kalin.
Concerts take place on the 13th and 14th September in the National Concert Hall. Tickets cost from €32.50 and may be reserved online.
Lead image courtesy NCH; photo of Thomas Bartlett © Ezra Caldwell; photo of Justin Bond by Richard Mitchell (via Justin Bond website)