Covid Creative Challenge with B.Mus.Ed. and M.Ed. music students
A number of our current Bachelor in Music and M.Ed. music students are composing and performing music together online through the Covid -19 pandemic. We have named it the 'Covid Creative Challenge'!
Taloa - 'to sing' by Raeghnya Zutshi
Another treat from one of our graduates from the School of Education. Raeghnya Zutshi has composed with her friends a beautiful choral piece entitled 'Taloa'. Raeghnya completed her studies at Trinity College, obtaining a B.A. in Music and an M.Phil in Composition. As a chorister, she has sung with Trinity & Boydell Singers, the Campanile Consort, New Dublin Voices, the Park Singers and is currently a member of the Mornington Singers, the Irish Youth Chamber Choir and Dulciana. She is also the founder and director of Trinity Belles, a female a cappella group based in Trinity College. Raeghnya has composed and arranged for many ensembles, both choral and instrumental, including Kirkos Ensemble and NODE Ensemble and was recently involved as a music advisor in the Irish feature film, Dare to be Wild under Irish director, Vivienne DeCourcy. Currently Raeghnya is a 3rd year medical student.
COVID-19 has affected us in so many different ways, and for me, it has led to a stop in doing something I truly love: singing. I put together this choral piece, thinking of it as an opportunity to connect with some friends both near and far, to do something we love the most in response to a time of uncertainty when so many artists and musicians are struggling. Taloa comes from the Choctaw tribe, meaning ‘to sing’. In this piece, I explore some friends’ thoughts and emotions from around the world, in response to the Coronavirus pandemic. No matter how far we are from each other, how different our societies and cultures are, those feelings have all been similar: a hope for things to ease, and get better for everyone.
The last few months have most certainly not panned out the way we all had expected them to. However, when one door closes another opens! Virtual performances are no longer a futuristic concept, but now a very real life, innovative way for music to spread much needed joy and optimism. I found myself engaging in this new platform of musical performance in an attempt to connect and collaborate with musicians around the world I had the pleasure of meeting over the last few years. In the space of a few days we all found the internet had become a sole means of communication for friends and family, near and far; I wanted to have a positive outcome from this situation. Accuracy and organisation is the key to any virtual collaboration. Before any project is recorded, it is vital to establish division of parts, tempo markings and tuning standards. I personally found recording from the accompaniment line upwards to the melody was the most successful. It may prevent the melody from leading certain phrasing and shaping however in my experience it is the precision of joining musical lines that makes the overall performance successful. This accuracy can be achieved my adding a click track to a recorded line or simply agreeing on a metronome marking and playing that along in your ear as you record. Without a shadow of a doubt these virtual recordings required a new performance mindset that I had to slowly become accustomed with, it took a lot of time and patience. The initial fear of the camera and the countless “takes” were exhausting and required a lot of determination, but just as Deepika Padukone once said “the fruit of your own hard work is the sweetest”. Music brings an incredible amount of joy in the darkest of times, it is one of a few art forms that has the ability to connect with all walks of life. Personally, these projects have been a healthy focus in these time of endless uncertainty; I am extremely grateful to have the ability to channel positive energy into something that has brought a smile to many faces.
The distance duets performing Danse Bohéme - Martina Rosaria O’Connell performing across the Atlantic with her friend Jessica Schury from Stony Brook University, New York.
Martina Rosaria O’Connell performing with Shayndel Goo from Singapore who is studing piano performance in the Royal Conservatorie Scotland.
Emma Maguire - Volume 1 'Isolation'
Senior Fresh student Emma Maguire, playing the fiddle with the most amazing and talented people. The first tune was specially written for Emma by a very talented Cormac Crummey.
Hope you enjoy Cór Geal’s version of this beautiful hymn conducted by myself. It was recorded and produced virtually during the Covid 19 lockdown (March to June 2020). Compiled by Darragh Fitzgerald.
I heard about the Stay at Home Choir with the King’s Singers from a friend, and I decided to give it a try, having never done anything like it before. It just seemed like too good of an opportunity to miss! The process was very simple; I downloaded the music and the guide tracks, plugged in my headphones with the guide track, and pressed record. It was such an enjoyable experience, as I am a huge choir enthusiast, and was really missing my weekly choir fix since returning home from my semester abroad at the Kodály Institute. The most enjoyable part was seeing the finished product, and hearing how all of these voices from all around the world came together so beautifully. It just goes to show that although we are separated by countries and continents, we can still connect through the power of music and song, and that music making can thrive even when faced with such adversity.
My former teacher, a B.Mus.Ed. graduate herself, Sinead Rodger created this fantastic virtual choir for Vive L’Amour. For my Leaving Cert Music examination, I sang this piece with my barbershop quartet so it has a big nostalgic feel for me. Participating with former school friends in a virtual choir setting added a new memory. This time I was singing and recording alone in my room. However, the final offering is fantastic. Sinead’s inspirational handling of the phrasing makes it sound just as beautiful as ever. I hope to be involved in more projects like this during the summer and plan on trying to record one with just myself singing all four parts in the near future.