“Lúthchleasa [lu:hxlˈæsə]” by Mícheál Ó Catháin
Mícheál Ó Catháin
8th - 22nd December
The word Lúthchleasa (athletics) is cast in this exhibition in a dual musical role, describing at once the feats of fingers on the metal strings of the early Irish harp or cláirseach, and the idiomatic musical patterns that result. Bridging the ancient and the modern, this exhibition of new generative artwork by Mícheál Ó Catháin showcases his process of engaging with the early Irish harp tradition on the harp's own terms. For over a decade Mícheál has been discovering the shapes and sounds offered to human touch by the metal and wood of this instrument, and the lúthchleasa patterns encoded in the notes penned by a young Edward Bunting at the 1792 Belfast Harp Meeting. Interpreting the Bunting manuscripts for a contemporary audience, Mícheál employs computer code as a collaborative partner to represent these patterns in visual form and expresses in this generative art his emotional response to the music. Lúthchleasa [lu:hxlˈæsə] illuminates ancient music and celebrates the beauty and colour spaces inhabited by early Irish art, reimagining for today the full spectrum of expression felt and heard by harpers and listeners alike centuries ago.
The exhibition culminates with a solo concert on harp, voice and electronics by Mícheál on
Saturday 18 December at Galway Arts Centre’s Nuns Island Theatre.
Spaces are limited. Covid Certificate will be required.
Book your seat in advance with Galway Arts Centre: https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/
Mícheál Ó Catháin is a multimedia artist working primarily with harp & voice performance, computer code, installation. He is a recipient of Irish Arts Council Agility (2021), Traditional Arts Bursary (2017) and Deis Recording & Publication (2017) Awards. Mícheál has performed solo harp & voice concerts at Achill International Harp Festival and Scoil na gCláirseach Festival of Early Irish Harp, and his generative art has been exhibited at Naas Art & Culture Centre. Faithful to historical practices, Mícheál sings with the harp on his left shoulder and employs specialised fingernail techniques (lúthchleasa) to shape the resonance of these metal-strung instruments.