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Brian Leach, Musician

Gleann a' Phúca

The Six Artist Propositions for Gleann a’ Phúca

Pageant in the Park

I wrote a first tune “Gleann a’ Phúca Hornpipe” on Uilleann Pipes during research in the Glen in May 2022, the people and the place providing much inspiration.

The developed audio work will inspire everybody to celebrate and explore this fantastic place, with its deep history, strong community, and bright future: The Glen River Park.
Another source of inspiration will be “Sources of Irish Traditional Music”, a catalogue of music compiled by Aloys Fleischmann (who lived in the Glen). This incredible book has manuscripts going back to 1583!

The proposed theatrical work will be written by Damian and composed/produced/recorded by Brian at Crithir Studio, West Cork. Session musicians will record extra music parts. Research for the piece will be carried out in conjunction with Gerard. “Gleann a’ Phúca” will be developed and completed with Damian Punch in 2023. It will be promoted and made available to the public through Youtube, Bandcamp, radio, the Gleann a’ Phúca website, and my own website.

As part of the Gleann a’ Phúca festival/pageant we will perform a promenade production of “Gleann a’ Phúca” in the Glen in summer 2023. This will be a full acoustic production including a band of invited musicians in costume.

Instrument building workshops

As part of the Outreach and participatory programme
Using found and recycled materials participants will create instruments which may be used in a separate pageant in the park – perhaps in collaboration with Bold Boys & Bold Girls.

Brian Leach Piper in the Glen

About Brian Leach

I am a composer, musician, and instrument maker, excited by the cross over of ancient tradition and contemporary technology. My interdisciplinary approach encompasses sound art, music, and musical instrument building.

A fascination with new harmonies and timbres leads me to design and build one-of-a-kind musical instruments with unique character. I completed my studies in Musical Instrument Building at St. John’s Central College Cork in 2017. Drawing on a degree in Astrophysics, and a Masters in Music Technology, I design electronic/acoustic instruments with a solid scientific understanding, technical intuition, and an artist’s eye.

My artistic practice involves public interaction with these new instruments, encouraging play and community engagement in the arts. I am currently inspired by the history of The Glenn River Valley Park, in particular the work of Aloys Fleischman. I am composing new music inspired by traditional Irish music, nature, and history. This work is being developed into a theatre piece, which will be performed outdoors in the Glenn.

As a musician I have toured around the world with: Lisa O’Neill, The Underscore Orkestra, and Torcán. My compositions have been performed at the National Concert Hall, The Chelsea School of Art, Hearsay International Audio Arts Festival, The West Cork Arts Centre, Blackrock Castle Observatory, and Fitzgerald’s Park Cork.

Recently my traditional Irish style composition “Trip to Teulada” featured on the Heritage Council commissioned video, “A Short History of Irish Travellers”, which promoted traveller awareness and combatted racism against that community.

When composing in the traditional Irish idiom I like to immerse myself in a place or an idea. I live the experience through interactions with people and landscape. It’s my opinion that Irish music comes from the land, the sea, the soil, the cliffs, and the wind that surround us. It is a living tradition because these things have yet more to tell us. It’s the composer’s job to listen, and convey that message to others.

As a luthier I am inspired by the experimental string instruments of folk dulcimer player Michael O’Shea, creating sounds which range from traditional to psychedelic rock. When not making music I work at Cork Guitars where I make and repair musical instruments.

Brian Leach, Piper

About Damian Punch

Storyteller – Actor – Writer –
Damian has been working professionally in theatre for the last 21 years. He, devises, acts, improvises, writes and tells stories. He is the creator of an impressive body of work located on the streets of Cork City, and has worked across genres from theatre to story telling, dance and comedy. He runs Cork Ghost Tour (established in 2015) which he wrote. It is now a regular feature on the streets of Cork. He also wrote and guided the “Behind the Scenes Tour” for the Everyman Theatre in 2018, and has been commissioned to update the tour in 2022. Damian excels at engaging his audiences with his vibrant enthusiasm and wit.