Composer Dave Flynn Receives PhD for Composition-Based Dissertation

Composer, Dave Flynn, was presented with a PhD for his composition-based dissertation Traditional Irish Music: A Path to New Music last week at a ceremony in Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin,. He undertook his studies under the supervision of Dr. Jane O’Leary at the Dublin Institute of Technology. The dissertation was highly praised by external examiner Dr. Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin and internal examiner Dr. John Feeley.

Flynn becomes the first person to complete a composition-based PhD through the DIT.

The dissertation is an important document in relation to the interaction between traditional Irish music and contemporary Irish composition. The dissertation contains three strands in relation to the subject;

a)     An analysis of traditional Irish music from a compositional point of view, including the development of a detailed notational system for Irish ornamental techniques.

b)      An analysis of how 20th and 21st Century composers have utilised elements from traditional music in their works. Composers featured include Donnacha Dennehy, Roger Doyle, Rachel Holstead, Michael Holohan and Eric Sweeney.

c)       A body of 9 new compositions written by Flynn with the aid of his research. These works include Aontacht: A Concerto for Traditional Irish Musician and Orchestra, composed for Martin Hayes and the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, String Quartet No.3 ‘The Keening’, composed for the Con Tempo Quartet and a series of new concert works composed exclusively for traditional musicians, including the first known set of Études for Uilleann Pipes which were composed for Mick O’Brien.

Flynn’s latest composition Quirk No.7 ‘Slides, Cuts, Rolls and Crans’ receives its world premiere on 13th November in the Rubicon Gallery, Dublin where it will be premiered by the new music ensemble Concorde who commissioned the work with the aid of a Project Award from the Arts Council of Ireland.

Quirk No.7 ‘Slides, Cuts, Rolls and Crans’ written for wooden flute and clarinet/bass clarinet, is a development of some of the ideas Flynn explored in his PhD studies in that it combines the use of traditional Irish ornamentation techniques alongside contemporary concepts of aleatory improvisation and structure.

The piece will receive two performances between 2-5 pm in a marathon of new music featuring several other Irish composers including Flynn’s doctoral supervisor Dr. Jane O’Leary. Admission is free.

Further details can be found here

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