In early August, the Contemporary Music Centre in Dublin, an organisation established to promote the music of local composers, announced plans to look at the possibility of setting up an Irish record label, in order to showcase and sell non-mainstream Irish music.
The Music Centre cites its reasons behind this initiative as a reaction to the lack of commercially available recordings of new music by Irish composers. New music recordings can be a hard-sell, with most contemporary composers focused on pursuing experimental expressions of art, to challenge the listener's artistic concepts and tastes, as well as their own, rather than selling records.
This is a good thing and how art ultimately evolves. The Contemporary Music Centre is conducting an online survey in order to collect the opinions of the populace on the feasibility of this initiative. The deadline to participate in the survey is September 14. Visit www.cmc.ie for further details.
*Speaking of local composers, the eagerly awaited Northern Ireland premiere of Brian Irvine's award-winning opera The Tailor's Daughter is imminent.
Set to run in the Grand Opera House as part of the Belfast Festival at Queen's, which begins October 19, the opera was originally commissioned by Welsh National Opera through the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.
The production will feature 60 young people aged 16-25. Colourful characters and manic melodies are plentiful in the work. For more information, go to www.belfastfestival.com.
Irvine (above) is currently working on a follow-up commission from Welsh National Opera, featuring libretto by John Binias, and due to be produced in 2008.
*Meanwhile, Flash Harry, the popular Queen tribute act, is currently looking at the possibility of teaming up with the Ulster Orchestra in order to put on a special show in Belfast's Odyssey Arena in 2008.
Of course, the music of Queen is perfect for large-scale orchestration, so aside from the absence of Brian May, Roger Taylor, and the ever-reclusive John Deacon, this should prove to be a terrific spectacle, if it comes to pass.