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The Hunger

  • 591517

News & Reviews

  • Congratulations to composer Donnacha Dennehy, who has been awarded a 2021 Guggenheim Fellowship. He joins a diverse group of 184 artists, writers, scholars, and scientists to be so honored by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation this year. “I am thrilled to announce this new group of Guggenheim Fellows,” said Edward Hirsch, President of the Foundation, “especially since this has been a devastating year in so many ways. A Guggenheim Fellowship has always been meaningful, but this year we know it will be a lifeline for many of the new Fellows at a time of great hardship, a survival tool as well as a creative one. The work supported by the Fellowship will help us understand more deeply what we are enduring individually and collectively, and it is an honor for the Foundation to help the Fellows do what they were meant to do.”

  • Alarm Will Sound has released a new video for "Keening," from its recording of Donnacha Dennehy's The Hunger. Dennehy's piece explores the emotional, political, and socioeconomic devastation of Ireland’s Great Famine. The video was made by visual designer Deborah Johnson, who was inspired by the piece to connect her own explorations of inherited trauma with the libretto's documentation of the Great Famine. You can watch it here.

  • About This Album

    Donnacha Dennehy's The Hunger—out August 23, 2019 on Nonesuch Records—explores Ireland's Great Famine. Performed by Alarm Will Sound led by Alan Pierson, soprano Katherine Manley, and sean nós singer Iarla Ó Lionáird, the libretto draws from first-hand accounts by American humanitarian Asenath Nicholson. The Hunger "bears hearing and rehearing," said the Washington Post. "It is powerful, and it makes a statement." 

    As Dennehy explains, "The Famine was a topic I had wanted to address in my music for a long time. Only when I discovered Asenath Nicholson's Annals of the Famine in Ireland, published in 1851, was a route unlocked for me. Her astonishing first-hand accounts became the piece's main narrative thread. She made the arduous journey from the U.S. to Ireland, when countless others were going in the opposite direction, and traversed the entire country, often on foot, and often staying in the homes of the suffering, in order to chronicle the conditions of starving Irish people."

    He continues, "To counterpoint Nicholson's perspective, I invented an elderly Irish character, written for Iarla Ó Lionáird. The sense of how incapable bureaucracy is at dealing with a quickly transforming crisis, and how that bureaucracy can be used as a screen for being unfeeling, is implied by the narrative that Asenath tells of the old man's dealings with the hunger relief station, and the way the music surges and fades, embodying the old man's Sisyphean task."

    Born in Dublin in 1970, Donnacha Dennehy has had work featured in festivals and venues around the world, such as the Edinburgh International Festival, Royal Opera House, Carnegie Hall, The Barbican, BAM, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Dublin Theatre Festival, ISCM World Music Days, WNYC's New Sounds Live, Bang on a Can, Ultima Festival, Musica Viva, Saarbrucken Festival, Schleswig-Holstein Festival, and the Gaudeamus Festival. Nonesuch previously released Dennehy's Grá Agus Bás in 2011.

    Iarla O'Lionáird has carved a long and unique career in music in Ireland. From his iconic early recording of the vision song "Aisling Gheal" as a young boy to his ground breaking recordings with Dublin's Crash Ensemble he has shown a breadth of artistic ambition that sets him apart in the Irish Music fraternity. He has worked with a stellar cast of composers internationally including Dennehy, Nico Muhly, Dan Trueman, Gavin Bryars, and David Lang and he has performed and recorded with such luminaries as Peter Gabriel, Robert Plant, Nick Cave, and Sinead O'Connor. O'Lionáird previously performed on Nonesuch's 2011 release, Donnacha Dennehy's Grá Agus Bás.

    Katherine Manley studied at the Royal College of Music, London. Her early career had great success in baroque and classical repertoire with Handel in particular. She later went on to develop a reputation for her exploration of the contemporary repertoire, including world premières by Michel van der Aa and Donnacha Dennehy. Manley has also performed in the musicals of Rodgers and Hammerstein and Lerner and Loewe to critical acclaim, including performances in the UK, France, and the US.

    Alarm Will Sound is a twenty-member band committed to innovative performances and recordings of today's music, gaining a reputation for performing demanding works with energetic skill. The group's performances have been described as "equal parts exuberance, nonchalance, and virtuosity" by Financial Times and as "a triumph of ensemble playing" by the San Francisco Chronicle. The New York Times has said that Alarm Will Sound is "one of the most vital and original ensembles on the American music scene." Nonesuch previously released the ensemble's 2009 album a/rhythmia and its recording of Steve Reich's Radio Rewrite (2014) and his Music for Large Ensemble (Triple Quartet, 2001)

    Alan Pierson has been praised as "a dynamic conductor and musical visionary" by the New York Times. In addition to his work as artistic director of Alarm Will Sound, he is principal conductor of the Crash Ensemble; has served as artistic director of the Brooklyn Philharmonic; and has acted as a guest conductor for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, London Sinfonietta, Orchestra of St. Luke's, Steve Reich and Musicians, Ensemble Connect, Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra, New World Symphony, and Silkroad. Pierson's previous Nonesuch releases include Donnacha Dennehy's Grá Agus Bás (2011) and Alarm Will Sound's a/rhythmia (2009).

    Credits

    MUSICIANS
    Katherine Manley, soprano
    Iarla Ó Lionárd, sean-nós singer
    Alarm Will Sound:
    Alan Pierson, conductor
    Erin Lesser, flutes, piccolo
    Christa Robinson, oboe, english horn
    Bill Kalinkos, clarinet
    Elisabeth Stimpert, clarinets
    Michael Harley, bassoon
    Laura Weiner, horn
    Tim Leopold, trumpet
    Michael Clayville, trombone
    John Orfe, piano, keyboard
    Chris Thompson, percussion
    Matt Smallcomb, percussion
    Courtney Orlando, violin
    Caleb Burhans, violin
    Yuki Numata Resnick, viola
    Stefan Freund, violoncello
    Miles Brown, double bass

    PRODUCTION CREDITS
    Produced, engineered, and mastered by Adam Abeshouse
    Recorded at Drew University Concert Hall, Madison NJ, August 19 & 20, 2018

    Design by Barbara de Wilde

    Executive Producer: Robert Hurwitz

nonesuch's picture
on June 17, 2019 - 4:15pm
genre: 
Release Date: 
Friday, August 23, 2019 (All day)
DescriptionExcerpt: 

Donnacha Dennehy’s The Hunger explores the emotional, political, and socioeconomic devastation of Ireland’s Great Famine. Performed by Alarm Will Sound, soprano Katherine Manley, and sean nós singer Iarla Ó Lionáird, the libretto principally draws from rare, first-hand accounts by Asenath Nicholson, an American humanitarian so moved by the waves of immigrants arriving in New York that she traveled to Ireland to bear witness. It "bears hearing and rehearing," says the Washington Post. "It is powerful, and it makes a statement."

Description: 

Donnacha Dennehy's The Hunger—out August 23, 2019 on Nonesuch Records—explores Ireland's Great Famine. Performed by Alarm Will Sound led by Alan Pierson, soprano Katherine Manley, and sean nós singer Iarla Ó Lionáird, the libretto draws from first-hand accounts by American humanitarian Asenath Nicholson. The Hunger "bears hearing and rehearing," said the Washington Post. "It is powerful, and it makes a statement." 

As Dennehy explains, "The Famine was a topic I had wanted to address in my music for a long time. Only when I discovered Asenath Nicholson's Annals of the Famine in Ireland, published in 1851, was a route unlocked for me. Her astonishing first-hand accounts became the piece's main narrative thread. She made the arduous journey from the U.S. to Ireland, when countless others were going in the opposite direction, and traversed the entire country, often on foot, and often staying in the homes of the suffering, in order to chronicle the conditions of starving Irish people."

He continues, "To counterpoint Nicholson's perspective, I invented an elderly Irish character, written for Iarla Ó Lionáird. The sense of how incapable bureaucracy is at dealing with a quickly transforming crisis, and how that bureaucracy can be used as a screen for being unfeeling, is implied by the narrative that Asenath tells of the old man's dealings with the hunger relief station, and the way the music surges and fades, embodying the old man's Sisyphean task."

Born in Dublin in 1970, Donnacha Dennehy has had work featured in festivals and venues around the world, such as the Edinburgh International Festival, Royal Opera House, Carnegie Hall, The Barbican, BAM, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Dublin Theatre Festival, ISCM World Music Days, WNYC's New Sounds Live, Bang on a Can, Ultima Festival, Musica Viva, Saarbrucken Festival, Schleswig-Holstein Festival, and the Gaudeamus Festival. Nonesuch previously released Dennehy's Grá Agus Bás in 2011.

Iarla O'Lionáird has carved a long and unique career in music in Ireland. From his iconic early recording of the vision song "Aisling Gheal" as a young boy to his ground breaking recordings with Dublin's Crash Ensemble he has shown a breadth of artistic ambition that sets him apart in the Irish Music fraternity. He has worked with a stellar cast of composers internationally including Dennehy, Nico Muhly, Dan Trueman, Gavin Bryars, and David Lang and he has performed and recorded with such luminaries as Peter Gabriel, Robert Plant, Nick Cave, and Sinead O'Connor. O'Lionáird previously performed on Nonesuch's 2011 release, Donnacha Dennehy's Grá Agus Bás.

Katherine Manley studied at the Royal College of Music, London. Her early career had great success in baroque and classical repertoire with Handel in particular. She later went on to develop a reputation for her exploration of the contemporary repertoire, including world premières by Michel van der Aa and Donnacha Dennehy. Manley has also performed in the musicals of Rodgers and Hammerstein and Lerner and Loewe to critical acclaim, including performances in the UK, France, and the US.

Alarm Will Sound is a twenty-member band committed to innovative performances and recordings of today's music, gaining a reputation for performing demanding works with energetic skill. The group's performances have been described as "equal parts exuberance, nonchalance, and virtuosity" by Financial Times and as "a triumph of ensemble playing" by the San Francisco Chronicle. The New York Times has said that Alarm Will Sound is "one of the most vital and original ensembles on the American music scene." Nonesuch previously released the ensemble's 2009 album a/rhythmia and its recording of Steve Reich's Radio Rewrite (2014) and his Music for Large Ensemble (Triple Quartet, 2001)

Alan Pierson has been praised as "a dynamic conductor and musical visionary" by the New York Times. In addition to his work as artistic director of Alarm Will Sound, he is principal conductor of the Crash Ensemble; has served as artistic director of the Brooklyn Philharmonic; and has acted as a guest conductor for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, London Sinfonietta, Orchestra of St. Luke's, Steve Reich and Musicians, Ensemble Connect, Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra, New World Symphony, and Silkroad. Pierson's previous Nonesuch releases include Donnacha Dennehy's Grá Agus Bás (2011) and Alarm Will Sound's a/rhythmia (2009).

ProductionCredits: 

PRODUCTION CREDITS
Produced, engineered, and mastered by Adam Abeshouse
Recorded at Drew University Concert Hall, Madison NJ, August 19 & 20, 2018

Design by Barbara de Wilde

Executive Producer: Robert Hurwitz

Cover Art: 
Nonesuch Selection Number: 

591517

ns_album_releasedate: 
Monday, June 17, 2019 - 14:30
Album Status: 
UPC/Price: 
Label: 
CD+MP3
UPC: 
075597925104
Label: 
96/24 HD FLAC
UPC: 
075597925074
Price: 
11.00
Label: 
MP3
UPC: 
075597925135
Price: 
9.00
Artist Name: 
Donnacha Dennehy
Alarm Will Sound
MusicianDetails: 

MUSICIANS
Katherine Manley, soprano
Iarla Ó Lionárd, sean-nós singer
Alarm Will Sound:
Alan Pierson, conductor
Erin Lesser, flutes, piccolo
Christa Robinson, oboe, english horn
Bill Kalinkos, clarinet
Elisabeth Stimpert, clarinets
Michael Harley, bassoon
Laura Weiner, horn
Tim Leopold, trumpet
Michael Clayville, trombone
John Orfe, piano, keyboard
Chris Thompson, percussion
Matt Smallcomb, percussion
Courtney Orlando, violin
Caleb Burhans, violin
Yuki Numata Resnick, viola
Stefan Freund, violoncello
Miles Brown, double bass

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