Irish Event: Music Composition Pays Tribute to The Battle of Clontarf With Short Film

To celebrate the 1000th anniversatry of the Battle of Clontarf Dublin City Arts Office are set to unveil a new piece of music which will be performed by a solo uillean piper on Good Friday, 18 April 2014 on Clontarf Promenade in Dublin.

To enrich and extend the experience, the project will be accompanied by a short film produced by Warrior Films and directed by JJ Rolfe (Hill Street, 2014) which will allow audiences at home and abroad to view and share a little taste of history this coming Good Friday. It’s a fine piece of cinema as you can see for yourself.

The seven-minute long composition has been commissioned to pay tribute to the Battle of Clontarf which took place 1000 years ago on Good Friday, 23 April, 1014.

Composed by Sandie Purcell, the music will be performed by Mark Redmond at 12pm on Clontarf Promenade, kicking off the weekend’s millennium commemoration events.

Speaking about the commission, Ray Yeates, City Arts Officer said:

Although history is recalled through facts it is also important to visit it through our feelings. There is nothing more ancient and evocative than the sound of our native uilleann pipes. In this commission the excitement, terror and sadness of The Battle of Clontarf are reimagined by the composer as a series of musical movements in an attempt to recapture and reflect on one of the most important events in Dublin’s history. Composed by by Sandie Purcell and performed by a master of his craft, Mark Redmond this beautiful piece is intended as a lasting addition to Ireland’s musical heritage.

The arrangement follows the stages of the battle in five sections, evoking the events as they occurred – the tension between Brian Boru and Mael Mordha; the dischord of battle through to victory, driving Mael Mordha’s army into the sea; the lament to the tragedy of King Brian’s death; to the final movement, conveying the peace and harmony between the celtic chieftains and viking leaders following the Battle of Clontarf.

Speaking about the music, Sandie Purcell said,

I was delighted to have been commissioned to write this piece. The significance of this event and its impact on generations of Irish people provided me, as the composer, with the opportunity to express a wide range of powerful emotions and images through music. Mark’s performance wonderfully captures the essence of the composition.

The Battle of Clontarf
Composed for the uilleann pipes by Sandie Purcell
Performed by Mark Redmond

Section 1 – Prelude to Battle
Section 2 – The Bloody Fields of Marino
Section 3 – Battle Victory for Brian Boru
Section 4 – Death of King Brian
Section 5 – Peace