A CONCERT to be held later this month at Saint Finbarre’s Church in Inchigeela as part of the Daniel Corkery Summer School will feature the premiere of a commissioned work by a young Cork composer.
Performed by a London-based choir, the musical work will be performed as part of the summr school which seeks to explore the legacy, educational and cultural puruits of poet and politician Corkery.
This year the Wednesday night concert, on July 24th at 8pm, features a piece commissioned from Cork-born composer Solfa Carlile.
‘The piece is based on Francis Ledwidge’s poem, ‘Ireland’, but I’ve given it the title ‘Inishalga’ (Inis Ealga), an old word for Ireland which directly translates as noble isle,’ said Solfa, who is currently based in Australia.
‘Ledwidge fought in WWI and the poem is about pining for his homeland and heritage during the war. It even makes reference to old Irish legends and folklore. He died in battle in 1917,’ she said.
Solfa, a former winner of the Sean O Riada award for composition at the West Cork Chamber Music Festival, added that the choir performing her work are called ‘Ex Ore Equi’ (‘from the horse’s mouth’), and specialise in verbatim text settings, but this piece is a more conventional setting of a poem.
‘His poem ‘Ireland’ is particularly resonant because it deals with a soldier’s first-hand experience of war and pining for home. That lent itself well to a musical setting. My own musical language is partly inspired by Irish folk music, particularly laments and love songs, such as those collected by Edward Bunting in the 1800s, but with a contemporary twist.’
Solfa, who grew up in Fermoy, has a doctorate in music from Oxford. She was awarded the Bill Whelan Music Bursary, graduating in 2009 with first-class honours from the Royal College of Music, (RCM) London. She received an MMus in Advanced Composition in July 2011.
She was composer-in-residence for the London Irish Symphony Orchestra during her undergraduate study at RCM. In 2010 she was awarded the Jerome Hynes Commission by The National Concert Hall and in 2011 she was appointed composer-in-residence for the Orchestra of St Paul’s, Covent Garden.
She is also interested in musical research and writing.
Daniel Corkery is probably best known for The Hidden Ireland (1924), his classic study of literature in the Irish language.
He was also a talented water-colourist, propagandist of the Republican cause and, in all things, he was a teacher. As a UCC lecturer of English Literature, his students included Frank O’Connor and Seán O’Faolain.
The Daniel Corkery summer school takes place at Creedon’s Hotel in Inchigeela from July 21st-26th.
For more information see www.danielcorkerysummerschool.org/