The Robert Harris Memorial Concert

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Music Film Dance


29/07/2024 19:30


Uillinn: West Cork Arts Centre



CHILDREN OF LIR by Justin Grounds
Premiere performance and film screening.

With Eva Coyle and Katy Salvidge on vocals; Tess Leak on cello; and special guest, contemporary dancer Rosie Leak.

Robert Harris was a vibrant member of West Cork’s cultural scene and a member of the board of Uillinn: West Cork Arts Centre.

In 2019 he commissioned composer Justin Grounds to create a new musical work based on the mythological story of the ‘Children of Lir’ as a birthday gift for his wife Finola. Justin created a work for voices, piano, cello and concertina in three parts, bringing the myth into the current day with its theme of the power of creativity in the midst of suffering, exclusion and displacement.

The work could not be performed at the time due to Covid19 restrictions, but in the meantime Justin set to making a studio recording and a film to accompany the piece, featuring contemporary dancer Rosie Leak. Sadly, Robert never got to see the final film as he passed away tragically following a car accident in March this year.

This concert is a tribute to Robert’s life and his immense contribution to the arts and cultural life of West Cork. Singer Eva Coyle will also play Finola’s Jig on accordion in the final section - composed originally for Robert to play, as he played concertina and accordion and had a great love of folk music.

The concert will also feature another work by Justin Grounds; I Shall Make For My Own Castle for phono-fiddle, strings and bassoon, which was commissioned by artist and cellist Tess Leak for her solo exhibition at Uillinn in 2015, and features her mother Jan Leak on bassoon.