Online Hypermedia Archive of Moore's Melodies launched during 200th anniversary
Tuesday, 25 November 2008
The Moore Institute at NUI Galway will launch the pilot phase of the Thomas Moore Hypermedia Archive at a conference on the life, work and legacy of Thomas Moore (1779 – 1852) entitled Thomas Moore: Texts, Contexts, Hypertext, taking place on Friday 28 and Saturday 29 November. The Archive, the first of its kind in Ireland and funded by the IRCHSS, is a free online electronic resource which will collect and present in digital form Moore's writings, music, illustrations, fresh scholarly notes and commentary and a selection of audio performances. These will include the new recordings by EMI producer Jonathan Allen of all 124 of Moore's Irish Melodies, with pianist Úna Hunt and the young vocalists featured in 'My Gentle Harp'. According to the Archive's director, Dr Sean Ryder of NUI Galway: "The Thomas Moore Hypermedia Archive will allow people to experience Moore's work in multimedia form – combining words, music, and illustrations – and will be a resource for scholars as well as the general public. The project will continue to develop over the next few years, as more materials are added, more texts are edited, and users themselves begin to contribute. Moore published over a thousand poems, along with biographies, a novel and other prose works, and we plan eventually to have all this material available online." Speakers at the conference will include Moore's most recent biographer, Ronan Kelly, Irish cultural critics Luke Gibbons and Emer Nolan, musicologist Harry White, and Moore editors Jeffery Vail and Jane Moore. The conference will open with a lecture and recital by tenor and scholar James Flannery, accompanied by harpist Janet Harbison. A nationwide concert tour and travelling exhibition entitled 'My Gentle Harp: Moore's Irish Melodies 1808 – 2008', coincides with the conference and will take place in the Aula Maxima at NUI Galway on Saturday, 29 November at 8pm. The tour continues around the country until April 2009 and will celebrate the 200th anniversary of the first publication in 1808 of 'Moore's Irish Melodies', by the famous Irish composer and poet Thomas Moore supported by the Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism, the Arts Council, the Office of Public Works, the National Library of Ireland and the DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama. The concert tour will feature one of Ireland's leading pianists Dr Úna Hunt with Dean Power, Claudia Boyle and Gavan Ring, all young vocal prize-winners from the DIT Thomas Moore Festival held in January 2008, who will present Moore's well-known songs such as The Last Rose of Summer, The Minstrel Boy, The Harp that Once Through Tara's Halls or The Meeting of the Waters and, in addition, some of the unknown songs from the collection, of which there are 124 written by Moore over a period of 26 years. The programme also features 'souvenir' piano music, written by nineteenth century composers in response to Moore's Melodies. The commemorative celebrations 'My Gentle Harp' also includes a travelling exhibition, curated by the Royal Irish Academy, which will be on display in the Aula Maxima, NUI Galway until 5 December. It consists of panels depicting Moore's early and later life, a showing of the TV documentary 'One Faithful Harp' by Hummingbird Productions, and audio clips from a compilation CD of recordings of Moore's Melodies by well-known artists. The recordings will also be available on CD in December 2008. Attendance at the conference is free, and a programme is available at: www.mooreinstitute.ie.