Music for Galway singing a €1 million tune

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Galway Daily music Music for Galway receives €1 million European funding
Anna Lardi, executive director and Finghin Collins, artistic director of Music for Galway. Coordinating partners in Songs of Travel. Photo: Andrew Downes, Xposure

Music for Galway is singing a merry tune after being chosen to receive €1 million in Creative Europe funding for its Songs of Travel project.

MfG with its CELLISSIMO festival partnered with three other music festivals, Järna Festival Academy in Sweden, Valdres Sommersymfoni in Norway and the Piano Biennale in The Netherlands.

The four festivals have teamed up with Causa Creations, an Austrian game development studio, for Songs of Travel.

This project will use music to raise awareness and create empathy towards climate change and migration, and will develop and implement a sustainable model of operation for specialised classical music festivals.

“I am so excited about this project. The idea grew out of our first CELLISSIMO festival where, back in 2019, we interacted with musicians that had recently settled Galway,” says Anna Lardi, festival director of CELLISSIMO.

“For the same festival we invited Swedish cellist Jakob Koranyi who travelled to Galway by land and sea, such is his conviction in terms of respect for our environment.”

“These two events planted a seed and here we are, five countries working together on the presentation of music, raising empathy towards each other and our planet and telling stories through music and a game.”

Songs of Travel includes the co-commissioning of five works of contemporary classical music by composers connected with migration.

One of these will form the soundtrack to a new interactive adventure game charting five stories of migrants fleeing troubled homelands to new beginnings in Europe.

The festivals will address sustainability from an ecological perspective and an education resource will be created to support engagement with contemporary classical music and to highlight themes of migration and social inclusion.

Maureen Kennelly, Director of the Arts Council said, “The Arts Council congratulates Music for Galway in their successful leadership of this exciting Creative Europe funded programme.”

“It is a major achievement for the organisation, for Galway and for Ireland and we look forward to seeing exciting outcomes in the coming years.”

Of 169 projects approved by Creative Europe, there are only two led by Irish organisations.

For now the celebrations are kept on ice as the organisations enter the grant agreement preparation phase. Once that is signed, the corks will pop in earnest.