The Mighty Ocean

Venue: Online

Date: 25 April 2021 at 9.30pm


Galway Music Residency, in association with TG4, is delighted to present The Mighty Ocean as part of Galway 2020’s Capital of Culture Programme. Composed by Máritín O’Connor, this musical suite reflecting on climate change and the environment will premiere on TG4 on Sunday 25 April at 9:30pm, to coincide with the final week of Galway 2020’s programme.

The Mighty Ocean opens a musical dialogue between mankind and the environment, touching on the entrancing power of the sea, while questioning the destructive influence of mankind on our endangered oceans. The piece is scored and arranged for 12 musicians including Irish traditional legends Máirtín O’Connor, Garry O Briain, Cathal Hayden and Seamie O’Dowd, and Galway Music Residency’s ensemble in residence, ConTempo Quartet.

As well as exploring the themes of climate change, environment and landscape, the 30 minute programme marks a decades-long musical dialogue between Galway Music Residency, its permanent ensemble in residence ConTempo Quartet, Máirtín O’Connor and Garry O’ Briain. Over more than 15 years, these partners have pushed the boundaries of musical and cultural fusion to present unique listening experiences to the people of Galway and beyond. The Mighty Ocean sees the culmination of this creative friendship in a spectacular celebration of music and the sea.

The programme was shot by Heavy Man Films in St Nicholas’ Collegiate Church. This iconic medieval building is considered by many to be the heart of Galway City and has its own links to the ocean through its most famous visitor, voyager Christopher Columbus. The Mighty Ocean also features stunning visuals of Galway city, county landscapes, and of course our great global connector – the sea.

The Mighty Ocean is commissioned by Galway 2020, European Capital of Culture, Produced by Galway Music Residency in association with TG4, and Co-Funded by Creative Ireland, Galway City Council and Galway County Council.

The Mighty Ocean, composed by Máirtín O’Connor, expresses a musical dialogue between mankind and the environment, touching on the entrancing power of the sea, while questioning the destructive influence of human civilization on our endangered oceans.

The 20-minute piece is scored for 12 musicians including Irish music legends Máirtín O’Connor, Cathal Hayden, Séamie O’Dowd and Garry O’Briain, and Galway Music Residency’s permanent resident ensemble, the world-renowned ConTempo Quartet.

Initially intended for live performance in Galway City and County during Galway 2020’s European Capital of Culture year, the project has been reimagined as a filmed piece for broadcast on TG4 and other platforms during the last week of April 2021, as Galway 2020 draws to a close.

The journey of reflection, hope and metamorphosis conveyed in this evocative musical piece has parallel resonance for the reflection that has come with the forced slow-down of society through the Covid-19 pandemic, allowing greater space for connection with nature and our environment.

As well as a commentary on, and response to, climate change, the film is a celebration of the long-standing musical relationship between Galway Music Residency and Máirtín O’Connor. For more than 15 years, they have collaborated across musical genres to bring extraordinary listening experiences to Galway audiences founded on cultural and musical fusion.

Credit photographer: Larry Hynes

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