Dave’s Discoveries Week 1: ‘Chiyo’ by Linda Buckley

​Please take ten minutes of solitude to listen to ‘Chiyo’ by Irish composer Linda Buckley, performed by the BBC Symphony Orchestra. I think it’s one of the most beautiful orchestral works of the 21st Century. Its sound-world is, to my ears, somewhere between Arvo Pärt, John Adams and Sigur Ròs, yet it is Linda’s own sound for sure.

​It is a kaleidoscopic, undulating, mysterious, slowly unfolding piece best listened to with a good set of headphones. Don’t listen on the mobile phone or the tinny bluetooth speakers, they won’t do it justice.

Linda is one of the best living composers in the world, not just Ireland, and this is but one of many works of hers worth your time. Linda has had many successes, she was RTE Lyric FM composer-in-residence and, as you can see, the renowned BBC Symphony Orchestra have played her music, as have many other great artists. Despite this, her work is not so well known outside of the small Irish composition scene. Hopefully that will change later this year with the release of her first album-proper on UK label NMC Recordings. This album has been too long a time coming, as Linda herself explains;

“While being active as a composer for many years in live performance contexts, there has been little opportunity for presentation of this work in a tangible form through professional recording. I am delighted to have been selected for a Debut Disc – I feel it is the right time in my journey as a composer to make this album, which brings my music to a more wide-reaching pool of listeners, and as a milestone to showcase a body of diverse and cross genre work. Much of my work is rooted in landscape and atmosphere, exploring sonic connection between acoustic instruments and electronics, as well as being strongly connected to the voice and the Irish tradition of Sean-nós singing.”

​Linda Buckley is one of Ireland’s brightest composition stars, her work deserves a much wider audience. Find out more about her work here – http://www.lindabuckley.org/

Disclaimer: Though I’ve met Linda a few times, I don’t know her very well, so this is a very unbiased recommendation!