New Musician In Residence Appointed By Kerry County Council

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Ian Wilson.

A NEW Musician in Residence, Ian Wilson, takes up his position as resident artist supported through the Arts Office at Kerry County Council and The Arts Council.

The residency is further supported by the National Parks and Wildlife Services, Trustees of Muckross, and Creative Ireland.

Ian, a native of Belfast, has written nearly 200 works, including operas, concertos, string quartets, a range of orchestral and chamber music as well as multi-media pieces.

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His compositions have been performed in six continents, and presented at festivals including the BBC Proms, Venice Biennale, Frankfurt Book Fair and at venues such as Carnegie Hall, London’s Royal Albert Hall and Vienna’s Musikverein.

He is a member of Aosdána, Ireland’s State sponsored body of creative artists.

Ian is inviting songwriters and composers of all backgrounds and styles to come along to free workshops where their work will be discussed in a friendly and constructive manner and advice given on how to develop their skills. Subsequent group and /or one-to-one sessions with Ian can/will be arranged.

Ian will also develop a composition project for schools and will work across the four Municipal Districts in Kerry, helping students to explore music making which relates to natural events.

Forces like rain, wind in trees, murmurations of starlings, the formation of ice are all examples which will be used by way of inspiration. The aim is to assist teachers and   young people to develop a confidence about creating music by working together to create pieces that are inspired by the idea of moving and changing direction without being led by a musical leader or conductor.

The focus is on improvisation and Ian’s approach will require only limited technical musical ability on the part of participants, thus opening the project to greater numbers of people.

“I am keen to assist participants to develop confidence in music making, creating an atmosphere where we are open to experimentation and invention. Knowing how to play an instrument is secondary to this way of working”, Ian stated recently.

Kate Kennelly Arts Officer at Kerry County Council stated that; “Ian Wilson has led school’s projects over the past 25 years for bodies such as the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Sonorities Festival of Contemporary Music, Ulster Orchestra and Chamber Choir Ireland. Having him in Kerry presents a wonderful opportunity for musicians and school communities right across the county”.

A third aspect to Ian’s work will be his own professional development as an artist. Ian is using the working title ‘Earthed’ to describe his project in Kerry and it relates to the theme of how music can be connected to and inspired by the natural world. This idea will inform not only Ian’s own work but also his interactions with schools and with the music community in Kerry.

He also plans to take up residency in one of the two cottages offered by the Trustees of Muckross House and the National Parks and Wildlife Service, a collaboration with Kerry County Council and The Arts Council under the Artists In Residence Programme.  Ian can be contacted at

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