Tailte Cré​-​Umha (Bronze Lands) - Live at Cork Midsummer Festival

by Robert Curgenven



Hear the heft of Ireland’s biggest pipe organ complemented by a dub soundsystem. Live recording from the world premiere of Tailte Cré-Umha (Bronze Lands) for Cork Midsummer Festival on the eve of 2018 summer solstice. Bonus track included.


Following exactly 7 years after his last pipe organ release, SIRÈNE, with its strong maritime undertones, Curgenven presents this live recording of a new large-scale work for pipe organ and soundsystem. This document combines the warmth of a live audience with the long, full reverb of a cathedral pipe organ – captured and painstakingly assembled from multiple microphones throughout the architecture housing pipe organ and audience.

Tailte Cré-Umha (Bronze Lands) is a solo performance for 32ft pipe organ and a 10ft dub soundsystem, developed during two months exclusive after-hours access to Ireland's biggest pipe organ in St Fin Barre's Cathedral Cork, along with a range of turn-of-the-century unmodernised pipe organs across County Cork and rural Cornwall.
The piece combines live pipe organ with a soundsystem which allows audiences to hear two pipe organs together - each in different tunings - effectively a piece for 4 hands (and feet), sounding together to create a physical and architectural experience. The live part on the venue’s pipe organ in standard tuning works with and against the part heard through the soundsystem. The soundystem part comprises tracker-action pipe organ recordings made in Cornwall and Ireland. These unmodernised pipe organs allow precise control over wind to the pipes - effectively creating custom-tunings. Curgenven's composition extends standard practice, combining these two tuning systems, rigorously working across their enharmonic beating frequencies to find a momentuous solution.The recording is 100% acoustic, all sound is entirely made by these pipe organs, with the exception of an 80-year-old 78rpm acetate which forms part of the piece's narrative structure.


released June 25, 2021

The basis for the piece's score and structure draws on Ireland’s relations with Cornwall and Mediterranean Europe. 5000 years ago, coming into the Bronze Age, Ireland’s copper and Cornwall’s tin traversed the continent to make bronze. Tailte Cré-Umha derives the shape and movement of the score from the shape and movements of that route. This route traverses mostly marine, coastal and river systems, covering 4000kms over the piece’s 50minute duration. Tailte Cré-Umha uses this navigation of the landscape itself as the score as those people and materials travel land, sea, sky and Europe at a time of change.

Recorded Fields Editions | RFE04 | digital release
Mastered by Antti Sakari Saario, Cornwall, UK, 2021

"a unique new recording" - Ian McGlynn, Sound Out, RTÉ (Irish national broadcaster) Lyric FM (Ireland)

"loved it" - Elizabeth Alker, BBC 3 Radio (UK)

"massive: a vast, deep expanse of pure tonal majesty" - Eoin Murray, The Quietus (UK)

"the organ is truly knee-shaking, giving the recording a character that's impossible to mimic digitally.... resonant drones and thick bass tones... chimes harmonically with our obsession with pipe organ sounds". - Boomkat (UK)

"rather masterful & deeply emotional organ drones... really it stands apart from anything else." - Aidan Hanratty, Bandcloud (IRL)

"soothing and pummeling in equal measures" - Pete Wiggs (St Etienne) & James Papademetrie (A Year In The Country), The Séance (Brighton & Hove Radio, UK)

"immersive listening which allows [you] to levitate through space and let yourself be carried away by the convergence of two different tuning systems" - Guillermo Escudero, Loop (Chile)

Performed and recorded 20 June 2018 before a live audience at St Fin Barre's Cathedral as part of Cork Midsummer Festival. Live recording at St Fin Barre's Cathedral by Donncha Moynihan. Live sound engineering for performance by Chloé Nagle. Album cover art, performance and recording mixed by R. Curgenven.

16-foot tracker-action pipe organs recorded: in County Cork (Ireland) at St Mary's COI Marmullane Passage West & North Presentation Chapel (Cork City); and in Cornwall (UK) in the churches of St Paul (Ludgvan), St Winnow (Towednack), St Uny (Lelant), St Wyllow (Lanteglos), St Cyrus & Juliette (St Veep)

Tailte Cré-Umha (Bronze Lands) is the live follow-up to pipe organ works on SIRÈNE - given ★★★★ by MOJO magazine (UK) as "deep satisfying weight ... the results gull the senses"; described as "astounding" by FACT mag (USA) & "remarkable music" by The Wire Magazine (UK).

Supported by: Cork Midsummer Festival, St Fin Barre's Cathedral, Cork City Council Arts Office, St Mary's COI Marmullane, North Presentation Chapel, Rise-Up Soundsystem and 5lowershop Soundsystem.


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Robert Curgenven

Curgenven's work emphasizes physicality, our embodied response to sound & its relation to location, air, weather & architecture; including works produced for National Gallery of Australia, Palazzo Grassi Venice, Sydney Festival, Maerzmusik & Transmediale Berlin. The Wire (UK) surmises “behind the music lurk such [disparate] presences as Alvin Lucier, King Tubby, Murray Schafer and Eliane Radigue.” ... more

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