The West Ocean String Quartet: Seamus McGuire and Niamh Crowley - violin, Ken Rice – viola and Neil Martin – cello in partnership with NUI Galway College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences will perform in the Aula Maxima at NUI Galway on 18 April at 8pm. The concert marks the new album An Indigo Sky. Proceeds on the night will go toward Voluntary Services Abroad (VSA).
A potent collage of timbres and hues, An Indigo Sky is bold, passionate and unapologetic. Central to it is Neil Martin’s four-movement suite from which the album takes its name, commissioned in memory of Joseph Browne, a former medical student of NUI Galway from Knockmeal on the Clare/Galway border who died tragically in 2006.
Additionally, alongside traditional and newly-composed pieces sits music by Turlough O’Carolan and Thomas Moore. In a rare and much-coveted 5 star review of the album, The Irish Times talked of this “magnificently elegiac recording” being “a shimmering delight”. The concert will also draw from the quartet’s three other albums.
Formed in 1999, the West Ocean String Quartet’s vision, eclectic repertoire and style have won them global praise. Their music lies somewhere in between the worlds of classical and traditional. Disregarding rules and boundaries, they have found for themselves a unique voice, and have collaborated with many leading artists, both on stage and in the studio, including Christy Moore, Matt Molloy, Maighréad Ní Dhomhnaill, Mary Black, Liam O’Flynn and Brian Kennedy.
The quartet's debut CD, Unwrapping Dreams (2004), was released to very considerable acclaim both in Ireland and around the globe. It won the award for Best Newcomers Album in Chicago’s American Live Ireland Awards that year and a BBC television documentary on the quartet followed. Universal praise continued with their second cd, The Guiding Moon (2006) featuring The Chieftains' flute player Matt Molloy. Their third cd, Ae Fond Kiss (2009), with special guest Maighréad Ní Dhomhnaill, similarly garnered applause worldwide.
The quartet has performed widely, including sell-out performances in Dublin's National Concert Hall, Belfast's Waterfront Hall and Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall. Their music has taken them to USA and France and their appeal is truly universal - all three of the quartet’s cds were played aboard the International Space Station in 2011.
Tickets are priced at €20 euro, students €15 euro and can be obtained from the Galway Arts Centre on Dominic Street; School of Medicine at NUI Galway; Socs Box in NUI Galway or at the door on the night.