Michael McGlynn, of Dublin, Ireland, is another composer with whom we have a long and happy association and from whom we have compositions and arrangements that are part of our basic repertoire. His arrangement of the Irish folk tune Dulaman, for example, and the Agnus Dei from our Chanticleer Mass. Michael is very busy being the Founding director of the Irish Choir Anuna, so we don't see him as much as we would like either. ( We were saying the same about Chen Yi yesterday) We have extremely fond memories of our debut in Ireland a few years ago, co-organized by Michael - you may imagine how much fun we had, all ( or much of it) recorded on this blog.
This past winter Michael came all the way from Dublin to Bruges in Belgium to see our concert. Said he needed a 'Chanticleer fix.' He came with us on our bus the next day and we were gabbing, as we are wont to do with Michael. We asked him if he had any music about Sirens. His face lit up with wonder and delight. It turns out he had just been thinking about Irish versions of these stories, about underwater fairies and all kinds of things. There was some kind of karma in our asking the question in that moment. We asked if he might like to pursue one of these thoughts and turn it - on rather short notice- into a song for our 35th anniversary Sirens program. He said he thought he could. We were very happy that this piece of serendipity (probably wouldn't have happened if he hadn't chanced to come to Bruges and then ride on the bus) has resulted in the pair of very atmosopheric sea and wind pieces Amhran na Goeithe and Hinbarra which follow Chen Yi's "I hear the Siren's Call" on the second part of our program.
So there you have a glimpse of the creative process, as it pertains to us and Michael. The photo above is how you might imagine a composer in serious contemplation before a bud vase of roses, thinking about his piece for us. Below is rather more how it all works