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Ancient Music Ireland

International Conference

Introduction

In the Spring of 2017 Ancient Music Ireland began organising a meeting to gather five ‘dord íseal’, Bronze Age bass trumpet players to discuss and experiment with playing multiples of this instrument. In the 1990s and early 2000s Simon O’Dwyer had made many reproduction Bronze Age horns. Some of the musicians who commissioned these instruments were very happy to meet. This idea led to what is now a biannual meeting of specialists who study and research ancient music and instruments. Taking place over a three-day period in October, delegates are invited to present on their preferred subject. Subjects may include ancient instrumental and musical theory, horns and trumpets in the modern world e.g. composition, publication, recording, live performance etc. Participants are encouraged to share knowledge and experience. Instruments are played individually and in multiples to produce new musical sounds and creative ideas.

Whilst the contributions of delegates are received by all in an academic manner, an informality is encouraged so that participation may take place in a relaxed atmosphere. The numbers are limited to a small group for each meeting. The next conference is planned for October 2021.

1st Ancient Music Ireland International Conference

2017

The first conference took place in Galway in October 2017.

Each delegate delivered a short presentation discussing various aspects of the ‘dord íseal, Bronze Age bass trumpet. This was the main instrument played and discussed at this first conference. It proved very interesting to hear all five being played together with no embellishment, just a pure drone. The harmonics produced were chilling.

Recordings and video will be published in our members section in one of our monthly postings.

2nd Ancient Music Ireland International Conference

2019

The second conference took place in October 2019. Five musicians and a bronze caster attended this one.

Musicians came from Australia, Scotland and Ireland. Like the first conference the idea was to continue to explore the dord íseal, Bronze Age bass trumpet. All the instruments had been made by Simon O’Dwyer apart from one musician who had cast is own Bronze Age bass trumpet. On this occasion a 3 minute piece was played using a continuous drone with little embellishment to expose the harmonics in the instruments. The results were amazing.

Recordings and video will be published in our members section in one of our monthly postings.

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