Crash Ensemble commissioned video artist and filmmaker Jack Phelan to create an installation responding to the visual themes of Irish composer Barry O’Halpin’s groundbreaking work Wingform – a four-movement work for solo guitar and ensemble.
Using a simple set of shapes, materials and layout, the installation aims to evoke the essence of the ensemble. Empty chairs highlight the absence of the musicians but offer the audience an opportunity to sit and experience the work in a multimedia environment. Wooden light-boxes, video panels and speakers are the 'instruments' of this beautifully crafted ensemble of objects, light and video visually underscoring Barry’s work as it plays on a loop from start to finish.
The video artwork for the LED panels is made specifically for Wingform. Inspired by the composer’s naturistic themes, the imagery on the panels evolves as the piece progresses.
Designed and produced by Jack Phelan
Fabrication by Hugh Roche Kelly
Additional fabrication by Robert Clarke
Barry O’Halpin (Solo Guitar)
Ryan McAdams (conductor)
Recording Edited, Mixed, Mastered and Produced by Adrian Hart
Crash Ensemble is Ireland’s leading new music ensemble; a group of world-class musicians who play the most adventurous, ground-breaking music of today.
Crash is innovative, adventurous and ambitious.
Led by cellist and Artistic Director, Kate Ellis and Principal Conductor, Ryan McAdams, the ensemble commissions, collaborates, explores, investigates and experiments with a broad spectrum of music creators and artistic collaborators: ‘We love to innovate, with quality always at the heart of everything we do. We are passionate about the music we play. We create experiences; exploring new ways of presenting music and bringing our audiences on new adventures. Community for us is key – our community inspires us to create and experiment more. We value our audiences and our connection with them.’
Crash performs both in Ireland and internationally. The ensemble’s music is available on their own label, Crash Records and they have recordings on Nonesuch, Cantaloupe, NMC, Ergodos and Bedroom Community labels.
Many well-known artists from diverse musical backgrounds have performed with the ensemble; Terry Reily, Gavin Friday, Dawn Upshaw, Diamanda La Berge Dramm, Julie Feeney, Lisa Hannigan, Íarla Ó Lionáird (The Gloaming), Bryce Dessner (The National), Richard Reed Parry (Arcade Fire), Sam Amidon and Beth Orton.
As well as performing throughout Ireland, Crash regularly perform internationally, with appearances in the last few years at the Edinburgh International Festival, The Royal Opera House (London), The Barbican (London), Carnegie Hall (NYC) The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (Washington DC), Virginia Tech (Virginia), GAIDA Festival (Lithuania) and residencies at The Huddersfield Contemporary Music festival (UK) and Princeton University (NJ).
Crash Ensemble is strategically funded by the Arts Council of Ireland and is a resident ensemble at the National Concert Hall in Dublin, Ireland.
Barry O’ Halpin (b.1987) is a composer & performer based in Dublin, merging approaches and formative influences from contemporary classical, experimental rock, electronic music and jazz contexts. He is an electric guitarist with Crash Ensemble, and a member of Dublin experimental rock trio Alarmist.
His inventive approach to the electric guitar frequently lies at the heart of his ensemble and solo works, with pieces such as Wingform, Lipids and Stridula exploring possibilities of the instrument to unique and atmospheric effect, through unusual techniques, timbres and microtonal tunings. These and other works have often drawn upon natural-world sounds and phenomena as sources of a sort of wild, uncanny musicality to be brought into fusion with more familiar elements. The result is an individual sound world that is crawling with detail and yet direct in its language.
Jack Phelan is an award-winning video-artist and technical director who specialises in integrating new visual ideas and technology into film and live performance. Most recently he designed and implemented complex in-camera video displays for LOLA, a feature film currently in production and developed a motion-controlled live camera system for Dead Centre’s To Be A Machine. He devised an imaginative live multi-camera design for Unicorn (London) Theatre’s production of Gulliver’s Travels, and was video designer on Ravens: Spassky vs Fischer at The Hampstead theatre, London.
He was video designer on Donnacha Dennehy and Enda Walsh's operas - The Second Violinist (2018) and The First Child (2021). The Second Violinist featured a 14 metre- wide LED video wall, displaying a wide variety of content from found footage, original live action material and complex text sequences. Phelan specified the LED screen and related technology and developed, shot and / or created all of the video content for the production.
For Man of Valour, he worked with The Corn Exchange and actor Paul Reid to develop a neo-noir world of atmospherics and shadow using 3D modelling, lighting-through- projection and real-time animation. Man of Valour won the Best Design award at the