Belfast's first ever Music Laureate Brian Irvine and Dublin singer Jennifer Walshe have been shortlisted for a British Composer Award for their collaboration on 13 Vices.
Presented by Moving On Music, the original new work for ensemble, improvisers, voice and conductor toured across Ireland and to London in April 2015 with a performance in Aberdeen later that year. It was subsequently selected by the PRSF New Music Biennial with featured performances in 2017 Hull City of Culture and London's South Bank Centre in July 2017.
Inspired in part by a Mihail Chemiakin sculpture Irvine came across in 2006 while in Moscow, 13 Vices explores the weird, funny, dark and exotic world of contemporary vices. When speaking to Culture NI last year, he described them as the 'springboard' for the work.
'They’re a collection of slightly grotesque figures, each representing a particular adult vice that is damaging to children.' he said. 'I thought it would be interesting to compose something based loosely around the idea.'
Past performances have included everything from emojis, selfies, One Direction, trash TV, and drunks on a bus. 13 Vices is visceral and abstract, ear-splitting, serene and melodic in turn.
This unique work is performed by a specially formed ensemble that combines three of Europe’s most explosive free improvisers – Paul Dunmall (saxophone), Paul Rogers (double bass) and Mark Sanders (percussion) together with the strings of the acclaimed Scottish based contemporary music group Red Note Ensemble.
It's described as a work which 'melts the boundaries between disciplines and dominates the space that lies somewhere between theatre, contemporary classical, free improvisation, opera, conduction, poetry, thrash and trash.'
Brian Carson, Moving On Music CEO, said: 'We are delighted Brian and Jennifer have received a British Composer Award nomination. It’s great to see a new work that has a life beyond its commission, especially for a weird and wonderful contemporary music project such as 13 Vices.'
The British Composer Awards will take place Tuesday December 6, with full information online.