How to fold the wind

St Nicholas Church of Ireland, Dundalk

16 June 2023


Cassandra MillerThe City, Full of People World Premiere
Linda Catlin SmithFolio World Premiere
Caroline Shaw (USA, b. 1982)How to fold the wind


Chamber Choir Ireland
Paul HillierConductor

Origami, Emily Dickinson, and ancient laments.

Led by Paul Hillier, Chamber Choir Ireland opens Louth Contemporary Music Society's annual festival with a concert of world premieres and haunting commissions.

Linda Catlin Smith's Folio is based on the envelope writings of Emily Dickinson, and fragments somewhere between thoughts and poetry.

Cassandra Miller's The City, Full of People creates a ‘cacophony of private secrets’ on which the audience can eavesdrop, inspired by Thomas Tallis’ Lamentations of Jeremiah I.

Caroline Shaw's How to fold the wind is inspired by origami, using speech, inhaled notes, wordless melodies and innovative vocal effects to fold individual voices together into a complex whole. Co-commissioned in 2019, this will be the first time Irish audiences will hear it performed live.

We all know what folk music is, more or less. What about folks’ music, then?

This year's festival, Folks' Music, will bring together just that: lots of different folks, from Irish traditional musicians, to saxophone players from Spain, string quartets from London and Dublin, and composers from Italy, Canada, the United States and England as well as Ireland. Opening the festival on a Friday evening, Chamber Choir Ireland will perform haunting works by two LCMS regulars from North America, Linda Catlin Smith and Cassandra Miller, and the magical incantation, How to Fold the Wind by Pulitzer-winning composer Caroline Shaw. This is folk music from some place off the map.

These new works by Cassandra Miller and Linda Catlin Smith were commissioned by Louth Contemporary Music Society for Chamber Choir Ireland, with funding from the Arts Council/an Chomhairle Ealaíon. Miller's work was co-funded by The Robert D. Bielecki Foundation.

How to Fold the Wind was co-commissioned in 2019 by Chamber Choir Ireland and Kilkenny Arts Festival (with funding from the Arts Council/an Chomhairle Ealaíon) together with Carnegie Hall (New York), Ars Nova (Copenhagen), and Bella Voce (Chicago).