An Evening of Illustrative and Interpretative Music from the Art Institute of Chicago’s Exhibition: “Ireland: Crossroads of Art and Design 1690-1840


Location: Eck Visitors Center


In 2015, the Art Institute of Chicago hosted an extraordinary exhibit Ireland:Crossroads of Art and Design, 1690-1840.

The exhibit, a first of its kind, featured over 300 examples of Irish furniture, paintings  and decorative arts from the time period 1690-1840. The exhibit also featured other "firsts" at the Art Institute: the creation of an album of music specifically crafted to coordinate with the themes of an exhibit and the playing of this music as a background soundtrack within the galleries themselves. 

This evening of music at Notre Dame will feature two of the performers, composers and musical curators Liz Carroll (fiddle) and Marty Fahey (piano) who created the CD, along with guest musician Aileen Dillane (Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, University of Limerick and the Herbert Allen & Donald R. Keough Visiting Faculty Fellow and the Moore & Livingston Faculty Fellow, Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies).

As well as performing selections from the CD, the presenters/performers will talk about the processes involved in mapping the contours of the exhibit's Irish artifacts (for example, paintings, furniture, and crafts) in newly composed melodies as well how they generated historical soundscapes from consulting period music collections. From an Irish Studies perspective, this performance/presentation underscores the importance of a multi-modal approach to understanding Irish cultural reception history in North America and Irish traditional music’s specific role as creative mediator in that context—and why that should continue to matter.


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