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Music at Trinity

As part of its ongoing commitment to social engagement and educational outreach, the Music Department of Trinity College Dublin offers a series of lectures and recitals. These events are possible thanks to collaboration with the Royal Irish Academy of Music and the department’s own Music Composition Centre. All upcoming events are listed on the School of Drama, Film, and Music News and Events page and past events are listed in the Archives.

Visiting speakers address a variety of topics relating to musicology, composition, performance, music technology, and the recording industry. Events are free and open to the public and to all students. 


Music at Trinity & Music Composition Centre Seminars for Hilary Term, 2016 !


Date: Monday March 7, 2016, 6:15pm, The Printing House
Speaker: Christopher Fox, composer
Title: Sustainability as a model for musical form
Venue: The Printing House - Music Composition Centre presentation.
Christopher Fox will discuss two recent works, qui(nt)et and Topophony, and the ways in which they use acoustic phenomena as a means of creating large-scale musical forms. Christopher Fox (b.1955) is a composer who sometimes writes about music too. He is widely regarded as one of the most individual composers of his generation, often working at a tangent to the musical mainstream and basing his compositional career around close collaborations with a number of performers, including the instrumental groups the Ives Ensemble, KNM Berlin and Apartment House, and the vocal ensembles The Clerks and EXAUDI. He lives in London and is Professor of Music at Brunel University.

Date: Monday March 21, 2016, 6:15pm
Speaker: Enda Bates, MMT composer
Title: Introducing TRINITY 360
Venue: Trinity Long Room Hub
The Trinity 360 Project consists of a newly commissioned work of spatial music for Trinity Orchestra, the Cue Quartet and an eight-channel loudspeaker array, to be performed on campus on April 8th 1916. In this talk, composer Enda Bates discussed the inspiration behind this multi-movement work, the 360 audio and video recording techniques which will be used to record the performance, and how the commencements bell in the Trinity campanile (which will also be used in the concert) influenced the harmonic language of the piece. 

Date: Monday April 4, 2016, 6:15pm
Speaker: Michael Taylor, Department of Music, TCD
Title: Seeing how it is done:the sketches for Harrison Birtwistle’s Carmen Arcadiae Mechanicae Perpetuum
Venue: Trinity Long Room Hub - Music Composition Centre presentation.
With these words Arnold Schoenberg drew an unflattering distinction between Rudolf Kolisch’s attempts to trace all the rows in his Third String Quartet, and what he, Schoenberg, had ‘always helped people to see: what it is!’ There are, however, some works in which the difference between the how and the what is apparently blurred, if not abolished, Harrison Birtwistle’s tenth birthday tribute to the London Sinfonietta, Carmen Arcadiae Mechanicae Perpetuum, being a case in point. ‘The transformation from the mechanical to the magical’ Birtwistle observes in the juxtaposition of sketch and picture in Klee’s Notebooks perhaps offers a context in which his unusually clear description of the piece may be read: six mechanisms…juxtaposed many times without any form of transition. The dynamics…have a time-scale independent of the mechanisms, creating an independent dynamic life of their own. This process is also applied to the registers…
Part of the Birtwistle Collection in the Paul Sacher Stiftung, Basel, the sketches for Carmen Arcadiae Mechanicae Perpetuum––while encouraging us to take with a pinch of salt the composer’s later recollection that he ‘didn’t make any decisions in writing Carmen’––do indeed enable us to see how it was done, but also pose broader questions concerning the relationship of automatism, intuition and perception.



Conference Information!


Trinity 360 - Concert Performance

8 April, 2016
Front Square, time TBC

Creative Challenge 2016 winner composer Enda Bates directs TRINITY 360, a newly commissioned composition of spatial music for multiple loudspeakers and performers, including many performing groups associated with Trinity (Trinity Orchestra, Cue Saxophone Quartet, and Spatial Music Collective), presented as a large-scale live immersive performance in the Front Square of Trinity College. The performance will be filmed to create a 360 virtual reality presentation and surround sound recording of the event.

Enda Bates is a composer, musician, producer and academic at Trinity College Dublin where he lectures on the Music & Media Technologies Programme. He is a founder member of the Spatial Music Collective and is an active performer, both of his own work and with The Spook of the Thirteenth Lock, Miriam Ingram, Nina Hynes/Dancing Suns, Chequerboard, among others. He has also worked as a producer/engineer for a variety of artists and groups such as the Crash Ensemble, Mumbling Deaf Ro, Somadrone, Conor Walsh and Daniel Figgis. In 2010 he completed a PhD entitled ‘The Composition and Performance of Spatial Music at Trinity College Dublin’. Scores and other material are available from his page at the Irish Contemporary Music Centre, see and 

Dublin Musictown 2016

10-19 April, 2016

Several House 5 alumni are featured artists in this year’s Musictown Festival, see This festival, sponsored by Dublin City Council, aims to develop a greater appreciation and understanding of Dublin’s music and ‘music-makers’ through concerts, talks, workshops and walks. The streets will be animated with live and contemporary opera performances, buskers, rappers, and Dublin City Gallery Hugh Lane will offer a range of Classical performances.

Trinity Week
11-15 April, 2016

2016 is the turn of the Faculty of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences to host Trinity Week. Alongside other musical events, it will include performances by other winners of the Trinity Creative Challenge, a competition sponsored by the Provost of Trinity College, to foster the development of innovative interdisciplinary projects and works, see

Ideopreneurial Entrephonics II

23-24 April, 2016

A Festival of Sound Art and Electronic Instruments (Freemasons’ Hall, Dublin)

‘Ideopreneurial Entrephonics’ switches prefixes to liberate ‘entrepreneurial’ (a word we hear too much) and ‘ideophone’ (a word we’d like to hear more) for a festival comprising a ‘Modular Synthesizer Car Show’, concerts, workshops, meet-ups, and public talks. The ‘Car Show’ invites amateur and professional makers of custom-built synthesizers to showcase their home-brew/boutique instruments in Dublin’s historic Freemasons’ Hall. Participants can collaborate in one of the festival concerts, as well as offering audio demonstrations.

The synthesizer is as important, and as ubiquitous, in contemporary music as the human voice. The simple concept of a circuit generating a tone, manipulated by human or other control, has led to the development of numerous instruments over the last century. In the last few decades, synthesizer construction has evolved from modular to digital and now inhabits a hybrid space between the two, necessitating various adjustments in its relation to sonic objects. Electronic instruments have played a central role in rethinking musical materials ‘from scratch’, in creating open situations where all forms of participation are accepted or rendered acceptable. These instruments allow multiple forms of practice (social, sculptural, choreographic, geographic, etc.) to be expressed in musical terms.

Ideopreneurial Entrephonics II invites scholars and practitioners to explore the synthesized, natural, and modified voice. Ron Kuivila will perform his homage to Robert Ashley, TED/Mencken (a glossetalia in which a lengthy text is read, interleaved with TED talk-style explanatory digressions, and sonically retransmitted so that no intake of breath is ever apparent; Matt Fairclough will present Steve Reich’s My Name is… (processing and re-processing voices of audience members introducing themselves). Historic electronic works will be presented alongside new works, including the debut performance of Analogon, the electronic music group formed by Richard Duckworth in 2015 to explore early electronic voicings. The 7pm concert on Saturday 23 April will begin with a massed-choir performance of Kuivila’s A City of No Allusions. Groups of singers (minimum 11 people) will each perform for at least 8 minutes, overlapping to create a seamless performance that lasts one hour.

Call for Presenters, Performers, and Sound Artists
Papers (for 20-minute formal presentations or 5-minute ‘interruptions’) and proposed discussion panels are invited on the history of analogue synthesis, its current reemergence, sound transmission and processed sound objects, other musical voicings, and the social, musical, technological, and cultural use of electronic instruments. Performers should indicate whether they wish to be included in the Modular Synthesizer Car Show or sing in the massed choirs piece. Abstracts (250 words) of proposals should be sent to by 19th February, 2016. Successful applicants will be notified by 14th March, 2016 and the final programme announced on 28th March, 2016. 


For the archive of past events, please see here, archive.