Gavin Friday’s Casement Sonata Premieres at Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane

On Wednesday, 20th July at 6.30 pm, the Deputy Lord Mayor of Dublin, Cllr. Rebecca Moynihan will launch The Casement Sonata by Gavin Friday in Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane. The Casement Sonata is a long poetic work in musical form, examining the life, imprisonment and death of Roger Casement.

Working closely with Dublin poet James McCabe, Gavin Friday creates a multi-movement sound piece that captures and transfers the essence of Casement's global odyssey. Blending sound elements from classical and ambient music with poetic rhythms across the literary tradition- from blank verse to terza rima and elegiac metre – Friday’s Casement Sonata follows in the long poem tradition of Irish poets like Patrick Kavanagh just as much as pop figures like Brian Eno. The Casement Sonata follows the classical structure from exposition and development to harmonic resolution - from order and disorder back to renewed balance - by selecting key moments of pressure and change in Casement's life - his capsized dinghy on Banna Strand, his early days in Africa, his later tribulations in Peru, his wartime stay in Germany and his final prison meditations.

Providing a unique portal into the mind and heart of one of the Rising's most notable protagonists, The Casement Sonata is infused with imagery and phrasing from Casement's own journals, letters and other intimate writings and renews the lost poetic of this global Irishman for a new era.

Speaking about the Roger Casement Sonata, Gallery Director Barbara Dawson said "The Sonata is a significant complement to our visual programming exploring themes arising from 1916 as epitomized by paintings such as John Lavery's High Treason depicting Casement's infamous Trial and Appeal in the Royal Courts of Justice in London.  Together, sounds and images form an immersive new experience for visitors, students and art enthusiasts."

The Casement Sonata will be played twice daily in the Hugh Lane Gallery at 12 noon and 3pm from 21st July to 21st August 2016.


Notes to the Editor:

Gavin Friday

After his critically acclaimed comeback in 2011 with the album and tour catholic, performing artist and composer Gavin Friday continues his dramatisation of outsiders in defiance with this literary musical tour de force. A well-known figure in the city for decades, he has bridged diverse media from music and painting to film and theatre.

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The Roger Casement Sonata:

"Death is not dark, but only deeper blue..." Roger Casement 1916

‘The Casement Sonata is a long-form ambient poem exploring the life and death of

Sir Roger Casement, one-time knight of the British Empire and the establishment's most threatening rebel spirit. By transforming the age-old argument between Celt and Saxon into a global conversation about human rights, Roger Casement upended nationalist rhetoric just as much as imperial reasoning, and set the scene for his own isolation and execution. Like Parnell and Wilde before him, Casement was a sophisticated Irishman who threatened the fabric of British hegemony and was deliberately targeted for his sexual behaviour as a reactionary countermove. Casement was a poet like several other key leaders of the Rising, but remains unique for his global profile and contemporary social relevance. Roger Casement is the Shakespearean tragic hero at the heart of the Irish revolutionary experience. The Sonata is his testament.’ Gavin Friday July 2016

Words - Gavin Friday and James McCabe

Music - Written and Performed by Gavin Friday - Enrico Marani - Michael Heffernan

with Guest Performance from Kate Ellis on cello

Recorded and mixed at Temple Lane Studios, Dublin by Michael Heffernan

Produced and directed by Gavin Friday

Photography by Barry Mc Call

Design by Redman AKA