The Clare Concerto: Clare County Council
Clare Arts Office has long been to the fore in commissioning commanding and dynamic new work. In 2013 the Arts Office commissioned ‘The Clare Concerto’ from composer Dave Flynn to be performed by the unique Clare Memory Orchestra (CMO) now known as the Irish Memory Orchestra. Flynn, the founder of the CMO has combined some of Ireland’s leading traditional and classical musicians to create a distinctive new sound.
A string section infused with the sound of Irish fiddles, a wind section mixing Irish flutes, whistles and pipes with the haunting tone of the oboe, a harmonic background of Irish harp and guitar and a dynamic rhythm section mixing rumbling bass and ticking percussion.
Based in County Clare, the orchestra gets its name from the fact that the musicians play from memory, without the barrier of sheet-music on stage.
Operating with a core chamber orchestra of 20 world class musicians, the CMO made history when a specially expanded 70 piece Orchestra, featuring over three generations of Ireland’s finest musicians, premiered the hour long ‘Clare Concerto’ in glór, Ennis in November 2013.
As part of the production the CMO held auditions for their innovative Apprenticeship Scheme from which 50 ‘apprentice’ musicians, young and old from all over Ireland, were selected to be mentored by the CMO section leaders to perform at the premiere of ‘The Clare Concerto’.
The orchestra were joined on the night by Artists in Association Martin Hayes and Denis Cahill, with the legendary Chris Droney also performing alongside his daughter Anne Kirrane.