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Barry O'Halpin - Solo Guitar


23/01/2020 - 23/01/2020


1:10PM - 2:00PM


Harty Room, Music Building, Main Site, University Road, BT71NN



Barry O'Halpin - Solo Guitar (queen's University Belfast)

Composed as part of Barry O'Halpin's composer residency with Crash Ensemble, the two recent solo works 'Grave Goods' and 'Stridula' serve as connective tissue and wellspring of material for a full ensemble commission due for 2020 premiere. Two very different pieces defamiliarise and explore the instrument in a tactile way, through microtonal retuning and the embrace of unorthodox techniques. In Grave Goods, simple, unfolding melodic lines weave and tangle over uneasy shimmers and precarious bell-like resonances. 'Stridula' spirals from simple beginnings into scuttling contortions of percussive harmonics and scratched strings, drawing a rattling energy from transcriptions of longhorn beetle chatter.

In marked contrast to the often jagged sound world of the solo works is Steve Reich's 1987 composition 'Electric Counterpoint', a significant milestone in establishing the role of the electric guitar within the contemporary classical sphere. Originally performed and recorded by jazz guitarist Pat Metheny, the work sets a live player against 12 interlocking guitar lines, carrying on Reich's Minimalist fascination with strict, dense canons while drawing inspiration from Central African horn music and the muted timbre of jazz guitar.

Barry O’ Halpin (b.1987) is a composer & guitarist based in Dublin. He is a member of Ireland's leading new music group Crash Ensemble, and Dublin experimental rock trio Alarmist. He is currently Composer-in-Residence with Crash, 2018-20 Arts & Humanities Artist-in-Residence at Parity Studios UCD, and a PhD candidate in Music Composition at QUB.

Photo Credit: Robert 'SCAN' Watson

For more information contact;

Amanda Kirkpatrick

Music, Events & Performance Officer

School of AEL

Queen's University Belfast

T: 028 9097 5227