Sounds of the Silk Road weaves colourful threads

Sounds of the Silk Road weaves colourful threads

Sounds of the Silk Road weaves colourful musical threads

Some of the most striking voices in today’s classical composition are not coming out of the West but from far-flung outposts on the other side of the world. Such a voice is that of Dmitri Yanov Yanovsky. Chicago Tribune 2010

A new series of contemporary music and arts events, ‘Sounds of the Silk Road organised by the Louth Contemporary Music Society (LCMS), will be launched this April as part of the Drogheda Arts Festival.

The first performance of the series will feature work specially commissioned by the LCMS by Dmitri Yanov Yanovsky a composer from Uzbekistan a country at the cross-roads of the rich oriental and Islamic traditions of Central Asia. The work has been has written for world renowned Hilliard ensemble, Ivan Monighetti one of the world’s most accomplished cellists who stunned audiences with his performance at the Drogheda Arts Festival 2010 and some of the foremost Irish musicians in the newly formed EQ Ensemble which includes Cliona Doris,harp, Malachy Robinson,bass, Elizabeth Cooney,violin, Cian O’Duill,viola, Maria McGarry,piano, Deirdre O’Leary, clarinet, Susan Doyle, flute, Chris Stynes and Maeve O’Hara, percussion.

The concert will take place in St Peter’s Church of Ireland Drogheda on the 29 April 2011 at 8pm.

This is the first time the Hilliard ensemble, have been involved with an Irish based commission and it is also Dmitri’s first Irish commission. Dimitri Yanov-Yanovsky was born in 1963 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. As the musicologist Gerard McBurney says “His remarkable surroundings are vividly reflected in his music. What is most impressive is the skill with which he weaves the colourful threads of contradictory influences into a musical fabric always refined, beautifully patterned and absolutely personal”

The piece ‘Morning’ based on text from Robert Lax’s poem ‘Morning’, from his book called Circus of the Sun described by the New York Times as one of the masterpieces of the 20th century. Lax was also a friend of the writer, monk and mystic Thomas Merton.

Louth Contemporary Music Society gratefully acknowledge the Lax estate for permission to use the poem as the basis for the new work.

The performance will also include another of Dmitri’s works called Nightmusic – Voices in the Leaves which was written for Yo Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble.

World renowned Lydia Kavina will open the concert with a contemporary piece called Kitezh 19, by Iraida Yusupova. Iraida is Russian but was born in Turkmenistan.
Lydia plays music on a theremin, an electronic instrument which makes music without touching. It is an unusual instrument based upon the technology of proximity meters and was invented and pioneered by Lydia’s great uncle Leon Theremin in the 1920’s. Leon Theremin was a Russian engineer who invented the electronic musical instrument that bears his name, and his story is as strange as the music the thing produces. After experimenting with radio vacuum tubes, Theremin developed a machine (1917-20) whose pitch and volume could be controlled by the movements of the performer’s hands — without touching the instrument. The instrument was demonstrated for Vladimir Lenin, who was so impressed he ordered their mass production and asked Theremin to give him lessons.

Theremin also taught and mentored Lydia to play with the exceptional skill and feeling she shows in her performances today. She has become an icon for performances with the Theramin and will be giving a workshop on the instrument for both beginners and advanced players whilst she is in Ireland.

The concert and events are the latest of several high profile art music events organised by the Louth Contemporary Music Society which have brought world renowned composers to Ireland, previously having successfully featured, Arvo Pärt, Philip Glass, Terry Riley, Valentyn Silvestov and to the 2010 Drogheda Arts Festival, the Russian composer Sofia Gubaidulina.

Eamonn Quinn, Artistic Director with the LCMS, spoke about the forthcoming event.“Sounds of the Silk Road is another step on LCMS remarkable musical jourmey this time into the glorious melting pot of music from the East. LCMS already have an association with Yanov Yanovksy as the Carducci Quartet recorded his Chang Music IV for our critically acclaimed CD ‘Path’. It is very exciting to be able to bring the works of Dmitri Yanov Yanovsky and performers of the calibre of the Hilliard Ensemble, Ivan Monighetti and Lydia Kavina together here in Ireland. We are a small society trying to make a big difference to Contemporary music in Ireland.”

The event in April will be the first of three major events to make up the Sounds of the Silk Road series. Two more major performance events, ‘Dervish’ and ‘Fire and Water’ will follow later this year and in 2012, continuing the Silk Road theme and will feature a composer from Azerbaijan and a Chinese composer.

To enrich the experience of the Silk Road this April, LCMS are also organising additional Silk Road arts events during the Drogheda Arts Festival. These will include a free showing of a film about the Silk Road on 29 April at 6.30pm in the Barbican Drogheda and a children’s art workshop with painting on silk, called Silk Worm on Sat morning 30 April  at 11am in Barlow House, Drogheda . The screening and workshop are both free.

Sounds of the Silk Road is presented by Louth Contemporary Music Society (LCMS) in association with Create Louth. The event is funded by The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon and financially supported by Create Louth.

Tickets for the performance priced €15 are available from and Droichead Online Booking Service Tickets for the screening of the film The Silk Road are available from the festival box office in Droichead. Lydia Kavina will also give a free workshop on the music of the Theremin on the day of the concert for the interested and simply curious. The venue and time of the workshop will be announced later.

The Sounds of the Silk Road is part of the Drogheda Arts Festival. The Drogheda Arts Festival will run at various venues in Drogheda from 29 April to 1 May 2011. For programme details, arts events and biographies of Dmitri Yanov Yanovsky, Ivan Monighetti, the Hilliard Ensemble, Lydia Kavina and all the performers see and

Concert Programme
1. Composer: Iraida Yusupova ( Turkmenistan/Russia)
Work:          Kitezh 19
Performer:  Lydia Kavina on theremin
2. Composer : Ken Ueno ( Japan/USA)
Work:           Shiroi Ishi
Performers: Hilliard Ensemble
3. Composer    Dmitri Yanov Yanovsky ( Uzbekistan)
Work:           Morning ( World Premiere)
Performers: Hilliard Ensemble (vocal ensemble), Ivan Monighetti (cello), Malachy Robinson  (double bass), Cliona Doris (harp), Deirdre O’Leary (clarinet), Susan Doyle (flute), Chris Stynes (percussion). Meave O’Hara (percussion). Conductor:  Jean Thorel
4. Composer: Franghiz Ali Sadeh( Azerbjian)
Work:         Ask Havasi
Performer: Ivan Monighetti,cello solo
5. Composer: Dmitri Yanov Yanovsky ( Uzbekistan)
Work:          Nightmusic
Performers:Ivan Monighetti (cello), Maria McGarry (piano), Malachy Robinson ( double bass), Cliona Doris ( harp), Deirdre O’Leary ( clarinet), Susan Doyle ( flute), Chris Stynes ( percussion), Maeve O’Hara( percussion), Elizabeth Cooney(violin), Cian O’Duill(viola). Plus Tape.
Conductor:  Jean Thorel

St. Peter’’s Church of Ireland Drogheda
29 APRIL 2011 AT 8PM.

Some of the most striking voices in today’s classical composition are not coming out of the West but from far-flung outposts on the other side of the world. Such a voice is that of Dmitri Yanov-Yanovsky. Chicago Tribune

The Hilliard Ensemble’s sound, as always, was beautifully blended and subtly shaped. The New York Times

Ivan Monighetti really is a remarkable cellist …his exceptionally clean, pure technique, his tone, capable of fine expressive variation.Gramophone

To see a thereminst of Ms. Kavina’s quality seemingly pluck notes out of the air is one of the great performance experiences available to us...Michael Beckerman,The New York Times

Under the direction of Jean Thorel, Musiques Nouvelles showed themselves to be clearly among the foremost ensembles present at this year’s Ars Musica festival.Michel Debrocq, Le Soir,

Hilliard Ensemble performing Ken Ueno’s Shiroi Ishi

Ivan Monighetti performing Sofia Gubaidulina’s Canticle of the Sun

Lydia Kavina

Leon Theremin

The Music of Dmitri Yanov Yanovsky

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