Buzzy end to Leaves Festival
Pollinators create a buzz at Emo Court
Premiere of new musical work celebrating Laois’ bees and the people who work to look after them
“Thresholds”, a new music piece by composer Ian Wilson in celebration of pollinators, was premiered to a packed house in Emo Court on Sunday 12th November. The piece features recordings of Laois communities, a selection of natural sounds and a saxophone score, performed live by Cathal Roche.
Catherine Casey, Heritage Officer with Laois County Council, said “In commissioning new artwork we were hoping to explore in a new way the value and importance of pollinators to Irish life, and the community response has shown that there is an enormous depth of interest in biodiversity in Laois, which is great news for conservation in the future”.
Composer Ian Wilson introduced the work and thanked all those who had generously given their time to participate in the piece, including Chris Uys and Fiona MacGowan of Abbeyleix Bog Group, Ricky Whelan and Brian Gaynor of the Irish Wildlife Trust Laois-Offaly Branch, Maeve Flynn of Laois County Council, Eugene O’Brien and Tom Hussey of Dunamaise Beekeepers, Ger McEvoy of Portlaoise Golf Club, Una Fitzpatrick of the National Biodiversity Data Centre, Eimear Fox, Vincent O’Malley and Michelle Mearne of Transport Infrastructure Ireland, Clair Keating and the Children of 3rd Class in Killeshin National School, Valerie Cloonan and Pat Comerford of the OPW, Sandro Cafollo of Irish Wildflowers and Catriona Cashin of Clonaslee Tidy Towns.
The event was a perfect end to the Leaves Literary Festival, and also featured the winners of the Pollinator Poetry Prize, with prizes awarded to young poets Abdullah Butt of Oaklands Community College Edenderry (15 – 18 years category), Eimear Rigney of Coláiste Naomh Cormaic, Kilcormac (12 – 14 years category) and Caoimhe Fitzpatrick of Clonaslee (7-11 years category).
The adult prizes were awarded to Arthur Broomfield of Ballyfin (second place) and Mairead Donellan of Bailieborough, Co Cavan (first place). Introducing the prize-winners, poet Anne Marie Ní Churráin, spoke highly of very high quality of submissions received, and the depth of knowledge and emotion for Ireland’s natural world that was to be found in all the work.
The new music commission was funded by the Creative Ireland programme in Laois, which aims to bring together new and innovative projects that draw together all aspects of heritage and the arts.
Creative Ireland Co-ordinator for Laois and Laois Arts Officer Muireann Ní Chonaill thanked the large audience for their attendance, and paid tribute to the Office of Public Works for their assistance with the Leaves Festival which took place at Emo Court and Dunamaise Arts Centre last weekend.