Michael Rooney grew up in Scotstown, Co. Monaghan and now lives in Sligo where he has become part of the musical and cultural bedrock of the region. Recognised as one of the most influential and innovative stylists on the harp, his virtuosic technique as well as his approach to rhythm and harmony have helped to reposition the instrument in the living tradition. He is also established as a significant composer of music for small and large-scale ensembles & orchestras.
And his output is impressive. As well as his 2006 collection Harp Tunes, he has composed 10 major suites for harp and ensemble or orchestra. Among the highlights are The Macalla Suite in 2016; The Reconciliation Suite (2015) and The Famine Suite (1997). His arrangements of new music incorporate impressive large-scale orchestral works combining traditional musicians and professional classical players.
For this IMBOLC visit, Rooney will be performing in his Famine Suite commission. “I'm delighted to bring the score of “The Famine Suite” back to life”, he says. “It was my first suite of music. This time it will also be a labour of love, orchestrating the suite and to work with some of the finest musicians in Ireland.”
Performers: Macalla Orchestra and Ulster University Choir.
This project is generously supported by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.