Beyond the tune: new Irish music
University College Cork
The Irish musician is in an interesting position in relation to other post-colonial world cultures. As a colonised nation we have much in common with other colonised or formerly colonised peoples but we are also a first world country firmly ensconced as part of the “Western World”. As an Irish traditional musician first and foremost, I often feel a close affinity, both musically and politically, with other traditional musics from around the world, but I have also had a long relationship with Western Art Music. While I haven’t always felt “at home” socially with classical music, I have ended up composing music which draws to a great extent on my classical music education along with elements of Irish traditional music and other traditional musics. This synthesis of elements is at the crux of the music that I compose and it is this aspect that I intend to explore most in this thesis. I am going to begin with an auto-ethnographic discussion of my background as a musician and the various strands that have come to have importance for me as a composer. This will be followed by a look at the idea of cross-cultural composition and its particular influences on my own work. The final section of the dissertation is a series of commentaries on eight of my compositions, discussing how they relate to this paradigm.
Music composition , Irish traditional music , Cross-cultural music
Vallely, N. 2018. Beyond the tune: new Irish music. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.