Late Night Event

Music and Senses: A Synesthetic Spectacle

Part II of our late night events on June 14th is Music and Senses: A Synesthetic Spectacle. 

Learn more about Part I Birdsong and I Am a Forest

Immerse yourself in the world of synesthesia at Mermaid Arts Centre, where the West Wicklow Chamber Orchestra and SoFFt Productions invite you to an evening of sensory fusion. Experience the phenomenon as music entwines with light and colour in Messiaen's evocative 'Quartet for the End of Time,' guided by the virtuosity of pianist Fiachra Garvey. 

Accomplished lighting designer Conor Jacob will incorporate illuminating visuals to enhance the auditory journey, reflecting Messiaen's synesthetic perceptions. Following the performance, engage in a conversation with Seán Roynane and Fiachra Garvey, delving into the symbiotic relationship between birdsong, nature, and music. 

Conclude your voyage in the theatre, where Seán's award-winning birdsong recordings will play, offering a moment of contemplation amidst the harmonies of the senses.

This late night event has been funded by the Arts Council and the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media under the Night Time Economy programme. This support has allowed us to keep the doors open and the entertainment flowing into the night. 

"The scheme aims to promote a vibrant cultural ecosystem in Ireland that thrives after dark." - Minister Catherine Martin TD.

Seán Roynane 
Ornithologist and wildlife sound recordist Seán Ronayne is on a personal mission to record the vocalisations of every bird species in Ireland. For three years, he has travelled across bogs, mountains, remote islands and native woodlands documenting nearly 200 birds, including species on the cusp of extinction. Seán has amassed a unique sound library which contains recordings of mimicry, distinct dialects, and birds never recorded in Ireland before. His journey reveals the beauty and importance of sound, and what listening can tell us about the state of our natural world.

West Wicklow Chamber Orchestra

Cora Venus Lunny (violin)
Cora Venus Lunny is a freelance improvising musician with a strong classical background and extensive experience in contemporary classical, improvised, recorded and folk musics. A violinist since early childhood, who performed around the world as a soloist and chamber musician before specialising in contemporary and new music, they have been exploring improvisation and composition for many years. After releasing 1943, a self-produced EP of covers and originals, Cora’s 2nd album, Terminus Conscientiae, part of Diatribe’s Solo Series, was a spontaneously composed response to Bartok’s sonata for solo violin, “as much an exercise in textures and transposition as it is a display of safety net-free high-wire virtuosity“ (JMI) “ Fans of Bartók, contemporary string adventures and improvised music will find much to appreciate in Lunny's highly personal, soul-searching endeavor” ( As a member of Yurodny, Cora has also written for them, and with Kate Ellis, was commissioned in 2016 to write a piece for Common Ground, relating to the 1916 commemorations. In 2020 Cora’s piece “Theft”, commissioned by the National String Quartet Foundation as part of their Beethoven Reflected Series, was premiered by the Ficino Quartet. In 2021, Cora was awarded a Ban Bam Commission Award by IMC, to write Currents, a dramatic improvisation for four musicians. They created a text-based piece with four scenes - Hope, Longing, Loss and Acceptance, which can be performed by any number of improvisers. They have begun a series of filmed, site-specific performances of the work with Izumi Kimura, Niwel Tsumbu and David Lacey - the first, by Inside Voice Productions, was filmed at the decommissioned Pigeon House power station in Dublin and premiered at the IFI in April 2022, and the second, by SOFFT Productions, took place at the pumphouse at Poulaphouca Hydroelectric Power Station and was screened at the Mermaid Arts Centre in June 2022. In 2023, C V is in Research & Development generously supported by an Arts Council Bursary.

Macdara Ó Seireadáin (clarinet)

Macdara Ó Seireadáin is a native of Dublin and a First Class Honours graduate of the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hannover and Royal Irish Academy of Music, where he studied with Johannes Peitz and John Finucane respectively. A multiple competition prizewinner, Macdara has performed as soloist with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, RTÉ Concert Orchestra, Uelzen Kammerorchester and others. In November 2019, after holding orchestral positions in Austria and Germany, Macdara joined the RTÉ Concert Orchestra and has performed with numerous orchestras including the National Symphony Orchestra, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Staatsoper Hannover, Philharmonsiches Orchester Kiel,
Irish Chamber Orchestra, Ulster Orchestra, and Camerata Ireland. Macdara has performed throughout Europe, the US, Canada, China, Chile, and India and recently completed a fourteen concert tour of Ireland, Germany, Switzerland, and Lithuania with pianist Gintaras Januševičius. Additionally he is a member of the Ficino Ensemble with whom he has recorded two CDs, with the latter “Folk Songs” being selected as one of The Guardian’s top 10 folk albums of 2022. A keen chamber musician, he has collaborated with John O'Conor, Ailish Tynan, Johannes Peitz, Sharon Kam, Finghin Collins, the Vanburgh, and the Apollon Musagete Quartet, and performed at numerous chamber music festivals including Great Music in Irish Houses, Fredener Musiktage, Pažaislis music festival, Kilkenny Arts Festival and Killaloe Chamber Music Festival. Alongside a busy performing career, Macdara lectures on performance psychology and coaches young musicians at the Klaipeda Piano Masters academy in Lithuania and the Feuerwerk Einbeck academy in Germany and has coached musicians worldwide to audition and competition successes.

Aoife Burke (cello)

Irish cellist Aoife Burke leads a diverse career as a recitalist, chamber musician, orchestral player, curator and producer. Selected by The Arts Council as a recipient of a Next Generation Artist Bursary 2020, Aoife is a member of the Opalio Piano Trio and the Banbha String Quartet, supported by the National String Quartet Foundation. An avid chamber musician, Aoife has collaborated with The Vanbrugh, the ConTempo String Quartet, Musici Ireland and the Gavin Bryars, Kirkos, Ficino and Crash Ensembles, and has performed at numerous national and international music festivals, including the National Concert Hall Chamber Music Gathering, the NCH Perspectives Series, West Cork Chamber Music Festival (where she recorded for RTÉ Lyric FM), Music in Drumcliffe, New Music Dublin, Cork Midsummer Festival, Cantiere Internazionale d’Arte di Montepulciano, the Aurora Chamber Music Festival (Sweden) and Barry Douglas’ Clandeboye Festival, where she was awarded the Special Festival Prize. She has appeared in recital all over Ireland, including as part of the Crawford Art Gallery’s Summer Lunchtime Concert Series, Music for Wexford Series, Castletown House Concert Series, NUIG’s Arts in Action Series (in association with Music for Galway) and the Galway Music Residency’s 3 Kinds of Music Series, among others. As an orchestral player, Aoife has toured Europe, China and the United Arab Emirates extensively with such orchestras as the European Union Youth Orchestra, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Sinfonia Cymru, the RTÉ Orchestras, Camerata Ireland and the Irish Chamber Orchestra, recording for BBC Radio 3, Naxos, Signum Classics and Alpha Classics. She has worked as Principal Cello with Irish National Opera and the RTÉ Concert Orchestra. Aoife has performed at the BBC Proms and at the Würzburg Mozart, Naantali, Aldeburgh and Cheltenham Festivals, and in halls around the world including the National Centre for the Performing Arts, Beijing, Het Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, the Royal Opera of Versailles, Konzerthaus Berlin, Snape Maltings and the Royal Albert Hall, under notable conductors such as Vasily Petrenko, Jörg Widmann, Krzysztof Urbański and Vladimir Ashkenazy. She has appeared as soloist with orchestra several times both at home and abroad. Her début with the New York Concerti Sinfonietta in Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall in 2016 was described as “a thing of beauty...intelligent, poised, and refined”. (The Epoch Times) Upcoming engagements include chamber music recitals at the Clandeboye Festival in August 2023, and a seven date national concert tour with the Banbha Quartet as part of the National String Quartet Foundation’s 2024 Season. Aoife is grateful for the generous support of the EMI Music Sound Foundation, Cork City Council, The Arts Council and Music Network’s Music Capital Scheme, funded by The Department.

Fiachra Garvey (piano)

1st prize-winner of the 2012 Jaques Samuel Intercollegiate Piano Competition and former NCH Rising Star, Fiachra Garvey ARAM, grew up on Móin Bhán in the Wicklow mountains. He spent his early childhood being the understudy to the family sheep dog Rex (who had lofty ambitions for early retirement) and playing the piano! Other pastimes included swimming in the Blessington lakes and staging plays in the attic with his sister and cohort of friends. Since those more playful days, Fiachra has obtained his Dip Mus, BA and MA degrees from the Royal Academy of Music London, the Royal Irish Academy of Music and received prizes at many international competitions including Dublin AXA, EU Prague and Collioure, France. Concerto appearances include the Janáček Philharmonic, RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, RTÉ Concert Orchestra, Cambridge Symphony Orchestra, UCD Symphony Orchestra, RIAM Symphony Orchestra and the Hibernian Orchestra working with eminent conductors John Wilson, Theodore Kuchar, Stephen Bell and Duncan Ward to name a few. Fiachra has recorded and broadcast for BBC and RTÉ television and radio and has released two solo albums, “For the Piano (RTE Lyric fm label) and a Live from Wigmore Hall disc. Particularly memorable appearances for Fiachra include Wigmore Hall, Fazioli Hall, National Concert Hall Dublin, St Magnus Festival Orkney, West Cork Festival, Brighton Festival, Spoleto Festival, GOOGLE, Geneva Festival, Wexford Opera, Philia Hall Japan and Zhejiang Concert Hall China. As a keen entrepreneur Fiachra is the Founder and Artistic Director of the West Wicklow Festival, a feast of chamber music held in his dream house! Chamber music is one of the most important aspects of Fiachra’s professional life. He loves to play solo piano but as an insurance policy against isolation he’s always engaged in exciting collaborative projects. Since 2019 Fiachra has been appointed Artistic Director of the inaugural Vauxhall One Concert Series. Fiachra is also a board member of the Dublin International Piano Competition. Nowadays based between London and Ireland the farm activities require particularly diligent scheduling. Fiachra returns home to help with the yearly lambing, dipping, shearing, harvesting and all the other elegant and refined activities on the farm! Fiachra feels this makes him a more inspired and fulfilled musician. Current pastimes include training for marathons, going to see plays at the Puppet Theatre Barge and engaging in lively debates at the Chelsea Arts Club!

To avail of the bundle deal add a ticket for this event and one for Music and Senses to your basket, make sure they are the same ticket price and the discount will apply.

Funded by the Arts Council and the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media under the Night Time Economy programme