for piano and stereo fixed media
duration ca 15'
Dúchann (2017) is a literary Irish term that means 'a song, or refrain'. With no small amount of serendipity, it is also lexical neighbours with dúchas ('origin'). I've no idea if these are etymologically related but their proximity in the dictionary is reflected in their equal importance in my music. This work for piano and stereo fixed media, commissioned by Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin for the 2018 IMBOLC International Arts Festival, is a reflection on my own musical upbringing, the process of learning traditional Irish music and the gradual assimilation of this music into one's musical psyche. Those first tunes that we learn, and how we learn to treat them musically, contain so much of the musical and emotional coding that seeps into everything we do. This piece takes a journey - sometimes literal and figurative, sometimes metaphorical - through this process of embodiment. On this journey, even as it swirls through polyrhythmic and polymodal masses, those 'mother-tunes' are always there, watching over my every compositional move. However, as with all mothers and their offspring, we don't always listen to what they say...