lighthouse lullaby

Maryport Lighthouse
Maryport Lighthouse

A sound installation by Ailís Ni Ríain

Maryport, Cumbria
29th - 31st January 2009

The lighthouse at Maryport Harbour has stood silent for over 200 years. For three days in January she will sing. Composer Ailís Ní Ríain has been commissioned to write and record an electro-acoustic piece of music inspired by the sounds and rhythms of the lighthouse’s lonely position at the harbour entrance. The piece will interact with the natural sounds and acoustics of this cast iron building with room for the creaks and groans of the lighthouse to play their part in an ever-changing improvised performance.

Download the original recording:
LighthouseLullaby.mp3 (11Mb)

Born in Cork, the Irish composer and writer Ailís Ní Ríain combines her interests as a composer, sound-artist and writer to produce works which challenge, provoke and engage. She is particularly interested in cross-discipline collaboration, public sound art, opera, music-theatre and presenting contemporary music in diverse spaces. She has been represented by the Contemporary Music Centre of Ireland since 1999.

She is a Composition graduate of University College Cork (BMusHons), the University of York (MA), the University of Manchester (MPhil) and the Royal Northern College of Music (PCRNCM & PGDipRNCM), Manchester, where she also became the college’s first Junior Fellow in Education. Her compositions have been performed in the USA, Italy, Canada, Germany, Denmark, Switzerland, Holland, UK, Ireland and France and on Irish, Greek and German Radio. She has been selected to attend numerous composition residencies in the UK (Dartington, Aldeburgh New Media and New Opera Residences) and Europe (Interact2006 in Denmark, Cesky Krumlov in the Czech Republic, Acanthes in France, Apeldoorn in Holland).

StreetSong (2006) won joint-first prize at the 2006 ISCM* World New Music Days Short Cuts: Beauty Competition in Stuttgart (*International Society of News Music). StreetSong (2006), an outdoor sound installation was commissioned by The Contemporary Music Centre of Ireland and Temple Bar Properties. It has since been broadcast on RTE Lyric FM Irish national radio, in Stuttgart, Germany and on German radio.

Other awards include 2nd place for EXIT in the Vienna Modern Masters 2006 The Nancy Van de Vate International Composition Prize for Opera, first prize in the Brass in Association/SPNM competition (2002) for her work for solo trombone flat-footed-former-flyer, first prize in the Composer’s Class of the RTÉ Musician of the Future Competition (2000) and the IMRO/Mostly Modern Composition Competition (1999). Her music has been conducted by James MacMillan and performed by Barry Guy, Der Ereprijs Ensemble, Black Hair Ensemble, Gareth Davis & Elsbeth Moser, Frode Haltli, Anna Klett, Harry Sparnaay, RNCM New Ensemble, Bones Apart, Capricorn Ensemble, Roger Heaton & Steven Pruslin.

In 2004 Ailís was selected to represent Ireland in Culture 2004 in Rome and Greece.

For Lighthouse Lullaby, Ailís worked with Voz Nueva - a chamber ensemble from Denmark consisting of voice, percussion and guitar. Over the past two years Ailís has visited the harbour and spent many days listening to the sounds of the sea and harbour in all weathers. Those sounds have been re-scored for voice and guitar in the final composition.

Originally conceived as a FRED project, Lighthouse Lullaby is presented as a stand alone project to extend the legacy of five years of FRED.

Lighthouse Lullaby is open from 11am - 4pm on Thursday 29th and Friday 30th Jan and from 11am - 3pm on Saturday 31st at the Old Lighthouse at the end of the harbour on Salmoor Way. Follow signs from the Wave or railway station. Admission is free.

This project has been generously supported by the PRS Foundation and with kind permission from Allerdale Borough Council

Big Art Mob

To compliment Lighthouse Lullaby, Channel 4’s Big Art Project will be running free workshops in the Settlement, Maryport on Friday 30th January. The Big Art Mob is a multi-award winning project that encourages people to take photos of public art on their mobile phones and upload them onto the Channel4 website to create an archive of every piece of public art in the UK. Visitors can take pictures and video of Lighthouse Lullaby or any of the other pieces of public art in the town and send them to the site or create their own online gallery of pictures. Artist Nick Pearson from the Big Art Project will show you how to upload your images in a free drop-in workshop at the Settlement from 2pm - 4pm.

You can send photos direct from your mobile (or PC) by:

A film crew from Channel 4 will be in town all day recording people’s reactions to Lighthouse Lullaby for future use.


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