ensembÉal (director and singer: Elizabeth Hilliard, singers Aisling Kenny, Bláthnaid Conroy-Murphy)

Jennifer created the lyrics from things she overheard people saying and scraps of text that she read. These song fragments are presented as folk artefacts and notated as bare-bones melody and rhythm. ensembÉal director Elizabeth Hilliard is creating a bespoke interpretation inspired by the Woman in the Machine exhibition at the Braun Factory. With the other two singers (Aisling Kenny and Bláthnaid Conroy-Murphy), she will develop a performance scenario for these. The words in these "folksong" fragments are evocative of time and place and immediately draw the listener out of the present moment. With our performance, we will invite the audience to what your presence at the scene of the performance means and ask: how do you react to this 21st-century sung folk material?

ensembÉal is the performance wing of Béal, a production company committed to exploring the relationship between the spoken and sung word and presenting in performance the manifold ways in which music and text can interact. Béal is based in Dublin and is directed by David Bremner and Elizabeth Hilliard. Béal’s mission results from a fascination with the capacity of words to be both pure sound and a means of communication, and a desire to share this.

Jennifer Walshe - A Folk Song Collection



Composer and performer Jennifer Walshe was born in Dublin, Ireland. Her music has been commissioned, broadcast and performed all over the world. She has been the recipient of fellowships and prizes from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, New York; the DAAD Berliner Künstlerprogramm; the Internationales Musikinstitut, Darmstadt and Akademie Schloss Solitude among others. Recent projects include TIME TIME TIME, an opera written in collaboration with the philosopher Timothy Morton, and THE SITE OF AN INVESTIGATION, a 30-minute epic for Walshe’s voice and orchestra, commissioned by the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland. THE SITE has been performed by Walshe and the NSO, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and also the Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra. A Late Anthology of Early Music Vol. 1: Ancient to Renaissance, her third solo album, was released on Tetbind in 2020. The album uses AI to rework canonical works from early Western music history. Walshe is currently a professor at the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst, Stuttgart.

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