Béal Festival 2012 is a festival of new music and poetry. We are entranced by the fascinating capacity of words to be both pure sound and a means of communication, and our mission is to explore this in the spoken and sung word. Our festival this year is all about finding alternative ways (no matter how rough and ready) of thinking and experiencing, building alternative combinations of words and music.
The whole festival takes place over three days (Nov 7th - 9th) in the Banquet Hall at Smock Alley.
Our featured composers this year are Robert Ashley and Tom Johnson. We are delighted to include the European premiere of Ashley’s recent opera World War III Just the Highlights and a newly-commissioned by Johnson for vocal ensemble.
Both composers emerged from the time in American new music when the influences of minimalism and Cagean experimentalism met. Both have in their careers since then gone on to forge individual paths, and are pushing music into new terrain/expanding our aesthetic horizons.
The festival features first-rate performers including Iarla Ó Lionáird, American baritone Thomas Buckner, ConTempo String Quartet and the vocal group ensembÉal. Experimental poets Maurice Scully, Aodán McCardle and Billy Mills will perform at the festival. Mills' Loop Walks will conclude the festival on the Friday night - this is a newly-invented genre of work, polyphonic poetry, scored for speaking chorus.
Running as a thread through the entire festival are short performances by our house band TheOpenRehearsals, a collective of musicians and actors who present improvised opera with a blend of strict criteria and unbounded freedom which produces an uncanny air of focus and unpredictability.
Events from 7.00pm on Weds and Thursday with main act at 8.30 pm. On Friday, a marathon session from 4.00pm with the main act at 8 pm.
More details including exact times available from www.bealfestival.wordpress.com