Music Generation Laois have commissioned Composer Martin Tourish to create a 20 minute suite of music inspired by the life of Colonel James Fitzmaurice for the Music Generation Laois Trad Orchestra. Colonel James Fitzmaurice was a pioneering aviator from Portlaoise who was part of the first successful transatlantic aircraft flight from East to West in 1928.
The new composition is informed and supported by Laois Heritage Office and the provision of historical context, and by collaborating with young people from the Laois Trad Orchestra on composition and arrangement, the project enables the creative potential of those participating.
The Music Generation Laois Trad Orchestra was established in 2016 and is a traditional music ensemble that provides a platform for the burgeoning interest in traditional music among young people in Co. Laois. Composer Martin Tourish is working in a highly collaborative way with young musicians from the orchestra - they are creating new music together, inspired by the events of Fitzmaurice’s life, from his first foray in to flying as he witnessed an aeroplane under construction in Aldritt’s garage in Portlaoise, to his own aviation feats after becoming a pilot in the British Army in World War I. Fitzmaurice’s achievements took place during the significant upheaval of World Wars, and Civil War, in the first part of the 20th century in Ireland, and Europe.
Image credit: Denis Byrne
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