Gaining Ground announce the next selected commission

Following on from the recent announcement of the first commission for Gaining Ground; Clare County Council Arts Office is delighted to announce a new project with composer Ian Wilson, to begin in the autumn. The ‘Gangani Legacy’ is a sound and music research project based in West Clare, which aims to explore the complex legacy of immigration and assimilation. Considering through dialogue the possible or conceivable influences on people living in Clare, both from an indigenous and outsider perspective; and how these might be found in certain place names, aspects of language or dialect, customs and idioms, heritage and culture, employment, sport and local attitudes. This will be a collaborative process, and Ian will be looking to engage with individuals and community groups throughout the project. (Details of how to get involved will be announced once the project starts)

The resulting piece will include the creation of 40-minute sound work that will include contributions (spoken and musical) from people of all backgrounds and walks of life from West Clare. There will be two main elements to the project; a soundtrack containing fragments of recorded conversations between Ian and local participants, and a score for two musicians; Dublin based Japanese pianist Izumi Kimura and the renowned, Joe O’Callaghan, a Clare-born guitarist. The musical score will combine influences, which are both indigenous and foreign, not in juxtaposition, but rather a melding of ideas, sounds, even songs from musicians living in the locality. The outcome of the project will be two performances in West Clare and the availability of a high quality CD recording of the work. 

Gaining Ground is a major new Public Art programme for County Clare, curated by Sally O’Leary, Asprey Arts, in collaboration with Clare County Council Arts Office. The project has been developed using funds allocated from the pooled resources of the Per Cent For Art Scheme, and has been designed to take place over the next 2 years, culminating in an International Rural Arts Symposium in 2020. As part of the programme, projects will be selected to take place in North and West Clare and Shannon Town. There will also be a programme titled Reflections, which will be integral to the whole project and will involve research, evaluation and critical writing, which will be reflected at the Symposium in 2020. 

Announcements for further projects selected for Gaining Ground will be made over the coming weeks. 

For further information contact Sally O’Leary, Asprey Arts @ 


Ian Wilson – Biography 

Ian Wilson was born in Belfast in 1964 and began composing while at university. He has written nearly one hundred and fifty works, including chamber operas, concertos, string quartets, a range of orchestral and chamber music and multi-media pieces. His compositions have been performed and broadcast on six continents, and presented at festivals including the BBC Proms, Venice Biennale and Frankfurt Bookfair and at venues such as New York’s Carnegie Hall, London’s Royal Albert and Wigmore Halls, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw and Muziekgebouw, Vienna’s Musikverein and Tokyo’s Suntory Hall. Wilson has in recent years also worked with jazz musicians, Asian tabla and Chinese pipa players and traditional Irish singers; he has also collaborated with choreographers, theatre directors and electroacoustic and computer music composers.

In 1991, Running, Thinking, Finding received the composition prize at the Ultima festival in Oslo, and in 1992 he received the Macaulay Fellowship administered by the Arts Council of Ireland. In 1998 he was elected to Aosdána, Ireland’s State-sponsored body of creative artists and in recent years he has been AHRB Research Fellow at the University of Ulster, An Foras Feasa post-Doctoral Research Fellow at Dundalk Institute of Technology in Ireland and Associate Composer to both California’s Camerata Pacifica ensemble and the Ulster Orchestra. He was director of the Sligo New Music Festival from 2003 to 2011. His music is published by Ricordi (London) and Universal Edition and website is  



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