Kilkenny Arts Festival Programme 2011

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Book online at

Box Office 93 High Street, Kilkenny Open from 11 July. No booking fees. Monday-Friday 10am-6pm, weekends from 30 July 12 noon-5pm Tel +353 (0)56 775 2175 Email

Book online from 28 June at Board of Directors

Emer Foley (Chair), Fergus Cronin, Susan Proud, Maureen Kennelly, Anna O’Sullivan, Conor Langton, Thomas O’Toole, Michael O’Toole, Isabell Smyth, Orla Kelly, Gobnait Kearney.

Festival Team Chief Executive Damian Downes Office Manager Valerie Ryan Production Manager Aidan Wallace Marketing Manager Niamh Donnellan Fundraising Manager Chloë O’Connor Programme Co-ordinator Evelyn McNamara Box Office Manager Cathy Hogan Programme Editor Alistair Daniel Publicity Cormac Kinsella Local PR Co-ordinator Melanie O’Connor Social Media Guru Steven O’Rourke Festival Bloggers Ken McGuire & John Morton Volunteer Co-ordinator Niamh Duffe Artist Liaison Cornelia McCarthy Assistant Artist Liaison Ciara Cavanagh Graphic Design A&D Web Design Pixel Design Official IT Provider BITS Festival Image Thurle Wright

Curators Theatre/Dance Tom Creed Classical Music Susan Proud Music Gerry Godley Wired Matthew Nolan Literature Colm Tóibín Visual Art Josephine Kelliher Craft Angela O’Kelly Children’s Events & Street Damian Downes

Kilkenny Arts Festival thanks the curators, artists and performers who make the festival such a unique experience. Thanks to our enthusiastic and hard-working volunteers who give their time so generously. Thanks to the festival partners and friends. We couldn’t do this without your support. Thanks to everyone who is involved with the festival this year. You make it happen! The Kilkenny Arts Festival gives special thanks to: Alan Raggett and Nail2Nail Fine Art Services, Alan Slattery, Alison McGrath from the Kilkenny Chamber, all the staff at Kilkenny Castle (OPW), Amanda Horan & Rory McCarthy & Failte Ireland, Brendan Rice, Brian Keyes, Brian Tyrrell, Business2Arts, Caroline Coode, Cathal O’Neill, Catriona Crowe, Christine Monk, Darren Poynter, Debra O’Neill, Eamon & Eddie Langton, Fiona Flood & the Girls, Father Louis Hughes, Ger Cody & the Watergate Theatre, Gerry Nugent & the Courts Service of Ireland, Jane Russell & the Cat Laughs team, Joe Crockett, John Purcell, Julia Crampton, Karen Hennessy & Ann Mulrooney & the Crafts Council of Ireland, Kilkenny Tourist Office, Krystle Fennelly, Mary Butler & Kilkenny County Council Arts Office, Mike Leahy, Naoise Coogan, Nick McGivney, Patrick Lydon, Roisin McQuillan & staff at Rothe House, Russell Ashby, Sabine O’Dwyer, Sergeant Gary Gordon, Sharon O’Gorman, St Canice’s Kilkenny Credit Union, Sue Nunn, Susan Hallam, Sylvia Corcoran, Tess Felder, the Dean, Chapter & staff of St Canice’s Cathedral, Una McCarthy & the Arts Council, Vincent Dempsey, Willie Meighan. Thanks also to Reverend Elaine Murray at St John’s Priory. Morning prayers are held in St John’s every day at 10am.

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01 Funding Partners

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02 TOM CREED curator Corcadorca (Ireland)

REQUEST PROGRAMME by Franz Xaver Kroetz translated by Katharina Hehn

Corcadorca has had a massive impact on Cork theatre over the past two decades The Irish Times

For my fourth and final year curating the theatre and dance programme for Kilkenny Arts Festival, I am delighted to invite six of the most important Irish theatre and dance companies to present a range of new and innovative work, as well as some very exciting visitors from New York. Festival favourites Gare St Lazare Players Ireland take a break from touring the world to return to the Festival with a new play by rising American playwright Will Eno, Title and Deed, written especially for the company. Una McKevitt, who made a great impact at last year’s Festival with Victor and Gord, takes a moving and candid look at the experience of gender reassignment in The Big Deal. And Cork’s site-specific pioneers Corcadorca make their first visit to the Festival with Request Programme, a remarkable and intimate wordless show starring leading Irish actress Eileen Walsh. One of the smash hit companies of last year’s Festival, ponydance, return to charm the knickers off the people of Kilkenny with their new show Anybody Waitin’? Irish Modern Dance Theatre return to the Festival with a thrilling new work, Body Duet, and Fearghus Ó Conchúir makes his Festival debut with Tabernacle, a beautiful and provocative new work about the Irish body and the Catholic Church. To complete the line-up, I’m thrilled to welcome one of my favourite companies from New York, Banana Bag & Bodice, with the European premiere of their wildly-entertaining reimagining of Beowulf as a rock and roll cabaret. Come along, open your hearts and minds, and tell us what you think!

Photo: Mike MacSweeney (Provision)

theatre and dance

Duration 60 minutes

Request Programme takes place in a real apartment, where a small audience await the arrival of the lone character, played by IFTAwinning actress Eileen Walsh. There they get to witness at close quarters her everyday existence, her rituals and routine. Since 1991, the acclaimed Cork-based theatre company Corcadorca has been bringing theatre out of traditional venues and into unexpected places like nightclubs, factories and even a courthouse. Its shows, like the epic Trial of Jesus, which took place on St Patrick’s Hill in Cork with an audience of 2,500 people, and the sitespecific Merchant of Venice, have been nominated for many Irish Times Theatre Awards. Now they present a much more intimate show by acclaimed German playwright Franz Xaver Kroetz. There will be a post-show discussion with the company on Monday 8 August.

An apartment in Kilkenny (details provided on booking) Friday 5 - Sunday 14 August (except Wed 10) 6pm (5.30pm on Sat 6 & Sun 7) Admission €15/€12 This event and Tabernacle (p.3) for €23

EUROPEAN PREMIERE Banana Bag & Bodice (US)

Duration 75 minutes

Beowulf – A Thousand Years of Baggage is a riotous, award-winning SongPlay from New York that digs into the roots of the epic poem while echoing the raw and rowdy storytelling of Scandinavian mead halls. Battles emerge in the aisles and on top of tables, plunging the audience into the middle of this unique theatre experience, while an explosive seven-piece band combines cabaret, jazz harmony and punk rock, turning the stage into a cacophonous swirl.


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Hilarious... clever...has the makings of a cult fave Variety

Banana Bag & Bodice is an ensemble-based company founded in 1999 that creates unique theatre-shows, with an emphasis on original text and composed music, and embraces the awkwardness of being a human. Their critically-acclaimed show The Sewers received a Best Production Award at the Dublin Fringe Festival in 2006.

Set Theatre, John Street Friday 5 - Sunday 7 August 7pm Admission €15/€12



This event and Eric Sweeney & 3epkano (p.6) for €23

Image: R. Black

Don’t miss the free taster show on Saturday 6 August. See p.58 for details.

powerful art The Irish Times Duration 80 minutes

Faithful? Devoted? Pure? Can we still shelter in God’s house? Fearghus Ó Conchúir’s Tabernacle is an exciting new dance piece that takes a thoughtful look at changing attitudes to religion in a country whose identity was defined by it for so long.

Tabernacle is produced by Fearghus Ó Conchúir in association with Project Arts Centre, with the support of the Arts Council, Dance Ireland, Modul Dance, the Culture Programme of the EU and with funds from DUBLIN DANCE FESTIVAL’S 2011 Co-production Initiative.

Contains nudity.

This event and Request Programme (p.2) for €23

There will be a post-show discussion with the company on Monday 8 August.

The Watergate Theatre Parliament Street Saturday 6 - Monday 8 August Sat 6 & Sun 7 August 2.15pm Mon 8 August 8.30pm Admission €15/€12

Photo: Jonathan Mitchell

Fearghus Ó Conchúir is one of Ireland’s leading independent choreographers. With contributions from singer/composer Iarla Ó Lionáird, visual artist Sarah Browne and a quintet of experienced performers, Tabernacle puts the church in focus, investigating authority, control and its influence in the individual search for purposeful living.

ponydance (Ireland)

theatre & dance


One of the most funny acts ever … Totally brilliant. Totally original Cal McCrystal

Their irony-drenched antics … bring us to a pitch of delirium … wickedly funny Dance Magazine

Photo: Brian Farrell


Leonie is waiting for Paula, Paula is waiting for a man, Bryan is waiting to be included. But sure, we’re all waiting for something, mostly for something to happen, so you’ve come to the right place because these guys know how to fill the time better than most. A love for good dancing, good looks and a good time is what they have in common. Join them to get some of each.

Monday 8 - Sunday 14 August (except Thurs 11) The Parade: Mon 8 & Fri 12 August 1pm The Canal Walk: Tues 9 & Sat 13 August 1pm Kieran Street: Wed 10 & Sun 14 August 1pm Cleere’s: Sat 13 August 10pm Set Theatre: Sun 14 August 9pm

ponydance are back, and this time they’re free! With an extendable cast (thanks to the audience), some large handbags, a change of clothes and a pop-up fake tan tent, these “incorrigible flirts” (The Irish Times) take you on a quest through the streets of Kilkenny to find Paula a man.

This show is free but tickets are required for Cleere’s and the Set Theatre. To book contact the Festival box office.

Produced and originally presented by Absolut Fringe. An Absolut commission. Duration 40 minutes

WORLD PREMIERE Una McKevitt (Ireland)

Dear Cathy, It’s 10.30pm on Tuesday night. I have just finished your recent email. You are now on the way to recovery. You are here now as you should have been and will be until the day you die. So whilst I struggle slowly onward and upward, you are already there. Love Deborah

Following last year’s sell-out success Victor and Gord, Una McKevitt returns to Kilkenny with the extraordinary real life story of two women who knew from a very young age that they were born into the wrong bodies. Scripted from original material provided by the contributors – including journals, poems, songs and interviews – The Big Deal charts the incredible personal gains and losses each has made to become the women they have always been. Supported by The Arts Council, Project Arts Centre and The Corn Exchange.

There will be a post-show discussion with the company on Saturday 13 August. Duration Barnstorm Theatre, Church Lane 75 minutes Thursday 11 - Sunday 14 August 1pm Admission €15/€12 Preview Wed 10 August 1pm. Admission €13/€11

Original Artwork by Adrian and Shane


WORLD PREMIERE Gare St Lazare Players Ireland


Duration 75 minutes

Directed by Judy Hegarty Lovett Performed by Conor Lovett Here before you stands a man, recently arrived from somewhere. Listen, as he recounts his past and figures out the present. Watch as his body and mind assert themselves and he tries to find his bearings, in a room and a world full of people, trying to find theirs. Gare St Lazare Players Ireland return to Kilkenny with the world premiere of Title and Deed, a new piece specially written for the company by acclaimed American playwright Will Eno, “a Samuel Beckett for the Jon Stewart generation.” (The New York Times)


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Lovett’s capacity to hold an audience is remarkable. His voice control and subtle shifts of expression and movement seem effortless The Guardian

Created with the kind support of Micheline & Albert Sakharoff and Christopher & Nancy Herbert.

Irish Modern Dance Theatre (Ireland)


John Scott’s thrilling new work, Body Duet, is an energy-packed, highly physical dance featuring two spiritual and witty performers. Michelle Boulé – recently awarded the coveted ‘Bessie’ prize for outstanding female dancer in New York – and Philip Connaughton, arguably Ireland’s leading male dancer, fuse their differing physicalities to thrilling effect in a performance that blends beauty and lyricism, rage and humour, shouts and whispers, and dance.

The Watergate Theatre Parliament Street Saturday 13 August 5pm Sunday 14 August 2pm & 5pm Admission €15/€12

There will be a post-show discussion with the company on Sunday 14 August.

There will be a post-show discussion with Will Eno on Saturday 13 August.

For twenty years, Irish Modern Dance Theatre has been dedicated to pioneering new forms of expression, working with international choreographers to create and commission innovative dance. Body Duet is the first part of a major cycle of works to be created in different locations, featuring outstanding dancers. Duration 75 minutes

Photo: Julieta Cervantes

Barnstorm Theatre, Church Lane Friday 12 - Sunday 14 August 8pm Admission €15/€12 Previews Wed 10 at 6pm & Thurs 11 at 8pm Admission €13/€11

06 Susan Proud curator

The opening weekend of this year’s CLASSICAL MUSIC strand is a feast of Baroque music, with two appearances from the great French harpsichordist and conductor Christophe Rousset, who directs Resurgam and the Irish Baroque Orchestra in works by Mondonville and Handel on Saturday night, and performs a harpsichord solo on Sunday. Later that day the European Union Baroque Orchestra explores the Bach family tree with music by JS Bach and three of his sons. Kodály (if memory serves) has never been heard before at the festival, but this year his work is performed by William Butt and young Irish musicians Héloïse Geoghegan and Brian O’Kane. Another festival first is a screening of the silent classic The Cabinet of Dr Caligari in St Canice’s, with a live score from Eric Sweeney and 3epkano. Kaleidoscope, the salon evening which is such a huge success in Dublin, transfers to Kilkenny for two nights, while German soprano Anja Lipfert (of the Calmus Ensemble) joins Camerata Kilkenny for Bach’s amusing ‘Coffee Cantata’. Don’t miss the outstanding young Italian pianist Alessandro Taverna, who performs Beethoven’s ‘Moonlight Sonata’ alongside works by Chopin, Debussy, Stravinsky and Ligeti. Last year’s inaugural Festival Choir and Orchestra was a tremendous success, and this year it’s even bigger and better. Fergus Sheil conducts Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez and Mozart’s Requiem with leading international soloists.

ERIC SWEENEY (Ireland) 3EPKANO (Ireland) The Cabinet of Dr Caligari Live Film Score

Photo: Cormac Scully

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St Canice’s has played host to many unique events over the years, but until now it has never screened a movie. This year, WIRED favourites 3epkano have joined forces with leading Irish organist and composer Eric Sweeney to devise and perform a brand new live score to The Cabinet of Dr Caligari, one of the masterpieces of silent cinema. Under the imposing vault of St Canice’s, it’s sure to send a chill down the spine. Eric Sweeney is organist and choirmaster of Christ Church Cathedral, Waterford. A well-known composer, his music has been commissioned by RTÉ and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. He has given recitals all over the world and is noted for his improvisations to silent movies such as Phantom of the Opera, Dracula and Nosferatu. By now 3epkano should need no introduction. Curators of WIRED in 2008, they’ve been back every year since, bringing their unique brand of cinematic soundscapes to Kilkenny. Since forming in 2004 they’ve played headline shows in both Ireland and the US to great critical acclaim, and devised live scores for everything from Tron to Sunrise and Faust. Approx. 70 minutes

This event and Beowulf (p.3) for €23

St Canice’s Cathedral Friday 5 August 9pm Admission €15/€12



St John’s Priory, John Street Saturday 6 August 1pm Admission €15/€12

a worthy successor Programme Johann Sebastian BACH to Rostropovich The Observer Suite no. 1 in G major BWV 1007 Approx. 60 minutes ZOLTÁN KODÁLY Sonata for Violoncello, op. 8

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Acclaimed soloist and professor of cello at the Royal Irish Academy of Music, William Butt performs an intimate lunchtime concert in St John’s Priory, combining Bach’s Suite no. 1 (one of the composer’s best-loved compositions), with Kodály’s formidable Sonata for Violoncello, a piece that demands a series of exhilarating technical feats.

This event and Resurgam/ IBO (below) for €31

Photo: Eric Larrayadieu


directed by


Photo: Aideen English

[Resurgam put on] a fireworks display of choral virtuosity” The Irish Times

The Baroque theme of the festival’s opening weekend begins in earnest with this one-off performance of great choral works. Resurgam, “one of the most accomplished choirs on this island” (The Irish Times) join forces with festival favourites the Irish Baroque Orchestra under the direction of Christophe Rousset, the internationally-famous conductor and harpsichordist, to perform masterpieces by Handel and Mondonville. This concert is funded by an Arts Council Music Project Award. Christophe Rousset appears with the support of the French Embassy in Ireland.

This event and William Butt (above) for €31

St Canice’s Cathedral Saturday 6 August 8.15pm Admission €25/€21

Mark Duley artistic director Claire Duff leader Programme GEORGE FRIDERIC HANDEL Dixit Dominus JEAN-JOSEPH DE MONDONVILLE Grand Motets: Jubilate Deo & In Exitu Israel Approx. 90 minutes

CHRISTOPHE ROUSSET(France) harpsichord

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Photo: Eric Larrayadieu

08 Rousset cajoled a delicate array of moods and colours, weaving the intricate lines and trills of François Couperin like golden thread in a French tapestry The Observer

Programme LOUIS COUPERIN Suite in D minor Suite in C major FRANÇOIS COUPERIN Seventeenth Ordre Eighth Ordre Approx. 70 minutes

Fresh from directing Resurgam and the Irish Baroque Orchestra in St Canice’s, the multitalented Christophe Rousset appears in his other great guise, as an award-winning harpsichordist. Since winning the Bruges Harpsichord Competition in 1983, Rousset has made his name with a series of definitive recordings. His flamboyant, impassioned style saw him nominated for a BBC Music Award this year for his recording of Louis Couperin’s Keyboard Suites, which he pairs here with courtly works by Couperin’s more famous nephew François.

This event and EUBO (below) for €35

The Parade Tower, Kilkenny Castle Sunday 7 August 1pm Admission €20/€15


Lars Ulrik Mortensen music director Huw Daniel leader

Programme JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH Brandenburg Concerto no. 3 JOHANN CHRISTIAN BACH Harpsichord Concerto in F minor WILHELM FRIEDEMANN BACH Sinfonia in F major JOHANN BERNHARD BACH Ouverture in G minor CARL PHILIPP EMANUEL BACH Sinfonia in B flat major Approx. 100 minutes (including interval) This project has been funded with support from the European Commission.

It is a recurring miracle that this orchestra, whose personnel changes completely every year, seems to distil our continent’s highest levels of performance The Press (York)

When the European Union Baroque Orchestra played a 25th anniversary concert in London last year, Early Music Today reported that the audience reaction was “loud enough for [our] readers, scattered to the four winds, to have heard for themselves.” Tonight’s programme looks set to inspire a similar response. This irresistible concert explores the musical differences between one extraordinary father, Johann Sebastian Bach, and three very different sons (and a cousin!). Led by Huw Daniel and accompanied by flamboyant harpsichordist Lars Ulrik Mortensen, EUBO’s future stars bring a youthful freshness and enthusiasm to these works that will lift you out of your seat.

The Black Abbey Abbey Street Sunday 7 August 8pm Admission €25/€21

This event and Christophe Rousset (above) for €35

Programme ZOLTÁN KODÁLY Duo for Violin and Cello, op. 7 JOHAN HALVORSEN Passacaglia in G minor MAURICE RAVEL Sonata for Violin and Cello

Photo: Max Baillie

Two outstanding young Irish musicians – violinist Héloïse Geoghegan and cellist Brian O’Kane – present a lunchtime programme featuring cornerstones of the unfairly-neglected repertoire for violin and cello, including Halvorsen’s Passacaglia, based on a theme by Handel, Kodály’s folk-inflected Duo, and Ravel’s Sonata for Violin and Cello, dedicated to the memory of Debussy. Brian O’Kane is an award-winning graduate of the Royal Academy of Music and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, quickly establishing himself as one of the finest Irish cellists of his generation. In a breathless 2010, Héloïse Geoghegan recorded her first CD, toured Ireland with pianist Michael Joyce and made her Wigmore Hall debut. She even found time to play Carnegie Hall with the Callino Quartet.


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HÉLOÏSE GEOGHEGAN (Ireland) violin BRIAN O’KANE (Ireland) cello

Approx. 60 minutes

The Parade Tower, Kilkenny Castle Monday 8 August 1pm Admission €15/€12

AMARILLI TRIO (International) Programme FRANZ SCHUBERT String Trio in B flat major, D. 471 LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN String Trio in E flat major, op. 3

Kilkenny violinist Maria Ryan made her festival debut last year in a delightful lunchtime concert with Ciara Moroney. This year she returns with a priceless George Channot violin, loaned to her as a winner of the coveted Heineken Violin Competition. Maria is joined by viola player Patricia Ramirez-Reinoso and cellist Leonardo Sesenna to form the Amarilli Trio. The ensemble formed after playing together at a festival in Tuscany, and for Kilkenny they perform two early string trios from Beethoven and Schubert, whose sparkling String Trio was composed when he was just nineteen.

Approx. 50 minutes

The Parade Tower, Kilkenny Castle Wednesday 10 August 1pm Admission €15/€12

Photo: JCaroline Forbe

Photo: Jason Lee

Approx. 90 minutes (including interval)

Founded by the Irish harpsichordist and organist Malcolm Proud and the Swiss violinist Maya Homburger, Camerata Kilkenny gave its debut recital at the 1999 Kilkenny Arts Festival. Since then the ensemble has performed all over Ireland and Europe, while its recording of Bach’s ‘Musical Offering’ (with Wilbert Hazelzet) was released last year to widespread acclaim. RTÉ lyric fm will be recording this performance for future broadcast.

For Kilkenny the ensemble performs a breathtaking range of works by two great Baroque composers, from the “dignified solemnity” (Trevor Pinnock) of Bach’s D minor Harpsichord Concerto to the ‘Coffee Cantata’, a miniature comic opera telling the story of a young girl’s addiction to coffee. For the cantatas Camerata Kilkenny is joined by tenor Leonhard Reso and soprano Anja Lipfert (of the Calmus Ensemble).

This event and Kaleidoscope (p.11) for €31

The Black Abbey Abbey Street Wednesday 10 August 8pm Admission €25/€21


How Happy for the Little Birds A concert of music from the forthcoming CD of the same name featuring works by Praetorius, Weelkes, Byrd, O’Catháin, Dowland, Cornysh, Ravenscroft and traditional settings


This delightful programme takes us through a year in the life of birds. Early music specialist Laoise O’Brien is joined by some of Ireland’s top musicians mixing traditional Irish melodies with early English songs. The concert is part of a project with artist Lorna Donlon, and an exhibition of craft inspired by the repertoire will be displayed throughout the festival in Gallery 3G, Castle Yard, where Lorna and Laoise will also run a children’s workshop. See p.57. Photo: Dylan Vaughan

Approx. 60 minutes

RTÉ lyric fm will be recording this performance for future broadcast.

the music’s artifices were subsumed in a world of rhetoric, decoration and dance The Irish Times

Programme JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH Cantata Non sa che sia dolore BWV 209 Harpsichord Concerto in D minor The Coffee Cantata BWV 211 GEORG PHILIPP TELEMANN Paris Quartet in E minor

Photo: Jörg Gläscher

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Photo: Timothy Kraemer


The Parade Tower, Kilkenny Castle Thursday 11 August 1pm Admission €10/€8

Approx. 90 minutes

Programme Thursday 11 August HEINRICH IGNAZ FRANZ BIBER Sonata IX ‘The Carrying of the Cross’ Interlude Sonata X ‘The Crucifixion’ Praeludium – Aria with five variations FRANZ SCHUBERT String Trio in B Flat major STEVE REICH Electric Counterpoint BEN SCHLEPPER-CONNOLLY Star ORIGINAL MATERIAL Performed by Philip Jeck, Francesco Turrisi, Matthew Nolan and Bryan O’Connell

Photo: Tom Soldan

Kaleidoscope, says The Irish Times, is “the sort of thing our Cultural Ambassador should be shouting about.” The brainchild of violinist Cliodhna Ryan and cellist Kate Ellis, this laidback, salon-style music night has been selling out the Odessa club in Dublin since 2009, and now its warm, informal style comes to the Kilkenny Design Centre for two special evenings of music, song, and surprise.


one of the coolest things going The Irish Times

This is not a formal concert with hard chairs and polite applause; Kaleidoscope invites you to grab a drink, relax and settle into a sofa as some of Europe’s finest musicians bring you an exhilarating programme of everything from Baroque to contemporary music. On Wednesday evening Pulitzer Prize-winner Paul Muldoon reads ‘Dame Alice and I’; a specially-written poem about the Kilkenny ‘witch’ Dame Alice Kyteler, designed to inspire audiences and musicians alike, while Laoise O’Brien brings some traditional airs and soprano Michelle Sheridan performs pieces by Brahms and John Tavener. On Thursday Maya Homburger and Barry Guy from Camerata Kilkenny play works both ancient and (brand) new, including a sonata by Biber and Star by the young Irish composer Ben Schlepper-Connolly, while multimedia sound artist Philip Jeck joins jazz pianist Francesco Turrisi for a unique collaboration.

Approx. 90 minutes Kaleidoscope would like to thank The Arts Council of Ireland for granting us a Performance and Touring Award.

Don’t miss our visual art programme, featuring electronic sounds by Kevin Volans and a vinyl soundscape installation from Liam O’Callaghan. See pp.42-45 for details

Kilkenny Design Centre, Castle Yard Wednesday 10 & Thursday 11 August 10.15pm Admission €15/€12

This event and Camerata Kilkenny (p.10) for €31


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Programme Wednesday 10 August MEDIAEVAL AND BAROQUE AIRS Performed by Laoise O’Brien and Sarah Groser JOHN TAVENER Excerpt from ‘To a Child Dancing in the Wind’ JOHANNES BRAHMS Funf Ophelia Lieder PAUL MULDOON (words) & CHRISTINE TOBIN (music) Dame Alice and I (world premiere) CLAUDE DEBUSSY Syrinx ORIGINAL MATERIAL Performed by Christine Tobin and Phil Robson


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Each sister is an accomplished soloist; as a duet, they seem like twins, sharing the same musical brain. I cannot remember hearing better The Irish Examiner

St Canice’s Cathedral Friday 12 August 1pm Admission €15/€12

Programme WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART Sonata in D major KV 381 CLAUDE DEBUSSY Six Épigraphes antiques for piano four-hands SERGEI RACHMANINOV from Suite op. 11 ANTONÍN DVORˇÁK Slavonic Dances Approx. 60 minutes

ALESSANDRO TAVERNA (Italy) piano When Alessandro Taverna scooped the Bronze Medal at the Leeds International Piano Competition in 2009, there were sighs of disappointment from the audience that the young Venetian pianist hadn’t won the competition outright. “Remember his name,” wrote Tim Ashley in The Guardian, “we shall … be hearing much more of him in the future.” Sure enough, Taverna has gone on to collect numerous awards. His first prize at the Minnesota International Piano Competition led to a prestigious recital tour and a debut CD, and since then he has performed throughout Europe, America and South Africa. Now a Kilkenny audience has the chance to enjoy his “extrovert virtuosity” (Yorkshire Post) for themselves in this mouthwatering programme encompassing everything from Beethoven’s ‘Moonlight Sonata’ to a frantic pair of Ligeti’s Études. In the unique atmosphere of St Canice’s, these will be “flawless minutes of poetry.” (The London Independent)

This event and Benjamin Black (p.39) for €27

Sisters Rebecca and Kirsten Cˇápová first appeared together at the Festival of Music at St Barrahane’s Church in Castletownsend and since then have performed at venues all over Ireland. Both accomplished soloists (Rebecca has won first prize at the International Piano Competition Citta di Sangemini), they bring together their considerable talents (and four hands!) at Kilkenny for a wide-ranging programme of piano duets, from Mozart’s lively Piano Sonata in D major, to Debussy’s reflective Épigraphes and Dvorˇák’s wild Slavonic Dances.

Programme LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN Piano Sonata in C-sharp minor, op. 27, no. 2, ‘Moonlight’ FRÉDÉRIC CHOPIN Scherzo no. 4 in E major, op. 54 GYÖRGY LIGETI Étude no. 8, Fém Étude no. 13, L’escalier du diable CLAUDE DEBUSSY Images (Deuxième Série) IGOR STRAVINSKY when Alessandro Taverna performed a Trois mouvements de magisterial account ‘Pétrouchka’ of Chopin’s First Piano Concerto, the FRIEDRICH GULDA world was suffused Play piano play (selection) with grave beauty The Independent

Approx. 120 minutes

St Canice’s Cathedral Friday 12 August 8pm Admission €22/€19

Photo: Pierluigi Marchesan



Programme VAUGHAN WILLIAMS Serenade to Music for Choir and Orchestra JOAQUÍN RODRIGO Concierto de Aranjuez WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART Requiem K626 Approx. 80 minutes

Last year, more than 70 amateur choral singers from all over Ireland took part in workshops and rehearsals culminating in a sell-out performance in St Canice’s. This year the Kilkenny Arts Festival Choir & Orchestra looks set to top that with an even larger choir and an exciting programme of popular favourites, once again conducted by Fergus Sheil. Guitarist Michael O’Toole is the soloist in Rodrigo’s stirring Concerto de Aranjuez, while soprano Aileen Itani and mezzosoprano Bridget Knowles are joined by the outstanding young tenor, James Edwards, and by Graeme Danby, one of Britain’s finest bassi profundi. The programme builds to a memorable climax with Mozart’s magisterial Requiem and the sound of 100 voices ringing out across the nave.

St Canice’s Cathedral Saturday 13 August 8.15pm Admission €28/€23

[The KAF choir’s performance of Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy] ended in a blaze of glory The Irish Times the evening’s solo glories came from the commanding expressiveness of soprano Aileen Itani, whose duet with Bridget Knowles also glowed beautifully The Irish Times

This event and Paul Muldoon/ Michael Longley (p.40) for €32


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Fergus Sheil conductor Michael O’Toole guitar Aileen Itani soprano Bridget Knowles mezzo-soprano James Edwards tenor Graeme Danby bass


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[The Cashell Trio] stood head and shoulders above the rest… whose players steered Brahms’ B major piano trio with disarming ease The Strad

Programme ÉDOUARD VICTOIRE ANTOINE LALO Trio no. 1, op. 7 DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH Piano Trio no. 1 in C minor, op. 8 LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN Archduke Trio no. 7, op. 97 Approx. 75 minutes (including interval)

St Canice’s Cathedral Sunday 14 August 2.30pm Admission €20/€15

Since graduating from the Yehudi Menuhin School of Music, multi-talented siblings Ben, Anna and Sophie Cashell spend much of their time pursuing their musical passions down very different, but equally glittering, paths. Cellist Ben plays and writes songs for folk bands like Feldspar, Anna plays violin with the Irish Chamber Orchestra and the Schumann Quartet, while pianist Sophie is the winner of the BBC’s Classical Star competition. For Kilkenny they join forces to perform Beethoven’s monumental last piano trio ‘The Archduke’, Lalo’s rarely-heard Trio no. 1 and the 17-year-old Shostakovich’s remarkable Piano Trio no. 1.

mus∆c Arts festivals talk about “challenging audiences” but what do we really mean? For this programmer, the real challenge is asking you to commit your time. It’s precious stuff, especially when you’re being asked to commit it to artists with whom you may not be familiar. The best artists appreciate that, and set out to reward your appetite for risk with something beautiful and resonant that lingers long after the festival has departed. There’s no common thread with the artists I’ve invited here in August, except their shared understanding that their time on the bandstand has to be more vivid, more affecting, than what comes before or after. Sometimes that comes from volatility, as with improvisers Barry Guy and Evan Parker or the confrontational TrioVD. It can come from the deeply personal perspectives of Susan McKeon and Christine Tobin, two Irishwomen who’ve made their way abroad to great acclaim. Elsewhere, T with the Maggies usher us into their beloved Gweedore, and Hanggai do likewise with songs from the Mongolian steppes. Hypnotic Brass Ensemble bring you epic grooves, while Luka Bloom arrives with a posse of traditional players that create their own rhythmic delirium. Tempus fugit.

211 5

TRIOVD (UK) Last year, metal band ASIWYFA blew the roof off the Set Theatre. This year, that task has fallen to TrioVD, a band that takes “a sledgehammer to preconceived limitations of jazz” (Time Out). Since forming back in 2006 (the name, you’ll be relieved to know, comes from their first session together on Valentine’s Day), they’ve built a reputation as one of the most innovative and exciting bands in the UK. Drawing on a breathtaking range of influences, from thrash metal to Indonesian gamelan groups, their sound combines passages of pastoral delicacy with earth-shattering drum attacks and exhilarating improv. Brace yourself.

Set Theatre, John Street Friday 5 August 10.30pm Admission €15/€12

Photo: Tom Barnes

Gerry Godley curator

a fast, tight and awesomely expert conjunction of spiky high-energy compositions, uninhibited sax and guitar improv and machine-gun drumming The Guardian



Author, chef, composer and “one of the great flute players in the world” (George Fenton), there isn’t much that Guo Yue can’t do, and he’s doing most of it this year at Kilkenny. On Saturday he brings the tastes, textures and aromas of Chinese cuisine to the Hole in the Wall for a mouthwatering cookery masterclass, while on Sunday he returns with his Chinese flutes – one made of pure white jade – to tell the compelling story of his childhood in the overcrowded alleys of Beijing during the Cultural Revolution. Yue’s “hauntingly beautiful sound pictures” (The Daily Telegraph) conjure up his search for creative freedom in a time when individual expression was ruthlessly suppressed.

GUO YUE (China)

I guarantee he delivers in a magical way Peter Gabriel

The Hole in the Wall, 17 High Street Cookery demonstration: Saturday 6 August 4pm Admission €10 Performance: Sunday 7 August 5pm Admission €15/€12

Photo: Jim Latimer

OKO (Ireland) OKO are the latest endeavour from adventurous guitarist Shane Latimer. Gathering some of the finest players on the Dublin jazz scene, OKO runs the gamut from delicately-sculpted, electro-acoustic shapes to gritty streetwise funk. Drummer Shane O’Donovan provides the pulse, Darragh O’Kelly brings splashes of keyboard colour, and Djackulate is the free agent with the turntables, dropping beats and samples that keep the creative axis in constant movement.

Cleere’s, Parliament Street Saturday 6 August 10pm Admission €15/€12


Christine Tobin is “one of the most gifted and original singer/ songwriters in today’s jazz world” (BBC Music Magazine). A musical free spirit, she draws on a broad range of influences to create her streetwise, eclectic style. Her latest recording, Tapestry Unravelled, reworked Carole King’s classic album with a series of memorable arrangements, while here she showcases a new project, Sailing to Byzantium, matching poems by Yeats to her “24 carat voice.” (The Guardian)

Photo: Caroline Forbes


Photo: JTim Dickeson

Photo: John-Francis Bourke


This double bill features two extraordinary musicians (and native Dubliners) whose songs draw on their passion for poetry. Grammy-winning vocalist Susan McKeown has forged a unique career based around a voice that handles everything from sean nós to contemporary rock. This evening’s adventurous performance, Singing in the Dark, explores creativity and madness through the lyrics of poets from Byron to Anne Sexton.


McKeown grabbed both song and audience by the throat, dragged them through heaven and hell and back again, and left the stage to the loudest applause Rolling Stone What PJ Harvey achieved in rock and what BjÖrk did to dance music Christine Tobin could do to jazz The Guardian

Ormonde Hotel Sunday 7 August 7pm Admission €20/€17

Barry Guy is a force of nature The London Times [Parker is one of] Europe’s most innovative and intriguing saxophonists

Barry Guy and Evan Parker first played together in 1967 as members of the Spontaneous Music Ensemble, and they’ve been improvising together ever since, whether in Guy’s London Jazz Composers Orchestra, or (with Paul Lytton) as one of the best-known free improv trios of recent years. But tonight’s gig is a rare chance to see these giants of jazz improv play together as a duo, sharing the intuitive musical understanding they’ve built up over more than forty years. Onstage, Parker, “the most formidable saxophonist since John Coltrane” (Robert Spencer), and Guy, one of the world’s leading bass soloists and improvisers, whip up a frenzy, taking audiences into astonishing new regions of sound. As Jason Bivins put it in Cadence Magazine, “whatever you do, don’t deny yourself the pleasures of this music.”

St John’s Priory, John Street Monday 8 August 8.30pm Admission €15/€12


Photo: Mella Travers



St Canice’s Cathedral Tuesday 9 August 8pm Admission €20/€17

An inventive collaboration that promises much more to come The Irish Times the intensity of delivery is uniformly stunning The Journal of Music

Some supergroups never get along. It’s hard to imagine Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young sharing a nice cup of tea. But “Donegal Divas” T with the Maggies are not your average supergroup. Though Tríona and Maighread Ní Dhomhnaill, Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh and Moya Brennan might boast “extraordinary talent with a capital T” (Hot Press), they don’t let it get in the way of a good time, and since they formed the band, almost by accident, a few years ago, they’ve been getting on famously with each other and with audiences alike. Their gigs are already celebrated as much for their effervescent stage presence as their effortless blending of voice, piano, fiddle and harp and their shared love of Gweedore. Don’t miss this opportunity to catch them in St Canice’s, accompanied by Dónal Lunny and some of the northwest’s finest musicians.

transcendently powerful music that anyone from anywhere can understand Pitchfork Hanggai were put on this planet to revive your love for old-school riffage, embrace them Mojo


Since their first album catapulted them onto the world stage in 2008, Hanggai have been bringing their unique blend of Mongolian instruments and Western sensibility to audiences the world over. While their traditional ballads (Mongolian, that is) express the freedom of the steppes, numbers like ‘Drinking Song’ will have you twirling your partner like an Appalachian farmhand at a hoedown. This is country music all right, but it’s a country all of their own. Bring your passport.

Photo: Eric Nieuwland

Set Theatre, John Street Wednesday 10 August 8pm Admission €20/€17

As the first notes of the fiddle flare up, you’ll think there’s been a mistake. The musicians might be sporting some unusual attire, but you could be in a Donegal pub in the middle of a session. Then the throat singing starts.


HANGGAI (Mongolia)

MARI KVIEN BRUNVOLL (Norway) Mari Kvien Brunvoll is a one-off, with a plaintive voice every bit as singular as, say, Björk. it’s an insinuatingly captivating, elusively compelling experience to hear her All About Jazz

Molde-born singer Mari Kvien Brunvoll has already created a wave of excitement on the Norwegian jazz scene, for she is a genuine original with a captivating voice. Her singular career path embraces projects for children and theatre, and her intensely personal music straddles jazz, electro pop and acoustic blues, making use of everything from loops and pedals to zithers and thumb pianos to add detail to her intimate, soulful sound.

This event and Agnes Obel (p.25) for €27

Cleere’s, Parliament Street Thursday 11 August 7pm Admission €15/€12


The name doesn’t lie: they are hypnotic, but there’s much more to this nine-piece than just a brass ensemble The Guardian

Ormonde Hotel Friday 12 August 10pm Admission €22/€19


Featuring Mairtín O’Connor, Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh, Steve Cooney & Conor Byrne [Luka Bloom is] someone whose quest is far from over, but whose comfort in his own skin bears testament to a road well travelled. And the music’s not half-bad either. Magnificent The Irish Times

When we heard that singer-songwriter Luka Bloom was putting together a band of extraordinary musicians to perform at the Belgian music festival Dranouter earlier this year, we couldn’t resist inviting him to Kilkenny. Fresh from touring Australia with the Dalai Lama (yes, the Dalai Lama), Bloom reconvenes his Dranouter band for a night of rousing, heartfelt songs and outstanding musicianship in the Set. Featuring Dé Dannan’s Mairtín O’Connor, one of the finest accordion players to emerge from these shores; fiddle-player Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh; guitarist Steve Cooney and flautist/ composer Conor Byrne, whose Kilkenny County Session was such a success last year, this is sure to be a sell-out gig. Book early.

This event and Gemma Hayes (p.27) for €31

Set Theatre, John Street Saturday 13 August 8.30pm Admission €22/€19

Photo: Lieve Boussauw

Photo: Aidan Kelly



“You guys just hypnotized me,” said the man on the station platform who’d been watching them for hours, and Hypnotic Brass Ensemble had a name. These eight brothers come from an extraordinary musical family (their father, Philip Cohran, played trumpet with the legendary Sun Ra Arkestra in the 1950s) and now they’re on a mission to save music. Since their days busking on the streets of Chicago, they’ve played with Mos Def, Erykah Badu and Gorillaz, and their incendiary live shows are making their name all over Europe. Their raw, exuberant sound, melding hip hop with jazz, is like the soundtrack to the coolest movie you ever saw, and their pulsing rhythms will have you up on your feet. Hypnotic they might be, but they’re anything but dull.


Marty in the Morning (Mon-Fri, 07.00am-10am)

Paul Herriott In Tempo (10am-12pm)

Liz Nolan’s Lunchtime Classics (12pm-2pm)

Join Marty Whelan from 7am each weekday morning for a classic blend of music and entertainment with regular celebrity guests, news and travel updates.

Paul presents a varied selection of the very best classical music together with features which include our CD/DVD of the Week and the daily Coffee Concert at 11am from venues around the world.

Indulge in two hours of the most glorious music for your lunchtime with Liz Nolan.

The John Kelly Ensemble (2pm-4pm)

Niall Carroll’s Classic Drive (4pm-7pm)

E: Text: 51554

From blue notes to new notes, Cuban to quirky, add a little verve and retro chic to your afternoons with John Kelly and his ensemble.

Niall brings you the perfect soundtrack to your journey home accompanied by news, traffic, business, sports and entertainment, plus Culture File each day at 6.40pm.

For traffic calming at its best try music, music and more music with a little fun along the way!

Why not leave a message or send your dedication by calling our voicemail on 1850 715144.

@RTÉlyricfm /RTÉlyricfm

96-99FM on digiTal and UPC 0165


There’s a wealth of music programming throughout the week on RTÉ lyric fm.

22 MATTHEW NOLAN curator [Rancho Tetrahedron is] a typically crisp, consistent and understated gem... the work of a true craftsman The Sunday Business Post ★★★★

W∆red This year’s WIRED strand is another eclectic mix of the old, the new, and the occasionally weird. The first weekend kicks off with the great Cathal Coughlan, whose band of old, The Fatima Mansions, formed the soundtrack to my youth. It continues with a musician whose craft has generated nothing but superlatives in recent months: James Vincent McMorrow, and closes with The Sea and Cake, surely one of the finest US bands of the last 10 years. On Thursday evening the sublimely talented Agnes Obel takes the stage for what may well turn out to be the gig of the year, while on Friday 12th Emmy the Great introduces Kilkenny to her strange and wonderful world. That night brings two legends of experimental and avant-garde music together as Jaki Liebezeit (of Can fame) and his ensemble Drums Off Chaos collaborate with the composer and sound artist Philip Jeck to create what will surely be one of the most exhilarating shows of the festival. Gemma Hayes performs her uniquely captivating songs in St John’s Priory, and WIRED closes with one of my idols (must be careful not to gush here): San Francisco’s Mark Kozelek, who plays his achingly beautiful compositions in the hallowed surroundings of St Canice’s. I hope to see you at every show!

CATHAL COUGHLAN and the GRAND NECROPOLITAN QUINTET (Ireland) Cork’s Cathal Coughlan is a very singular talent. A survivor of Microdisney and The Fatima Mansions, “two of the best, most malcontent Irish rock bands of the past 30 years” (The Irish Times), he’s spent the last decade ploughing his own idiosyncratic furrow as a solo artist. Over time, the man who once called an album ‘We Hate You South African Bastards!’ may have mellowed – slightly – but his songwriting and lyrical dexterity still set him apart. His fifth solo album, Rancho Tetrahedron, mixed jangly guitar pop with Scott Walker-esque ballads and seductive arrangements to universal acclaim and, for Kilkenny, the “world’s greatest living Corkman” (Hot Press) showcases his extraordinary voice in the company of longterm collaborators, the Grand Necropolitan Quintet. In association with NOTE.

The Watergate Theatre, Parliament Street Saturday 6 August 9.30pm Admission €18/€16

ERIC SWEENEY (Ireland) 3EPKANO (Ireland)

The Cabinet of Dr Caligari: Live Film Score St Canice’s Cathedral Friday 5 August 9pm Admission €15/€12

This event and Beowulf (p.3) for €23

See page 6 for details



JAMES VINCENT MCMORROW (Ireland) Sounds both fresh and as if they’ve been in your head forever … McMorrow’s debut deserves its success Q Magazine A captivating debut Uncut ★★★★ Gorgeous NME

This event and The Sea and Cake (p.24) for €34

Dubliner James Vincent McMorrow has trodden a circuitous path to success. A hardcore rock fan as a teenager, he took time to discover his fragile, soulful voice, but the years of quiet dedication to the craft of songwriting finally paid off when he retreated to a cabin by the sea to record his first album, Early in the Morning. The results had critics falling over themselves to praise his haunting, wistful melodies, but McMorrow is far more than Ireland’s answer to Bon Iver. He draws on a range of influences from great female singers like Billie Holiday to hip-hop producers like the Neptunes, as well as Americana and folk, and his explorations of darkness and beauty have a spectral quality that is all their own.

St Canice’s Cathedral Sunday 7 August 7pm Admission €22/€19


w∆red these are restless, sophisticated, envelopepushing people The Guardian beautiful, expansive pop Rolling Stone

HARMONIC presents



This event and James Vincent McMorrow (p.23) for €34

Photo: Emeile Lidström

The Watergate Theatre Parliament Street Sunday 7 August 9.30pm Admission €22/€19

The Sea and Cake are hard to pin down. They’ve been called post-rock, indie jazz, loungecore and even – whisper it – pop. And yet their sound is utterly distinctive, based around the delicate guitar play of Sam Prekop and Archer Prewitt, driven by the jazzy rhythms of bassist Eric Claridge and drummer John McEntire (one of the brains behind that other great Chicago band, Tortoise), all wrapped in Prekop’s enigmatic vocals. Their latest album has a bracing, almost-live feel, but you can experience the real thing for yourself on 7 August in the company of The Buzz Aldrin Allstars, a collection of like-minded musicians whose improvised shows explore simple melodies, grooves, and loops.

New Music Nightfeaturing

SOMADRONE GEPPETTO THREAD MARGIE (Ireland) (Ireland) PULLS LEWIS Set Theatre, John Street Tuesday 9 August 8pm Admission €12/€10 Kilkenny County Council’s Arts Office working in partnership to support the finest in Irish bands





This year’s New Music Night in the Set showcases five very different home-grown acts. Somadrone explores a musical palette featuring everything from a harp to moog synthesizers, while Thread Pulls “produce a ruckus that most bands can only dream about” (Hot Press). Margie Lewis experiments with loops and beats, drawn together by her beautiful voice, and Toby Kaar’s “awesome” live shows (The Irish Times) mix hip-hop, house and electronica. Festival regulars Geppetto launch their first EP, coupled with an exciting new visual show directed by Paul Mahon.

AGNES OBEL (Denmark) with CIAN NUGENT (Ireland)

A charming, hugely engaging performer, you find yourself hanging on every word and note. One of the gigs of the year, no question The Irish Independent A sublime evening’s music The Irish Times



Last year, when her debut album Philharmonia was about to launch, Danish songwriter Agnes Obel almost phoned her record label to call it off. She recorded the album alone in a crumbling studio in Berlin, and never imagined that these spare, delicate songs would find an audience. She could not have been more wrong. In a few short months, Philharmonia has become a word-of-mouth international hit.

Photo: PFrank Eidel

Photo: Ailbhe Nic Oireachtaigh

HARMONIC presents

It’s easy to see why. Accompanied by cellist Anne Müller, Obel weaves a spell with little more than a voice, a piano, and an array of deceptively simple melodies. Her first concert in Ireland was described as “one of the gigs of the year” (The Irish Independent). In St Canice’s, the perfect venue for her voice, this gig is sure to match it. Dublin’s Cian Nugent is a guitar player and composer who melds his personal passion for everything from pre-war blues to traditional music into a deeply personal style that is both playful and eerie.

This event and & Mari Kvien Brunvoll (p19) for €27


Photo: Tom Soldan

(Ireland) more on page 11

Kilkenny Design Centre Castle Yard Wednesday 10 & Thursday 11 August 10.15pm Admission €15/€12

St Canice’s Cathedral Thursday 11 August 8.30pm Admission €20/€17

one of the coolest things going The Irish Times

Kaleidoscope, says The Irish Times, is “the sort of thing our Cultural Ambassador should be shouting about.” This laidback, salon-style music night has been selling out the Odessa club in Dublin since 2009, and now its warm, informal style comes to Kilkenny for two special evenings of music, song, and surprise. Grab a drink and settle into a sofa as some of Europe’s finest musicians bring you an exhilarating programme of everything from Baroque to contemporary music.

This event and Camerata Kilkenny (p.10) for €31

Photo: Alex Lake



EMMY THE GREAT (UK) Emma-Lee Moss is not your average singer-songwriter. She writes songs about creation and the idea of north, while her exquisite melodies and thoughtful lyrics draw on everyone from Angela Carter to Janelle Monáe. Backed by guitarist Euan Hinshelwood, her live performances display “the sort of musicianship that Lady Gaga and her ilk must cry themselves to sleep over” (NME). In St John’s Priory, this will be a memorable night.

St John’s Priory, John Street Friday 12 August 8pm Admission €20/€17

a cut above the rest NME smart, literate songs The Daily Telegraph ★★★★

This event and Drums Off Chaos/ Philip Jeck (below) for €34



Visuals by Hector Castells and Guillermo Carrion You could write a dissertation on [Philip] Jeck’s rehabilitation of lost and damaged bits of cultural information, or you could just get lost in his strange world Pitchfork Media

Tonight’s gig sees two forces at the frontline of modern music team up for an extraordinary sonic voyage. Since 1982, Drums Off Chaos, led by the incomparable Jaki Liebezeit (of Can fame), have been creating headspinning storms of multi-layered groove using odd meters and unconventional rhythms. Here they team up with award-winning turntable artist and composer Philip Jeck, who creates seductive, crackling soundscapes from salvaged vinyl. This unique collaboration promises to be one of the most memorable and groundbreaking shows of the festival. Bring your dancing shoes! Beautiful Unit spend their time reducing their music to repetitive grooves and have decided to do the same with their biography. Beautiful Unit spend their time… Don’t miss our visual art programme, featuring electronic sounds by Kevin Volans and a vinyl soundscape installation from Liam O’Callaghan. See pp.42-45 for details.

Supported by the Goethe-Institut Irland

This event and Emmy the Great (above) for €34

Set Theatre, John Street Friday 12 August 9.30pm Admission €22/€19

GEMMA HAYES (Ireland) with ANN SCOTT (Ireland)

Tipperary’s Gemma Hayes has come a long way since her early days as the lead singer of a Red Hot Chili Peppers cover band. Her debut album was nominated for the Mercury Music Prize, and since then her eclectic blend of folk, prog rock and electronica has been winning over audiences at home and abroad. These are confessional songs, delivered with hushed, breathy vocals and delicate arrangements, and St John’s Priory is the perfect venue for an intimate encounter with one of Ireland’s finest singer-songwriters.



Performing from a place of absolute stillness, she delivered lyrics that made the hairs stand up on my neck, over deep, sparse, unconventional voicings on her guitar The Guardian

Photo: Marcello Biglia

Twice nominated for a Meteor Award, Ann Scott is a highly-original singersongwriter celebrated for her unusual melodies and left-field guitar play.

This event and Luka Bloom (p.20) for €31

St John’s Priory, John Street Saturday 13 August 4pm Admission €18/€16

HARMONIC presents


In a career spanning almost twenty years, Mark Kozelek has trodden a unique musical path, first as lead singer of the Red House Painters and lately as a solo artist and frontman of Sun Kil Moon. An acclaimed lyricist known for his achingly-beautiful songs and melancholy baritone, Kozelek has recently pared back his arrangements to just a microphone and a single acoustic guitar. Shrouded in near darkness he weaves a spell, and St Canice’s Cathedral is the perfect setting for the kind of reverential hush that lets these songs breathe. Like the remixes they’ve produced for Hot Chip and David Holmes, Geese’s music is made entirely from cellos, violas and violins. “For its quality, uniqueness, and full gamut of emotions, Geese is something to hear.” (in your speakers)

St Canice’s Cathedral Sunday 14 August 8.30pm Admission €22/€19

lushly winding paths of outstretched melody Boston Globe

This event and Amazing Few Festival Closer (p.28) for €29

Check out the great value


t∆cket deals

package deals Monster’s Ball Baroque Bundle Eurozone Then & Now Men in Black Chapter & Verse Body & Soul Rising Tide Electro-Acoustic Home Grown Northern Lights Encore!

Eric Sweeney & 3epkano (p.6) & Beowulf (p.3) William Butt (p.7) & Resurgam/IBO (p.7) Christophe Rousset (p.8) & EUBO (p.8) Camerata Kilkenny (p.10) & Kaleidoscope (p.11) Alessandro Taverna (p.12) & Benjamin Black (p.39) Festival Choir and Orchestra (p.13) & Paul Muldoon/Michael Longley (p.40) Tabernacle (p.3) & Request Programme (p.2) The Sea and Cake (p.24) & James Vincent McMorrow (p.23) Drums Off Chaos/Philip Jeck (p.26) & Emmy the Great (p.26) Gemma Hayes (p.27) & Luka Bloom (p.20) Agnes Obel (p.25) & Mari Kvien Brunvoll (p.19) Mark Kozelek (p.27) & Amazing Few Festival Closer (below)

€23 €31 €35 €31 €27 €32 €23 €34 €34 €31 €27 €29

end of festival party THE AMAZING FEW (Ireland) The Amazing Few are an 11-piece band (and counting) who play ‘psycho-pop’; a unique style of music that leans heavily on ska, nicks pop’s lunch money and gives punk a wedgie. Think Madness songs sung by Stephen Malkmus with a Balkan twist. Formed in 2008, they’ve been touring (and expanding) ever since, adding a trumpeter, a stunt woman, and a guy with a Mohawk (we’re not sure what exactly he does). Their madcap songs deal with everyday situations: love lost, loved gained, Bruce Lee, bank robberies gone right, people run over by vans, and they’ve shared a stage with no lesser figures than Har Mar Superstar, Mundy, Madness, and The Presidents of the United States of America (the band, not the actual presidents, although it’s surely only a matter of time…).

This event and Mark Kozelek (p.27) for €29

Weird and wonderful The Metro

The Amazing Few are a brilliant live band; they really get the crowd going The Irish Times

a wonderfully weird and wacky, Dublin– based delight Note Media

Set Theatre John Street Sunday 14 August 10.30pm Admission €15/€12

Every year the Kilkenny Arts Festival brings so many amazing events to the city that it is almost impossible to make sure you find what really appeals to you. So, we’ve put on our thinking caps and come up with this guide to suggest events you may not have considered. Simply find an event that you are interested in and chances are, there will be something else in the same column that you will also enjoy. Or, alternatively, pick the column that is of most interest to you and explore the events listed.

This is my first time at an arts festival. I want to see what this festival is all about. I haven’t heard of a lot of these names before and I’d like suggestions on what might be great to see.

I want to think. I want to get out of my comfort zone and confront the world head on. I don’t want to be spoon fed. I want to be blown away. I want to argue.

I want to find those hidden gems - things I may not have heard of but once I’ve experienced I will never forget.

I want to see edgier, grittier more experimental stuff. I want to dance, have some fun. I want to stay up late.

My First festival

My ∆nspiring festival

My Surprising festival

My Alternative festival


Amarilli Trio


Camerata Kilkenny

25 Agnes Obel & Cian Nugent 02 Request Programme 12 Alessandro Taverna 08 European Union Baroque Orchestra 39 Benjamin Black interviewed by 40 Francisco Goldman Michael Wood 35 Gerard Smyth & Leanne O’Sullivan 08 Christophe Rousset


Cathal Coughlan


Eric Sweeny & 3epkano


Gemma Hayes


Hypnotic Brass Ensemble


James Vincent McMorrow


Kilkenny 100 Years Ago


Luka Bloom & Guests

07 Resurgam & Irish Baroque Orchestra


Paul Muldoon & Michael Longley

37 Kevin Barry, Belinda McKeon & Paul Murray


Sunday Miscellany: RTÉ Radio 1

35 Patrick McCabe & Dermot Healy


Susan McKeown & Christine Tobin

34 Professor Morgan Kelly - Hubert Butler Lecture


T with the Maggies


The Cashell Trio

38 The Great Natural Resources Debate


The Kilkenny Arts Festival Choir & Orchestra

26 Emmy the Great 05 Title & Deed

39 Tobias Wolff & David Vann

19 Hanggai 09 Héloïse Geoghegan & Brian O’Kane 05 Body Duet 41 Janice Galloway & Claire Keegan 10 Laoise O’Brien 27 Mark Kozelek 16 OKO 12 Rebecca & Kirsten Cˇápová 24 The Sea and Cake & The Buzz Aldrin Allstars 15 TrioVD 07 William Butt

03 Beowulf 17 Barry Guy & Evan Parker 03 Tabernacle 16 Guo Yue 26 Drums Off Chaos & Philip Jeck 11 Kaleidoscope 19 Mari Kvien Brunvoll 38 TC Boyle 24 New Music Night 28 The Amazing Few 04 The Big Deal



Help me choose

Friday 5 set theatre


Saturday 6

day by day

03 Beowulf - A Thousand Years of Baggage 7pm

35 Patrick McCabe & Dermot Healy 3.30pm

15 TrioVD 10.30pm

03 Beowulf - A Thousand Years of Baggage 7pm

Sunday 7

Monday 8

Tuesday 9 24 New Music Night 8pm

03 Beowulf - A Thousand Years of Baggage 7pm

Watergate theatre

33 Sunday Miscellany: RTÉ 03 Tabernacle 2.15pm 03 Tabernacle 2.15pm 03 Tabernacle 8.30pm + post-show talk Radio 1 6.30pm 22 Cathal Coughlan 9.30pm 24 The Sea and Cake with The Buzz Aldrin Allstars 9.30pm

St canice’s cathedral

06 Eric Sweeney & 3epkano 9pm

34 Professor Morgan Kelly 23 James Vincent McMorrow 6pm 7pm

18 T with the Maggies 8pm

07 Resurgam & Irish Baroque Orchestra 8.15pm 35 Gerard Smyth and 09 Héloïse Geoghegan & Leanne O’Sullivan 11am Brian O’Kane 1pm

parade tower

08 Christophe Rousset 1pm

streets of kilkenny (The Parade, The Canal Walk, Kieran Street)

other city venues

58 The Three Sisters 58 Festival Trail

58 The Three Sisters 58 Festival Trail

58 The Three Sisters 58 Festival Trail

59 Cannonball Circus 2.30pm & 4pm

59 Cannonball Circus 2.30pm & 4pm

37 Kevin Barry, Belinda McKeon & Paul Murray 6pm 37 Fintan O’Toole 8pm

58 The Three Sisters 58 Festival Trail 04 Anybody Waitin’? 1pm

58 The Three Sisters 58 Festival Trail 04 Anybody Waitin’? 1pm

58 Beowulf 3.30pm 02 Request Programme City Apartment 6pm

48 Bookbinding Workshop 48 Bookbinding Workshop 48 Bookbinding Workshop 02 Request Programme City Apartment 6pm NCG 10am-5.30pm NCG 11am-5.30pm NCG 10am-5.30pm 45 Brunch with the Artists 16 Guo Yue (Performance) 02 Request Programme The Hole in the Wall 5pm Cleere’s 11.30am-2pm + post-show talk City Apartment 6pm 02 Request Programme 07 William Butt City Apartment 5.30pm 36 Kilkenny 100 Years Ago St John’s Priory 1pm Newpark Hotel 6pm 48 Festival Musicians 16 Guo Yue (Cookery & Writers demonstration) 17 Barry Guy & Evan Parker NCG 6pm St John’s Priory 8.30pm The Hole in the Wall 4pm 17 Susan McKeown & 02 Request Programme Christine Tobin City Apartment 5.30pm Ormonde Hotel 7pm 16 OKO Cleere’s 10pm 08 European Union Baroque Orchestra The Black Abbey 8pm

Visual Art 42 43 43 44


Visual Art 2 44 45 45


46 47

Butler Gallery Kilkenny County Council Arts Offices




Wednesday 10

Thursday 11

19 Hanggai 8pm

Friday 12

Saturday 13

39 Tobias Wolff & David Vann 6pm

25 Agnes Obel with Cian Nugent 8.30pm

12 Rebecca & Kirsten Cˇápová 1pm

20 Luka Bloom & Friends 8.30pm

04 Anybody Waitin’? 9pm 28 Festival Closing Party! The Amazing Few 10.30pm

05 Body Duet 5pm

05 Body Duet 2pm & 5pm + post-show talk after 5pm show

40 Paul Muldoon & Michael Longley 6pm

14 The Cashell Trio 2.30pm 27 Mark Kozelek with Geese 8.30pm

12 Alessandro Taverna 8pm 13 Festival Choir & Orchestra 8.15pm 09 Amarilli Trio 1pm 38 TC Boyle 6pm

10 Laoise O’Brien 1pm

39 John Banville writing as 40 Francisco Goldman 2pm 41 Janice Galloway & Benjamin Black 6pm Claire Keegan 12pm

04 Anybody Waitin’? 1pm

colour guide


38 The Great Natural Resources Debate 8pm 58 The Three Sisters 58 Festival Trail


day by day

26 Drums Off Chaos & Philip Jeck with Beautiful Unit 9.30pm

Sunday 14

Classical Music 58 The Three Sisters 58 Festival Trail

58 The Three Sisters 58 Festival Trail 04 Anybody Waitin’? 1pm

58 The Three Sisters 58 Festival Trail 04 Anybody Waitin’? 1pm

58 The Three Sisters


58 Festival Trail 04 Anybody Waitin’? 1pm


04 The Big Deal (Preview) 04 The Big Deal 04 The Big Deal 04 The Big Deal 04 The Big Deal Barnstorm Theatre 1pm Barnstorm Theatre 1pm Barnstorm Theatre 1pm Barnstorm Theatre 1pm + post-show talk Barnstorm Theatre 1pm 05 Title & Deed (Preview) 02 Request Programme 46 Young Critics’ 02 Request Programme City Apartment 6pm Barnstorm Theatre 6pm Panel Discussion City Apartment 6pm 27 Gemma Hayes with Butler Gallery 3pm-5pm Ann Scott Title & Deed 19 Mari Kvien Brunvoll 10 Camerata Kilkenny 05 St. John’s Priory 4pm Barnstorm Theatre 8pm Cleere’s 7pm The Black Abbey 8pm 02 Request Programme City Apartment 6pm 02 Request Programme 11 05 Title & Deed (Preview) City Apartment 6pm Barnstorm Theatre 8pm 05 Title & Deed Kaleidoscope Barnstorm Theatre 8pm 05 Title & Deed Kilkenny Design Centre 11 Kaleidoscope 10.15pm post-show talk Kilkenny Design Centre 26 Emmy The Great Barnstorm Theatre 8pm St John’s Priory 8pm 10.15pm Anybody Waitin’? 04 20 Hypnotic Brass Cleere’s 10pm Ensemble

Literature Visual Art Visual Art 2 Craft Other Selections Street

Ormonde Hotel 10pm






Storytelling/Theatre /Music


Saturday 6

children’s day by day

56 David Donohue Performance (Age 7-12 yrs) 1pm & 3pm The Parade Tower, Kilkenny Castle

Storytelling/Music Workshops 56 David Donohue Storytelling Workshop (Age 7-12 yrs) 10am The Parade Tower, Kilkenny Castle

Sunday 7

Craft/Visual Art Workshops 57 Bookbinding with Rachel Hazell 10am-5.30pm National Craft Gallery 57 Bookbinding with Rachel Hazell 11am-5.30pm National Craft Gallery 57 Bookbinding with Rachel Hazell 10am-5.30pm National Craft Gallery

Monday 8

57 Solas Supreme (5 - 12 yrs) 11am-1pm Butler Gallery and Kilkenny Castle Park Tuesday 9

57 Solas Supreme (5 - 12 yrs) 11am-1pm Butler Gallery and Kilkenny Castle Park 57 Paper Craft Laboratory (6 -12 yrs) 2pm-4pm Castle Yard

Wednesday 10

56 Star Boy (Age 2½ yrs+) 12pm & 2.30pm Ormonde Hotel

57 Solas Supreme (5 - 12 yrs) 11am-1pm Butler Gallery and Kilkenny Castle Park 57 Paper Craft Laboratory (6 -12 yrs) 2pm-4pm Castle Yard

thursday 11

56 Star Boy (Age 2½ yrs+) 12pm & 2.30pm Ormonde Hotel

57 Solas Supreme (5 - 12 yrs) 11am-1pm Butler Gallery and Kilkenny Castle Park 57 Paper Craft Laboratory (6 -12 yrs) 2pm-4pm Castle Yard

friday 12

56 Holy Mary (Age 7 yrs+) 11am & 1.30pm The Watergate Theatre

57 Laoise O’Brien & Lorna Donlon’s Birdsong Workshop (5-7 yrs) 10.30am, (8-11 yrs) 12pm Gallery 3G, Castle Yard

saturday 13

56 Holy Mary (Age 7 yrs+) 11am & 1.30pm The Watergate Theatre

57 Laoise O’Brien & Lorna Donlon’s Birdsong Workshop (5-7 yrs) 10.30am, (8-11 yrs) 12pm Gallery 3G, Castle Yard

sunday 14

57 The Amazing Few (Age 6 yrs +) 4pm Ormonde Hotel

57 Laoise O’Brien & Lorna Donlon’s Birdsong Workshop (5-7 yrs) 10.30am, (8-11 yrs) 12pm Gallery 3G, Castle Yard

57 Solas Supreme (5 - 12 yrs) 11am-1pm Butler Gallery and Kilkenny Castle Park

children under 12 years must be accompanied by an adult at all times to all PERFORMANCE EVENTS



Sunday Miscellany RTÉ Radio 1


Sunday mornings wouldn’t be the same without RTÉ Radio 1’s Sunday Miscellany. Since 1968, this much-loved programme has captured the ever-shifting moods of the nation: our obsessions and distractions, our dreams and fears and the intimate details of our lives. Now its distinctive mix of essays and poetry, presented on air by their authors and interspersed with music, is coming to Kilkenny. Join a terrific selection of makers, writers and musicians (including John MacKenna, Catherine Foley, Roger Bennett, Catriona Crowe and Catherine Dunne) for a special recording of Sunday Miscellany Live in association with the Year of Craft 2011. Hosted by the programme’s producer, Clíodhna Ní Anluain, this promises to be a memorable evening of words and music.

The Literature strand features two very special Kilkenny events this year: a recording of RTÉ Radio 1’s much-loved Sunday Miscellany from the Watergate Theatre, and a look back at Kilkenny 100 Years Ago with the help of the 1911 Census. The Ireland of today comes under scrutiny as Professor Morgan Kelly, one of the most prescient commentators in recent years, examines ways out of the banking crisis, while in The Great Natural Resources Debate a distinguished panel considers whether Ireland has squandered its natural resources.

Paul Muldoon was a promising young poet when he appeared at the inaugural festival in 1974. Thirty-seven years (and a Pulitzer) later, he makes a long-awaited return in the company of another celebrated Northern Irish poet, Michael Longley. In the majestic surroundings of St Canice’s Cathedral, this will be a moment to savour.

The Watergate Theatre, Parliament Street Friday 5 August 6.30pm Admission €10/€8 Artist: Damien Flood

The environment is on the mind of TC Boyle, one of America’s most prolific and wildly inventive writers, while another great American writer, Tobias Wolff, shares the stage with David Vann. John Banville discusses Benjamin Black with literary critic Michael Wood, while Dermot Healy and Patrick McCabe offer mysterious slices of rural life in the Watergate, and Belinda McKeon, Kevin Barry and Paul Murray demonstrate that the future of Irish fiction is in safe hands.



The Hubert Butler Annual Lecture

PROFESSOR MORGAN KELLY (Ireland) What Happened to Ireland? Introduced by Olivia O’Leary

The Hubert Butler Annual Lecture was established in 2007 to honour the Kilkenny writer, historian and broadcaster whose remarkable consistency of vision and clarity of mind made him unique among essayists and whose work evinced an unsurpassed moral, political and literary integrity. Ireland’s official soothsayer The Irish Times

“On a fateful night in September 2008, the previous government urgently needed some good advice. “Astonishingly,” wrote Richard Tol in The Irish Times, they “knocked on David McWilliams’s door.”

Photo: Nuala Brady

Many people think they should have knocked on Morgan Kelly’s. Since his now-famous article on the property bubble in 2006, Kelly, Professor of Economics at UCD, has been predicting disaster for the Irish economy in a series of (strangely entertaining) articles in The Irish Times. So far, he has been proved all too right, and he hasn’t finished with us yet. In May the man described by the Irish Independent as ‘Dr Doom’ launched another coruscating attack. Describing Central Bank governor Patrick Honohan’s miscalculation of the scale of bank losses as “the costliest mistake ever made by an Irish person”, Professor Kelly declared that Ireland has become “an object of international ridicule” and predicted that, within a year or two, the country will be facing bankruptcy. But there is, he argues, still a way out. Introduced by journalist, writer and current affairs presenter Olivia O’Leary, Professor Kelly tells us where we are, reminds us how we got here, and suggests some ways in which we might begin to dig ourselves out. It’s a rare opportunity to hear, and question, one of our most forthright commentators. We confidently predict a lively evening.

St Canice’s Cathedral Saturday 6 August 6pm Admission €16/€14

McCabe is the real McCoy Russell Hoban

Photo: Dallan Healy

Introduced by Colm Tóibín




This afternoon brings together two very singular writers who follow their own rules. Patrick McCabe’s unique brand of antic black comedy has seen him shortlisted for the Booker Prize twice (for The Butcher Boy and Breakfast on Pluto). His new book, The Stray Sod Country, introduces us to 1950s Cullymore, a town wracked with dark undercurrents and populated by fugitives and oddballs. The versatile poet and novelist Dermot Healy began the year with a nomination for the Irish Times Poetry Prize, and followed it with the launch of his first novel for 11 years, which soon sparked a lively debate in The Irish Times. Long Time, No See pitches young Mr Psyche into the mysterious coastal townland of Ballintra, where the appearance of a bullet hole in Uncle Jo-Jo’s window suggests things are not as peaceful as they seem.

Photo: Aisling O’Sullivan

GERARD SMYTH (Ireland) LEANNE O’SULLIVAN (Ireland) Photo: Karl Smyth

Photo: Karl Smyth

Set Theatre, John Street Saturday 6 August 3.30pm Admission €13/€11

Gerard Smyth has a painstaking eye for the telling detail... in his hands the impact of simplicity is extraordinary Philip Casey [O’Sullivan is] a poet of line, with an eye that follows the line deeper and deeper into the poem Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin

The Parade Tower, Kilkenny Castle Sunday 7 August 11am Admission €13/€11

Dubliner Gerard Smyth and Leanne O’Sullivan, from Co. Cork, have more in common than you might think: both were teenage prodigies. Smyth has been publishing poems since the sixties and his latest collection, The Fullness of Time, celebrates a career that spans over 40 years. Leanne O’Sullivan was once (not so long ago) referred to as a “teenaged Virgil” by former US laureate Billy Collins, and her first two collections have won her the Rooney Prize for Literature and the Lawrence O’Shaughnessy Award.

Photo: National Library of Ireland



KILKENNY 100 YEARS AGO What was life really like a hundred years ago? According to The Irish Times, the 1911 Census revealed a country “racked by economic hardship, blighted by emigration and in the grip of social upheaval.” The population of Kilkenny was declining, with nearly 3,500 people from the county emigrating in the first decade of the century. For those who remained, conditions were harsh: in 111 households across the city, more than five people shared a single room. But it wasn’t all bad news. Thanks to legendary players like Richard ‘Drug’ Walsh, the 1911 All-Ireland hurling championship was won by Kilkenny. To mark the launch of a dedicated Kilkenny section of the 1911 Census website, this special evening brings together a panel of distinguished historians, chaired by Catriona Crowe, to look at life in the city and county of Kilkenny in 1911. From sport to politics, music to art, the panel goes behind the statistics to bring the world of our great-grandparents to life.

Chair Catriona Crowe, National Archives of Ireland, Manager of Irish Census Online. Speakers Paul Rouse, Lecturer in the School of History and Archives in University College Dublin. He has published extensively on the history of Irish sport, particularly the GAA. Mark Duncan, Director of the GAA Oral History project at Boston College-Ireland and a founder of the InQuest Research Group. Nuala O’Connor, documentary director writer and broadcaster. She is a co-director of two independent TV production companies: South Wind Blows and Sibeál Teo. Leeann Lane is Head of Humanities and Irish Studies at Mater Dei Institute of Education. She is the author of Rosamond Jacob: Third Person Singular.

Newpark Hotel Monday 8 August 6pm Admission €13/€11


Photo: Hiroki Kobayashi

Solace is an elegant, consuming and richly inspired novel… a superb debut. This one will last Colum McCann

Photo: Cormac Scully

Introduced by Cormac Kinsella

Skippy Dies is intuitive, truthful and one of the finest comic novels written anywhere. Dies? Never! Skippy lives The Irish Times

The future of Irish fiction comes to Kilkenny in the form of three fresh and exciting young talents, introduced by arts and book publicist, Cormac Kinsella. Journalist and playwright Belinda McKeon’s first novel Solace is “a superb debut” (Colum McCann), while Rooney Prize-winner Kevin Barry has been hailed by Irvine Welsh as “the most arresting and original writer to emerge from these islands in years.” They’re joined by Paul Murray, whose heartbreaking tragicomedy, Skippy Dies, was nominated for practically every major literary prize going last year, from the Man Booker to the National Book Critic Circle’s Prize in the US.

The Parade Tower, Kilkenny Castle Tuesday 9 August 6pm Admission €13/€11

Since the first stone tools were chipped into shape two million years ago, mankind has understood the attraction of objects, whether as tools, as offerings, as symbols or as wealth. Even in our virtual age, anyone who has watched the Antiques Roadshow or tuned into BBC Radio 4’s A History of the World in 100 Objects knows that our fascination with objects is stronger than ever. But do objects still have meaning in the digital world, and should we value something simply because it is old? As part of the Year of Craft 2011, join Fintan O’Toole, author of The Irish Times series ‘A History of Ireland in 100 Objects’, to explore the enduring appeal of objects. From a Stone Age mace head to the silver tea urns of Georgian Dublin, The Power of the Object asks what artefacts have to tell us about our ancestors, our history and ourselves . As WG Sebald wrote: “Things know more about us than we know about them.”

The Parade Tower, Kilkenny Castle Tuesday 9 August 8pm Admission €13/€11

Spool presents

The Power of the Object


and special guest



[Kevin Barry’s City of Bohane is] an electrifying masterpiece Joseph O’Connor



Introduced by Colm Tóibín

There isn’t a contemporary American writer who can top Boyle’s vivid prose and ironic style Newsweek

“It bubbles, or should I say Boyles, with life, language, comedy, energy and other forms of weirdness,” wrote Salman Rushdie, of TC Boyle’s first novel. Boyle’s work has been bubbling with comedy and weirdness ever since. Whether imagining the lives of great American egomaniacs like Frank Lloyd Wright, or conjuring memorable monsters of his own, Boyle has been celebrated for his coruscating satirical bite and oddball characters. His new novel, When the Killing’s Done, dramatises the conflict between environmental campaigners and biologists in the California Channel Islands. His appearance at Kilkenny is sure to be a festival highlight.

The Parade Tower, Kilkenny Castle Wednesday 10 August 6pm Admission €13/€11

THE GREAT NATURAL RESOURCES DEBATE As Shell begins the final phase of the Corrib gas project, a panel of distinguished speakers debate the pros and cons of Ireland’s energy policy. How have we handled our natural resources since independence? Has the best use been made of them, or have we squandered precious opportunities to maximise our return? If so, is it too late to do anything about it?

Chair Fintan O’Toole, Assistant Editor of The Irish Times, and author of Ship of Fools and Enough is Enough. Speakers Frank Connolly, Head of Communications with SIPTU. As a journalist his investigations into corruption contributed to the establishment of the Flood/ Mahon and Morris tribunals, and as executive director of the CPI he wrote the 2005 report on the Great Corrib Gas Controversy. Stein Bredal, former full-time trade union official in Statoil, and member of the Board of Directors of Statoil, the Norwegian state oil company. Amanda Slevin, currently conducting research on the Irish state’s management of its gas and oil as a PhD candidate with the School of Sociology in UCD. Colm Rapple, veteran Irish journalist who has written extensively on the natural resources issue.

The Parade Tower, Kilkenny Castle Wednesday 10 August 8pm Admission €13/€11

Photo: Pablo Campos


one of the most inventive and verbally exuberant writers of his generation New York Times

Lucid, funny, sad, never knowingly overstated, [Wolff’s] best stories are small miracles of writerly technique The Guardian Caribou Island gives us a climax as haunting and realized as any in recent fiction San Francisco Chronicle

“Great”, wrote Simon Baker in The Spectator, “is an overused word but Tobias Wolff justifies it.” From award-winning memoirs to acclaimed short stories and novels, including The Barracks Thief, which won the Pen/Faulkner Award, Wolff demonstrates his mastery of style and his unswerving commitment to truth in all its hidden, nuanced forms. As The Guardian put it: “once you’ve entered Wolff’s world, you never really leave.” Since bringing his devastating collection Legends of a Suicide to Kilkenny last year, David Vann has become the second most famous Alaskan. Now he returns with Caribou Island; “a book so amazingly gripping,” wrote Rachel Cooke in The Observer, “I kept reading even while chopping shallots.”

The Watergate Theatre, Parliament Street Thursday 11 August 6pm Admission €13/€11

John Banville writing as

Benjamin Black


Interviewed by Michael Wood Christine Falls was the most artful noir mystery in years; The Silver Swan is better Los Angeles Times Elegy for April is a novel that transcends any limitation of genre The Irish Times Photo: Barry McCall

Photo: Diana Matar

Photo: Elena Seibert

Introduced by Colm Tóibín




Benjamin Black is the author of a string of bestselling crime novels featuring Garret Quirke, a gruff and permanently-hungover pathologist struggling with a heavy case load in foggy fifties Dublin. The first volume, Christine Falls, was a finalist for the LA Times Book Prize, and the series has won as much praise for the elegance of its writing as for the intricacies of its plots. A reclusive figure who rarely ventures beyond Dublin, Black has reluctantly agreed to venture down to Kilkenny for a rare interview with literary critic Michael Wood. Come along to hear about the latest Quirke installment, A Death in Summer, and to find out what Black really thinks of other writers. ‘Benjamin Black’ is the alter ego of internationally-acclaimed author John Banville. His novels have won numerous awards, including the Man Booker Prize for The Sea and the Franz Kafka Prize. He has never given a dull interview. Michael Wood teaches English and Comparative Literature at Princeton University. He has written books on Stendhal, Nabokov, Buñuel, Kafka and García Márquez, and is a regular contributor to the London Review of Books and the New York Review of Books.

The Parade Tower, Kilkenny Castle Friday 12 August 6pm Admission €13/€11

This event and Alessandro Taverna (p.12) for €27

The last time Francisco Goldman appeared at the festival in 2008, he read from The Art of Political Murder, an award-winning work of non-fiction that told a harrowing story of murder and cover-ups in the aftermath of Guatemala’s civil war. This time Goldman returns with a far more personal work: a novel that explores the tragedy in his own life. In the summer of 2007, Goldman’s young wife Aura Estrada died from injuries sustained in a surfing accident on a beach in Mexico. Blamed for Aura’s death by her family, and blaming himself, Goldman wanted to die too. Instead he wrote Say Her Name - a beautiful love story about Aura and his life with her, and a transcendent act of remembrance. “So remarkable is this resurrection,” wrote Dwight Garner in The New York Times, “that at times I felt the book itself had a pulse.”

The Parade Tower, Kilkenny Castle Saturday 13 August 2pm Admission €13/€11

PAUL MULDOON (N. Ireland) MICHAEL LONGLEY(N. Ireland) Introduced by Olivia O’Leary

Photo: Kelvin Boyes

l∆terature reading this book is to stand in front of a blow-torch, to take a farrier’s rasp to raw nerve ends. Say Her Name is wrenching, funny, powerful, and beautiful Annie Proulx


Photo: Oliver Morris

Photo: Pia Elizondo


Muldoon … has an ear as industrious and alert as that of any poet working in the language today.” The Irish Times

In 1974, the inaugural Kilkenny Arts Festival welcomed two young, tousle-haired northern poets. One of them was Seamus Heaney, the other was Paul Muldoon. Muldoon has been described as “the most significant English-language poet born since the Second World War” (The Times Literary Supplement) and his acclaimed new collection, Maggot, adds to a body of work that has already garnered the TS Eliot Prize, the European Prize for Poetry and a Pulitzer.

A Hundred Doors … reaffirms [Michael Longley’s] place in the trio of outstanding Irish poets of the past half-century The London Times

“If I knew where poems came from, I’d go there,” Michael Longley once observed. In recent years he has found his way there time and again in a burst of creativity that includes the award-winning collections Gorse Fires and The Weather in Japan. His most recent collection, A Hundred Doors, has an intimate feel, with poems dedicated to his grandchildren, his father, and his wife. “These poems are like talismans;” wrote Kate Kellaway in The Observer, “you want to learn them off by heart.”

This event and the Festival Choir and Orchestra (p.13) for €32

St Canice’s Cathedral Saturday 13 August 6pm Admission €13/€11

CLAIRE KEEGAN (Ireland) JANICE GALLOWAY(UK) [Keegan is] a rarity… someone I’ll always want to read Richard Ford Galloway is a literary endoscopist. She gets beneath the surface of life and exposes the nerves The London Independent



Photo: Graham Jepson, Writers Pictures

Spool presents

The short story, VS Pritchett once wrote, is “exquisitely difficult”. Fortunately, Janice Galloway and Claire Keegan, two acknowledged masters of the form, are coming to Kilkenny to share some of its secrets. Claire Keegan’s first collection, Antarctica, won The Rooney Prize for Irish Literature, while her second, Walk the Blue Fields, was described by Joseph O’Connor as a “stunningly accomplished” book that “locates her amongst the greatest practitioners of the short story form now writing.” In 2010 her story ‘Foster’ won the Davy Byrnes Irish Writing Award, and an expanded version was published by Faber earlier this year. Janice Galloway is one of Scotland’s “most gifted and original writers” (The Times Literary Supplement). Her first novel, The Trick is to Keep Breathing, is widely regarded as a contemporary classic, while her memoir This Is Not About Me garnered universal acclaim. Her short stories merge “a nerve-exposing honesty with deep compassion.” (The Scotsman)

The Parade Tower, Kilkenny Castle Sunday 14 August 12pm Admission €13/€11

Faber Academy Dublin Courses

Working on the first draft of a novel or a collection of new poems, what you need most is practical, tailored advice from great writers, and the support of people who share your passion. Faber Academy offers just that – in the heart of literary Dublin. Join course directors Éilís Ní Dhuibhne, James Ryan and Paul Perry, with guests like Hugo Hamilton, Dermot Healy and Anne Enright, for ‘Writing a Novel’ and ‘Becoming a Poet’, and find your voice with the Faber Academy.

To make a booking or for more information, contact Fiona on or +44 (0)20 7927 3868 For full course listings visit

42 Josephine Kelliher curator

v∆sual Art Visiting artists’ studios is one of the privileges of being a curator. In the studio one can observe the purposeful decisions artists make; reflect on their intense scrutiny; their tenacity in making and remaking, painting out and painting over, until that point when they decide to lay down their tools. A painting is never finished – it simply stops in interesting places Paul Gardner

Ann Craven’s reworking and re-presenting of stock subject matter makes her dark paintings, and their mirror twins, profoundly affecting. Nick Miller’s film offers a view of the progress of artist and sitter in the making of a single painting. Jacco Olivier’s monumental projections register painted images at various stages, altering the scale and the nature of mark-making. Great things are done by a series of small things brought together Vincent Van Gogh

I have also invited David Beattie, Maria McKinney, Michael Thomas Murphy and Liam O’Callaghan to make very specific pieces in some of the architecturally intriguing and hidden spaces of this medieval city. These works are variously playful, transcendent, elegiac, contemplative and surprising, and all are knit together by these artists’ singular vision of the possibilities of plain things. I want to thank the artists.

Roses (Black and White) 2010 Oil on linen, 152.5 x 122cm

Roses (Black and White, Mirrored) 2010 Oil on linen, 152.5 x 122cm

ANN CRAVEN (US) You don’t need a press release to tell you that Craven’s subject isn’t roses at all, it’s the fleeting nature of everything: art, memory, life The New Yorker, June 2010

Ann Craven is an artist whose work features recurring subjects such as flowers, birds and the moon. Working in watercolours and oil, she uses these media as a laboratory of psychological exploration, producing works that communicate by means of vibrant colour and virtuosic execution. She began painting roses some years ago, approaching the subject with a deep, intuitive connection to the symbolism of the rose. In her current series of nearly black-and-white paintings, each work is painted from life and then copied as if seen in a mirror, reversing right and left. Seen together – the originals and the reversals – they raise fascinating questions about perception, repetition and difference. Craven’s roses immerse the viewer in a dramatic world of changing perception, while her continual reworking of her images becomes, as Katie Sonnenborn in Frieze Magazine wrote, a “compelling project” that “engages the most pressing issues of today’s art world, including questions of consumption, collection, authenticity, value and skill.” Ann Craven is based in New York. Recent exhibitions include Prague Biennial, Czech Republic; Maccarone Gallery, New York; La Fondation d’entreprise Ricard, Paris; Galerie Forsblom, Helsinki; Vilma Gold, London; Karma International, Zurich and Conduits, Milan. Kilkenny Arts Festival is pleased to present this artist’s first project in Ireland.

Castle Yard Studio Mon-Sat 10am-7pm Sun 10am-6pm

In this multimedia piece Nick Miller draws our attention to the tradition of the reclining nude in art. Taking his lead from the canon of reclining Venuses from Titian to Manet, Miller replaces the traditional female object of desire with a matter-of-fact male presence, exploring issues of exposure and modesty. The accompanying film, set to ‘Trumpet Vibe Cello Piano’ by Kevin Volans (an internationally-celebrated composer known for his work with artists such as William Kentridge and Jurgen Partenheimer), offers an intimate view of the collaboration between artist and sitter, and the process and practice of applying paint. Nick Miller is a painter, based in Co. Sligo, who exhibits regularly in Ireland, Europe and the USA. This year he showed at Concord Art Association in Massachusetts and is currently in a group exhibition at The Douglas Hyde Gallery entitled Interlude (Aspects of Irish landscape painting). His work, whether in landscape or in portraiture, is always concerned with ‘being there’ and his paintings are directly engaged with the presence of the subject. Kilkenny Arts Festival is pleased to present these related works for the first time in Ireland.

The Heritage Council, Church Lane Mon-Thurs 9am-5.30pm Friday 9am-5pm, Sat & Sun 12-5pm


(The Netherlands)

Dutch artist Jacco Olivier fuses painting and filmmaking, continually reworking his paintings with generous, casual brushstrokes and photographing each stage of their development. The stages are then combined into projected animations that are both enigmatic and experiential. His recent work has eschewed intimacy in favour of large-scale works closer to the language of painting than that of animation. This shift in scale brings to the fore the viewer’s relationship to the work as an object, adding a spatial and physical dimension to the viewing experience.


V∆sual Art


Revolution (2010), HD animation 24 minutes, courtesy of the artist.

Jacco Olivier lives and works in Amsterdam. This year he showed at Galerie Thomas Schulte, Berlin and Ron Mandos, Amsterdam and in 2010 he had solo exhibitions at the Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York; Victoria Miro Gallery, London; Blaffer Gallery, University of Houston, Texas and the Centro de Arte Contemporaneo de Caja de Burgos, Spain. His work featured in the 8th SITE Santa Fe Biennial: The Dissolve in 2010-11. Kilkenny Arts Festival is pleased to present this artist’s first large-scale project in Ireland. The curator thanks Ron Mandos Gallery.

Painting Patrick: after Olympia and Venus, 2011. Film still courtesy of the artist.

Kilkenny City Courthouse, Parliament Street Mon-Fri 10am-6pm Sat 10.30am-6pm, Sun 12-6pm



V∆sual Art

David Beattie is an artist who encourages a sense of curiosity and exploration in his act of displacing quotidian objects, playfully welcoming new links and connections to be made between foreign ‘things’. With Transmitter (2010), installed in the rarely-seen Monuments Room at St Mary’s Hall, the artist investigates lunar exploration through a series of found objects and radar devices. In 1946 Project Diana was the first attempt to ‘touch’ another celestial body outside of Earth by bouncing radio signals off the surface of the moon. Through Transmitter Beattie explores this process of physical investigation; a human desire to reaffirm their place in the world while at the same time searching for something beyond the physical self.

Transmitter (detail), 2010. Image courtesy of the artist.

David Beattie received an MA in Visual Art Practices from Dun Laoghaire IADT in 2006. Solo shows include Temple Bar Gallery & Studios, Dublin (2011); RUA RED, Dublin (2011); Mattress Factory Art Museum, Pittsburgh, USA (2010); Mercer Union Centre for Contemporary Art, Toronto, Canada (2010).

Monuments Room, St Mary’s Hall Mon-Sun 11am-6pm

MARIA McKINNEY (Ireland) Maria McKinney is concerned with ideas of boredom and escapism. She works with familiar objects and materials such as the products or tools of mass consumption; her work aims to draw out an underlying significance through a systematic process of intervention. She considers the physicality of the chosen items as well as their habitual use or purpose. The result is an engrossing enquiry into the ways in which we choose to fill our time with distraction and recreation.

Horny Grids (detail), 2009. Image courtesy of the artist.

Rothe House, Parliament Street Mon-Sat 10.30am-6pm, Sun 12-6pm

Maria McKinney received a BA from University of Ulster in 2005. Solo shows include Mermaid Arts Centre, Wicklow (upcoming November 2011); The Lab, Dublin (2010) and Context Gallery, Derry and Ballina Arts Centre, Co. Mayo (both in 2008).


Michael Thomas Murphy received an MA in Fine Art from Chelsea College of Art in 2009. Recent shows include Trompe Le Monde, curated by Mary Conlon (2011); Occupy Space, Limerick City (2011); and the panopticon, as well (2010), curated by Jason Wait for the 4th Biennial of Young Artists in Bucharest.


V∆sual Art

Michael Thomas Murphy’s work is multidimensional and multi-layered. The practice incorporates many materials including metal, wood, vinyl, acrylic and paper, which then undergo radical, material-based transformations often deploying flocked surfaces, glitter-encased rocks and reflective pools, to name only a few of his idiosyncratic approaches. The resulting works are derived from iconic influences and mythological narratives which create a meaningful – yet decidedly playful – dialogue between idea and media. His works relate specifically to the spaces they inhabit; seemingly small gestures and accents have the effect of radically altering the nature of places.

what’s the matter with you, 2010. Image courtesy of the artist.

Kenealy’s Art Shop, 25 Lower Patrick Street Mon-Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 12-5pm

LIAM O’CALLAGHAN (Ireland) Liam O’Callaghan is “a notably inventive and resourceful artist” (The Irish Times) whose playful – even satirical – installations, sculptures and photographs expose the methods or mechanics in their construction and challenge the viewer to construct meanings beyond their constituent parts. Bit Symphony is an audio-visual installation constructed from old record players, each one reconfigured to play a specific fragment of music. The result is an extraordinary, immersive experience that fills the rarely-seen Muniments Room at Kilkenny Castle with an evolving symphony of sound. Liam O’Callaghan studied at Dun Laoghaire IADT until 1990. Solo shows include Temple Bar Gallery & Studios, Dublin (upcoming November 2011) and RascheRipken Gallery, Berlin, Germany (2009). He is an invited artist Bit Symphony (detail), 2009. Image courtesy of the artist. at Dublin Contemporary 2011.

Muniments Room, Kilkenny Castle Mon-Sun 9am-5pm

Brunch with the artists

If you like this then check out Drums Off Chaos, featuring vinyl soundscapes from turntable artist Philip Jeck. See p.26 for details

Join the artists for a free, informal brunch on Saturday 6 August from 11.30 to 2pm in Cleere’s. There’ll be an opportunity to meet the artists, and to hear them discuss their work with special guests including curator Hugh Mulholland, art critic Gemma Tipton and journalist and playwright John Waters. This event is ticketed. To book call the Festival box office.



V∆sual Art 2

IAN BURNS Supreme Fiction

Ian Burns is an internationally-renowned, New York-based Australian artist, who studied both as an engineer and an artist. Burns’s sculptures and installations investigate the expectations of art viewing with wry humor and audience-engaging invention. Referencing high and low culture with equal zeal they produce events, displays and cinema via everyday household objects. Burns brings the power cables out from behind the couch and combines them with the fluff of the 6pm news into an aesthetic whole, creating systems reflective of the anthropological mayhem born of globalization, technological seductions and ideas of what constitutes good taste in kitchenware. Burns’s works elicit unforgettable images that blur the boundaries between hope and negation, laughter and frustration. Ian Burns has exhibited extensively and has had solo exhibitions in the USA, Australia, Spain, Ireland and Austria. His work is included in major public and private collections worldwide. He is represented by mother’s tankstation. © Ian Burns. Glacier, 2008. Courtesy mother’s tankstation

Butler Gallery, The Castle, Kilkenny 6 August - 9 October, 10am-5.30pm daily Opening Saturday 6 August 3-5pm

Butler Gallery Education, Kilkenny Arts Festival Solas Supreme Outdoor children’s workshops Butler Gallery and Kilkenny Castle Park Monday 8 - Friday 12 August 11am-1pm 5 - 12 years. €5 per child Outdoor workshops using household objects to create fantastical sculptures. Booking essential. Call the Festival box office on 056 775 2175.

Supreme Criticism: Young Critics’ Panel Discussion Butler Gallery Friday 12 August 3pm-5pm Free Meet the critics (16-19 year olds) at this informal discussion event, or read the reviews of their experiences on https://redsquarekibosh. Email or call 056 7761106 for more information and to join the group. Join the Butler Gallery on Facebook/butlergallery for more information about exhibitions and events.


Kilkenny County Council Arts Office is thrilled to present this joint exhibition of ceramics and glass from two emerging Irish makers: Rachel Dickson and Alison Lowry. Although working in different media, they are both interested in using the object or personal possession to examine memory, remembrance and loss.


Rachel’s work consists of porcelain, paper clay and paper, constructing garments which also contain personal narrative. Like Rachel, Alison’s work uses items of clothing, imagery and objects to explore memory from the perspective of a mother, recreating garments and vessels using pate-de-verre and cast glass.


Vessels of Memory previewed in Craft NI in Belfast during October 2010. During 2011 the show will tour various venues within Ireland and the UK. For more information on upcoming shows: or


Vessels of Memory

V∆sual Art 2


Kilkenny County Council Arts Office Gallery, 76 John Street Exhibition continues until 5 September Festival opening hours: Mon-Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 7 & 14 August 11am-5pm Launch Celebration: Sat 6 August 1.30pm

Maeve Coulter, Sylvia Hemmingway, Emma Hogan, Alé Mercado & Aiseling Noone We Are All In This Together

Kilkenny County Council Arts Office is also thrilled to present an exhibition of fine art prints. This exhibition is celebrating the launch (and is the inaugural show from full-time members) of Blackstack Studio, Kilkenny’s new fine art print studio. For the duration of Kilkenny Arts Festival the studio also invites the public for print demos and short workshops. For details on these please check

Watergate Theatre, Parliament Street, Mon-Fri 10am-6pm Sat 2pm-6pm, Sun one hour prior to show Blackstack Studio: for details and studio opening hours please check Exhibition continues until 19 August

48 ANGELA O’KELLY curator

craft Modified Expression Tear, fold, cut, read, write, print, and colour: Modified Expression, this year’s CRAFT strand exhibition, is all about books. I invited an exciting mix of emerging and established artists whose work is inspired by the written word, or by the binding and recycling of books and paper, to respond to the work of the authors participating in the LITERATURE strand of the festival. The artists have responded with a breathtaking range of techniques, manipulating and experimenting with all aspects of the authors’ recent works, from the text itself to the structure and binding, the paper, the print and the illustrations. Featuring calligraphic text, deconstructed books, intricately hand-cut paper, and recycled and re-sculptured works, Modified Expression is a fascinating collection of artworks that demonstrates each artist’s personal interpretation of the texts, transforming literary works into visual ones and creating powerful new forms of expression.

National Craft Gallery, Castle Yard 6 August - 12 October Festival opening hours: Mon-Sat 10am-5.30pm Sun 11am-5.30pm Exhibition opening Sat 6 August 4pm

Talks, workshops and events Artists’ Talk Angela O’Kelly will introduce an artists’ talk at 3pm on Saturday 6 August in the National Craft Gallery. Workshops Join Rachel Hazell in Gallery 1 for free interactive bookbinding activities based on the 1911 Kilkenny Census. Drop by throughout the day on Saturday 6, Sunday 7 and Monday 8 August (10am-5.30pm, Sunday 11am-5.30pm). Explore the art of bookmaking, shadow puppetry, jewellerymaking, origami and ancient papermaking techniques in the Crafts Council’s free Paper Craft Laboratory for children in the Castle Yard on Tuesday 9, Wednesday 10 and Thursday 11 August (2-4pm). To book call the Crafts Council on 056 779 6151. Reading Join us for a glass of wine in the company of festival musicians and writers for an informal celebration of the Year of Craft 2011 in the National Craft Gallery on Sunday 7 August at 6pm.

BECKY ADAMS (UK) “I work in the realm of textiles and book art, combining stitched paper, vintage fabrics, diary extracts and antique ephemera to create a tactile link to past experience. My work is rich with a handmade aesthetic and explores the connections between textile and text.”


“It is said that nothing is new; everything has already been done. But traditional methods of creation can be transformed by experiment. Experiment and chance fascinate me! Chance often becomes the animating spirit of artistic solutions.”



LES BICKNELL (UK) CLAIRE BREWSTER (UK) “Using old maps, atlases and other found paper, I create beautiful, delicate and intricate threedimensional paper cuts of flowers, birds and insects. My inspiration comes from nature and the urban environment in which I live and a desire to re-use the discarded, unwanted and obsolete.”

The book, a symbol of power and knowledge, is a vehicle for communication. Repositioning its context and redirecting its purpose challenges these notions. The work becomes a question rather than an answer, a collaboration between maker and reader/viewer that questions. These bookworks explore the idea of form as content and their manipulation enables multiple narratives, creating a space in which to connect, look, listen, and consider.

TRACEY BUSH (UK) DENIS BROWN (Ireland) Denis Brown’s work stems from ancient traditions of manuscript writing. His experimental work explodes from, and extends traditions of, calligraphy in the form of innovative works of art. Widely travelled with his work, he has lectured on four continents, and is internationally recognized as a world leader in the field of Letter Arts.

“For many years I made scrapbooks, collections of ephemera that I could not throw away. These books have now emerged as lepidoptera; butterflies and moths, ancient symbols of transformation. Each moth or butterfly is sewn together from layers of paper using a bookbinder’s pamphlet stitch. They are then pinned out using entomological pins. Butterflies are amongst the first indicators of environmental change and these works highlight their frailty and diversity.”




“The richness and depth of the book is universally respected yet the form remains linear in a non-linear world. By altering physical forms of information and shifting preconceived functions, new and unexpected roles emerge. This is the area I operate in. Through meticulous excavation or concise alteration I edit books, maps, tapes and other media, transforming the medium’s role and recontextualizing its content to draw out new meanings.”

REBECCA COLES (UK) “I am fascinated with the transformation of flat sheets of paper into three-dimensional decorative forms. Each profile is hand cut from carefully-selected paper, recycling a medium that would otherwise be discarded and lost. I dissect images in order to examine the original form, reshaping small details of colour, imagery and text that are then re-sculptured.”


RACHEL HAZELL (UK) Rachel Hazell is unceasing in her pursuit of good narrative, finding stories in the simplest things and revelling in complex, repetitive structures. Her work is minimalist and sculptural, while continuing to align with a literary past. This travelling bookbinder believes everyone has a book inside them.

Anna S King is a fibre artist. The craft of making, traditionally thought of as “women’s work”, is never a burden for King: she creates with a humility which, paradoxically, is both highly skilled and outwardly simple. She carries forward these handed-down traditions, re-interpreting these skills into something complex and enigmatic. She invokes allusions – Scottish, historical and classical – weaving them into her work, as well as engaging all the senses; thus each piece is imbued with metaphor.





“I create finely-worked sculptural baskets, using natural fibres and recycled materials. My work is inspired by naturally-occurring forms, Irish folklore, architecture, vessels and movement, with pieces named in Irish, Welsh, English or scientifically. I am conscious of environmental issues and set out to make work which does not have a negative impact on the natural world.”

“I use a simple technique – to cut out. A cut is something definite: there is no way back. Each hole is a window to the world of imagination. Perhaps they are visual strainers: meaning travels through the frame of each cut-out. Find your space and fill your mind! This is my offer to the viewer. My works cast a shadow on the wall to remind you what they are – a space between your thought and another.”


Ferry Staverman makes objects from different types of cardboard. In the past he used cardboard only for research, but when he accidentally cut a shape from cardboard scraps he realized the possibilities of this simple method. In a short time he has created a whole world of objects in cardboard, finding inspiration in nature, in the difference between male and female, and in Palace Het Loo, a hunting lodge near his home town of Apeldoorn.

THURLE WRIGHT (Zimbabwe/UK) Thurle Wright’s delicate paper reconstructions use old school atlases and encyclopaedias, textbooks, dictionaries, newspapers, catalogues and storybooks. Interested in the systems and structures of language, the ordering of knowledge and the storing of words, Thurle cuts, folds, weaves and stitches lines of words into a new visual format, always related to her sense of the text.

A vision for education A focus for pupils As part of the Heritage Council's commitment to education, the Heritage in Schools scheme provides a window on the world for primary school children. In 2010 alone, 111,662 pupils benefited from 1,500 school visits, experiencing the cultural, natural and social heritage that is all around them. It's very simple. Primary school teachers can invite any of 165 heritage specialists to visit their school to work directly with children. But why wait? Visit and explore a range of fascinating 'investigations', with all the resources you need for enjoyable learning and exploration. Open your eyes to the Heritage in Schools Scheme. Focus your pupils with Heritage in Schools Administrator, Professional Development Unit, INTO, 35 Parnell Square, Dublin 1. e. | t. 01 804 7702



Mary Cody Sky, Stones, Sea


Grennan Mill Craft School has long been associated with the Kilkenny Arts Festival and this year is delighted to host 6 Artists in the converted grain lofts of the mill and in the Mill Yard. Located across six floors in the unique ambience that is Grennan Mill, the six individual exhibitions each show an Mill Street Thomastown exciting range of new work in a wide 6 - 14 August variety of media, including painting, photography, leather craft, felting, 10am-6pm batik and furniture-making.

MADE IN KILKENNy MADE in Kilkenny is a network of 28 of the finest craftspeople based in Kilkenny City and County. To mark the Year of Craft 2011, this year’s exhibition – A Maker’s Journey: from inspiration to creation – traces each craftsperson’s own process of design, exploring the different elements they take into consideration to produce a finished piece. There are many different craft disciplines within the group, and each one will bring a new perspective to the design process.

Butler House 16 Upper Patrick Street 5 - 14 August, 10am-6pm

Larch Café Callan Co. Kilkenny 5 - 12 August Tues - Fri 9.30am-4pm

Inspired by famous beauty spots and buildings in the Irish landscape, Mary Cody constructs her images by layering a variety of materials such as watercolours, coloured pencils and ink.

other selections



The Empty Heart of the Neanderthal and Other Works An exhibition of recent sculpture work by five studio artists, comprising a range of materials such as stone, clay, wood, and mixed media.

The Long Hall The Workhouse Callan, Co. Kilkenny 5 - 14 August 10.30am-4pm

COMMONAGE Now in its second year, COMMONAGE is a five-year architectural research project exploring the potential for future development to be measured in qualitative rather than quantitative terms. COMMONAGE 2011 includes temporary built structures by artists, designers and architects. The COMMONAGE Seminar (6 August) is a parallel programme examining ideas around collective building and ‘the commons’. Funded by the Arts Council, Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, Create and LEADER.

Callan, Co. Kilkenny, 23 July - 14 August For full details see:


other selections



Votive: given or dedicated in the fulfilment of vow or pledge

Lucy McKenna is a Kilkenny artist working in multimedia, including painting, drawing, film, photography and installation. The Darker Wood, an installation in Kilkenny Castle Park, developed from a residency she undertook on Toronto Island, Canada, in 2010 and draws on the history of the island and on fairytales to explore the darker side of the human psyche.

“Votive Offerings presents the results of two years’ work with sheet bronze. The collection is a fulfilment of a personal pledge. My method is to draw from nature, observing changes that occur from one season to another. This process finds its way into my sculpture. Initially, an idea may be conceived and worked, change happens organically, either consciously or subconsciously. Then a process of adding and stripping away occurs until the final form reveals itself. All the pieces are unique.”

Kilkenny Castle Park 8.30am-8pm

Berkeley Gallery Thomastown 6 - 16 August, 11am-6pm



Although primarily known as a portrait artist, Daithí Ó hUallacháin’s work is changing. Confined to a particular space due to bi-polar disorder, his love of figurative art and portraiture developed in that environment. Now that his immediate surroundings have changed, so too has his work. There is a new air of light and vibrancy in his imagery. His recent pieces are a celebration of life.

Corridor to the Butler Gallery, Kilkenny Castle 5 - 14 August, 10am-5.30pm

Form a Line is an exhibition of work by ceramicist Andrew Ludick and painter Ross Stewart. “A common thread which runs through our work is the prominent use of line, whether it’s used to accent abstract shapes, divide colours, define subtle forms or hold its own space on a canvas or clay form. We hope to show just how interesting and beautiful forming a line can be.”

Castle Yard Studio Kilkenny 4 - 14 August


Hot Glass Divas is a group exhibition Stoneyford of Irishwomen working in the medium Co. Kilkenny of hot glass. To celebrate the Year of 4 - 31 August Craft 2011, this exhibition showcases Mon - Sat work from both up-and-coming 10am-6pm artists like Karen Donnellan and Sun 12pm-5pm internationally-renowned names such as Paula Stokes, Caroline Madden and Róisín de Buitléar. Don’t miss the exciting glassblowing demonstrations!

Ceann 2011 is an exhibition that celebrates contemporary art through print, paint and stone. These components are brought together by a writer, architects, sculptors and painters to create a visual feast which contrasts with the historic setting of Shankill Castle. Mixing local and international artists, Ceann 2011 highlights both the differences and the similarities between the artists.


other selections


Shankill Castle Paulstown, Co. Kilkenny 5 - 14 August Daily 10am-5pm (except 5 & 7 August, 2pm-6pm) 23 July - 14 August The Workhouse and other locations around Callan, Co. Kilkenny

THE WORKHOUSE TEST The Workhouse Test is an independent, artist-led project space in Callan. The Trans Formidable is a collaborative project that aims to establish links with international art spaces. A number of artist-led initiatives were invited to present lensbased work by associated artists. These works will be on display throughout Callan, with The Workhouse Test acting as the nerve centre.

BLACKBIRD GALLERY The Blackbird Gallery presents a selection of works by three emerging artists. Since his first solo exhibition at the Festival in 1991, William Grace has earned a national reputation for his paintings of the rural landscape. Ken Browne’s paintings offer a unique approach to landscape, exploring human emotions and the subconscious. Kathleen Holohan’s new work examines the way in which clothes are imbued with emotion and loaded with resonance.

18 William Street, Kilkenny 6 - 14 August, Open daily 11am-6.30pm




Author and Backwards Speller Extraordinaire! Age 7-12 years

David Donohue started spelling backwards when he was neves and never looked kcab. He has published three books about his backwards-spelling hero, Walter Speazlebud, and has taught children to spell backwards from The Parade Tower, Kilkenny Castle London to Los Angeles. He may be a bit yzarc but there’s one thing for sure, David Donohue is the best backwards-speller in the dlrow! Saturday 6 August

1pm & 3pm Admission €8 Approx. 60 minutes Storytelling workshop 10am Admission €8 approx. 120 minutes

What happens, what happens next, and then what happens? A storytelling workshop for kids If you want to try writing your own exciting yrots, why not join David’s storytelling workshop?

Joe Brennan (Ireland)

STAR BOY Age 2½ years and upwards

Ormonde Hotel Wednesday 10 & Thursday 11 August 12pm & 2.30pm Admission €8 Approx. 30 minutes


written by Eoin Colfer Directed by Liam Halligan Performed by Aileen Mythen and Iseult Golden

A small boy. A box. A big adventure. Star Boy is the delightful tale of a small boy who loves to explore. As he is falling asleep one night he sees a shooting star and decides to go in search of it. His quest to capture the star takes him through the dark woods, over and under the sea and finally into space. But does he get his star? Star Boy is an early years theatre performance by Joe Brennan produced with the support of Donegal County Council Arts Office and An Grianán Theatre.

Age 7 years and upwards

Co-produced by Wexford Arts Centre, Bewley’s Café Theatre and Black Stair Productions

Approx. 60 minutes

Eight-year-old Mary is getting ready for the biggest day of her life: her first Holy Communion. It ought to be a special day, but Majella Barnes seems determined to ruin it. With her teacher oblivious to her plight, and her mother worn down with other worries, can Mary find a way through her ordeal? Eoin Colfer, author of the internationally-bestselling Artemis Fowl series, takes an honest, unsentimental look at growing up. Moving, magical and hilarious, Holy Mary is a must-see for children, adults, and anyone who’s ever had to face their own Majella Barnes.

Photo: Toshi Sakauchi

The Watergate Theatre Parliament Street Friday 12 August & Saturday 13 August 11am & 1.30pm Admission €8

a brilliant live band; they really get the crowd going The Irish Times


Age 6 years and upwards

The Amazing Few are the masters of feel-good frenzy, dancing, and general mayhem. With more energy than a herd of wild wombats, their ‘Watch the Day Glow’ shows are exciting, interactive and fun, and – best of all – feature balloons, bubbles, and anything else that goes POP!

WORKSHOPS Solas Supreme Butler Gallery and Kilkenny Castle Park Monday 8 - Friday 12 August 11am-1pm 5-12 years. €5 per child. Limited Availability



Weird and wonderful The Metro

Ormonde Hotel Sunday 14 August 4pm Admission €8 Approx.75 minutes

Paper Craft Laboratory Castle Yard Tuesday 9 - Thursday 11 August 2pm-4pm. 6-12 years. Free

Outdoor workshops using household objects to create humorous sculptures. Booking essential. Call the Festival box office on 056 775 2175.

Explore the art of bookmaking, shadow puppetry, jewellery-making, origami and ancient papermaking techniques in our paper art workshops for children. Develop your own shadow puppet theatre with children’s writer David Donohue and visual artist Victoria Cody, re-imagine Irish origami with Sabrina Meyns and build 3D paper sculptures with Caroline Ryan.

Laoise O’Brien & Lorna Donlon’s birdsong workshop

Booking essential. Call the Crafts Council on 056 779 6151.

Gallery 3G, Castle Yard Friday 12 - Sunday 14 August (5-7 years) 10.30am, (8-11 years) 12 noon Free Approx.60 minutes Ever wondered why a recorder is called a recorder? Ever wondered what birds are singing about? These workshops by musician Laoise O’Brien and visual artist Lorna Donlon explore the relationship between music and the creative arts. Come and explore facts and folklore about birds and the materials used in Lorna’s exhibition. Booking essential. Call the Festival box office on 056 775 2175.

Bookbinding with Rachel Hazell National Craft Gallery, Castle Yard Saturday 6 - Monday 8 August 10am-5.30pm (Sunday 11am-5.30pm). Free Join bookbinder and artist Rachel Hazell for interactive bookbinding and paper-folding activities based on the 1911 Kilkenny Census. Everyone is welcome to drop by at any time throughout the day for this public engagement event.




The Three Sisters is an exciting new collaboration between the Kilkenny Arts Festival, Éigse Carlow Arts Festival, and Waterford Spraoi. Budding artists and enthusiastic volunteers in each town worked hard to create a series of street decorations during May and June, and the results can be enjoyed here during the festival. The project is based around the three sister rivers – the Nore, the Suir and the Barrow – and ties in with ‘Barrow 2011’, celebrating the 220th anniversary of its navigation.

Kieran Street Friday 5 - Sunday 14 August Free

FESTIVAL TRAIL Fancy sharpening your observation skills during the festival? Why not gather a group of intrepid explorers to discover Kilkenny on foot, following our ‘treasure hunt’ style Festival Trail. Friday 5 - Sunday 14 August Free

Banana Bag & Bodice (US)


Follow the clues around the centre of Kilkenny, fill in the answers and enter a draw. It’s a fun way for all ages to spend time together outdoors exploring Kilkenny’s streets, public gardens and the river walk.



You can pick up your clues at festival venues or download our trail map from www.kilkennyarts. ie. Complete the answers and pop your entry into our special Trail Post Box at the Festival box office.

At the end of the festival there will be a draw with special prizes for families. If you keep your eyes peeled, you might just win!

Come along to the Parade to see a free taster of Beowulf – A Thousand Years of Baggage; a riotous, awardwinning SongPlay from New York ensemble Banana Bag & Bodice. more on page 3


≤ The Parade Saturday 6 August 3.30pm Free


The Fanzini Brothers (Ireland)



Talented and hilarious The Irish Times Approx. 40 minutes

The Fanzini Brothers planned to bring you an amazing show featuring dancing ladies, a motor bike wall of death, and of course the world-famous Moroccan chicken throwers. Unfortunately, Ronaldo has spent the entire budget on a gigantic cannon. What on earth are they going to do?

ponydance are back, and this time they’re free! With an extendable cast (thanks to the audience), some large handbags, a change of clothes and a pop-up fake tan tent, these incorrigible flirts take you on a quest through the streets of Kilkenny to find Paula a man. Produced and originally presented by Absolut Fringe. An Absolut commission.

Monday 8 - Sunday 14 August (except Thursday 11 August). Free For times and locations see page 4

The Canal Walk Saturday 6 & Sunday 7 August 2.30pm & 4pm. Free

Kilkenny Arts Festival partners

more on page 4

Intermediate Partners Campagne Enviroclad Systems John’s Green Medical Centre

Michael Dores Nostalgia Café

Newpark Medical and Dental Clinic Optimize Recruitment

Goods Happy Times Kilkenny Crafts La Rivista Liam Costigan Goldsmith Manning Travel Moth to a Flame Mugshot Café O’Connell’s Pharmacy O’Brien’s Coaches Oliver Young & Son Patrick M Farrell & Co. Chartered Accountants & Registered Auditors

Paul’s Pennefeather Restaurant PricewaterHouseCoopers Prochem Engineering Re-charge Cartridges The Good Earth Kieran Street & Newpark Shopping Centre The Gourmet Store Top Hat Formal Hire Tynans White’s Pharmacy

Junior Partners

Senior Partners Bluett O’Donoghue Architects Dunnes Stores Poe Kiely Hogan Lanigan Solicitors Uisce Technology

Ayrfield Medical Practice B. MacEneaney Pharmacy Bank of Ireland Blaa Blaa Blaa Butler Court Guest Accomodation Butterslip Café Mocha Chez Pierre Christy’s Cllr Sean O Hargáin Conway & Co Accountants Crotty’s Coffee House Gaeltec Utilities


ponydance (Ireland)

Great places to stay

Special Festival Menus Available





Kilkenny Ormonde Hotel 056 772 3900

Kilkenny Hibernian Hotel 056 777 1888

Lyrath Estate Hotel 056 776 0088

Kilkenny Rivercourt Hotel 056 772 3388





Langton House Hotel 056 776 5133

Newpark Hotel 056 776 0500

The Clubhouse Hotel 056 772 1994

The Pembroke 056 778 3500

For best rates book your accommodation at


Great places to eat

Special Festival Menus Available





Café Sol 056 776 4987

Lautrecs 056 776 2720

Langton House Hotel 056 776 5133

The Grapevine 056 771 2956





Ripleys Steakhouse 056 777 0699

Ristorante Rinnuccini 056 776 1575

Yindees Downtown 056 779 4614

Zuni 056 772 3999

Great places to drink 17

The Festival hub

Cleere’s 056 776 2573

Special Festival Menus Available





Kytler’s Inn 056 772 1064

Langton House Hotel 056 776 5133

Matt The Millers 056 776 1696

The Blue Bar 056 775 0016


The Left Bank 056 7750 016

Kilkenny City Map With walking trail

for Visual Art

To Newpark Hotel



The Heritage Council vicar

Barnstorm Theatre


’s bridge



wolfe tone

St Canice’s Cathedral

street irish town

R se Hou kieran

Kyteler’s Inn





Tourist Office


rose inn

Ho Wall the

Blackbird Gallery


93 High St Mary’s Hall Street

william in le


stephen’s street


box office




de friary Ormon rk a Carp

n Hib otel H






The The 14 Pa the Tow rade Left er N parade Bank Cra atio ft G nal alle ry




Canal Walk

Kilkenny Castle Kilkenny Castle Muniments Room

Kilkenny Castle Park


Kilkenny Design Castle Yard



KCAT to callan




Pembroke Hotel 8

’s bridge



y 16 1 Kilkenn Hotel 2 e ond ouse Orm h Club otel Kenealy’s H Art Shop 7


Th Set ea Kil tre ke Art nny s O Co ffic Co e



street ernia ormonde





lane ’s lane


dominick street

butter slip


ket Mar oss Cr

3 to lyrath estate hotel

St John’s Priory

street james




building othe


ary’s St Mhedral Cat





Kilkenny City Courthouse






Black Abbey






Blackstack Studio

Bu Ga t ler ller y



Cleere’s 17 Pub



The Hub


te erga Wat eatre Th





Butler House


to stoneyford to paulstown to thomastown

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