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Eidolon (2018) was written to celebrate 300 years since the laying of the foundation stone in the present Christchurch building, although there has been a Christchurch on the same spot going all the way back to the year 1050. Over the centuries a number of important events have been held or witnessed here the coronation of Perkin Warbeck as King Richard IV in 1497, the marriage of Edmund Spenser to Elizabeth Boyle in 1594, the siege of Cork in 1690, to name but a few.

The TC Lewis organ was installed in 1878. It is presently in need of repair but in actuality its condition has given rise to a number of unusual characteristics, not least the fact that notes sound when they shouldnt (i.e. when all the stops are closed) these notes have an ethereal, ghostly feel to them and this is the basis of the works concept, that there are echoes and resonances of past events in the building, which this new organ work teases out into the open. The main focus of the piece is on sound the unusual sounds this organ makes, how best to present those, how to construct some kind of musical narrative using them. To that end, the piece requires some focussed listening from the audience to catch those details that are the fulcrum for the works character.

The composition of Eidolon was funded by a Cork City Council Arts Office project grant.

Possession (2016) is a 21st-century paean to the musical world we live in and its global cross-pollination of musical stimuli. This multi-movement work combines detailed, sometimes complex notation drawing upon many different musical styles with various kinds of improvisation controlled, guided and free. It is both an ambitious musical journey across the globe embracing indigenous music from India, Japan, North America, Africa and Australia and a showcase for the remarkable talents of pianist Izumi Kimura and saxophonist Cathal Roche, the only duo in Ireland equally at home in contemporary classical and improvised musics.

Programme

Eidolon, organ solo (Ian Wilson, 2018 c. 25. PREMIERE)

Performed by the composer.

Written for the TC Lewis organ of Triskel Christchurch with funds from Cork City Council

Possession for saxophone(s) and piano (Ian Wilson, 2016 c. 50)

Performed by Cathal Roche and Izumi Kimura

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