© By Eibhlís Farrell
Threnody (1978) was recorded for broadcast on RTÉ Radio during the 1980s by the National Symphony Orchestra, cond. Bryden Thompson, in the NCH, Dublin.
The piece was written while Eibhlís Farrell’s father was dying.
“I used to sit up late, writing in his room to keep him company, and all the time on the news there was a surfeit of violence. The work was called Threnody and was as much a lament on losing my father; but things like listening to bombs and bullets and screaming did very much affect my writing of it. There were so many events which upset us all, but I think a lot of my work has really been anti-troubles. I don’t believe I could ever go into the gory detail that many writers and visual artists have done, and I have tried to avoid overt references to the Troubles. I actually think that they [the Troubles] encouraged me to write music that was deeply spiritual. I have used a lot of liturgical texts in vocal works, etc., again that sense of ‘rising above’ as an innate response. I was also brought up in a very nationalist community and was deeply immersed in Irish music (and plainchant!) from my earliest years and a lot of that has to have permeated my compositional process. I think my music has a strong sense of linearity as a result and I have always been conscious of that ‘sense of line’ coming through.”
Recording courtesy of the artist and the Contemporary Music Centre, Dublin