The Invisible Art: A Century of Music in Ireland 1916-2016

New Island is delighted to announce the forthcoming publication of The Invisible Art – A Century of Music in Ireland, 1916–2016 this coming September 2016.

Edited by Irish Times music critic Michael Dervan and produced in conjunction with Composing the IslandThe Invisible Art is published in association with RTÉ and Bord na Móna. With pieces commissioned from an array of expert writers covering this key period in Irish musical composition, this lavishly illustrated book will bring to life this unique art form in Ireland across the last century.

For the first time, The Invisible Art examines the work of Irish composers from before the founding of the Irish state right up to the twenty-first century. From valiant pioneers struggling against the tide to confident, highly individual twenty-first-century voices, it also highlights the difficulties musical creators faced in securing a clearly defined place in wider Irish society.

The Invisible Art brings to life the music of a nation: from Rhoda Coghill’s cantata Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking, written on the grounds of Trinity College during Ireland’s Civil War ‘with, just around the corner, bullets and grenades flying’, to Gerald Barry’s irreverent operatic adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, ‘the first great comic opera of the twenty-first century’. The views of the composers themselves are coupled with contributions by leading interpreters and experts to make for a rich narrative in this lavishly illustrated homage to an underappreciated art.

The Invisible Art is a work of outstanding artistic and cultural merit that will appeal to anyone seriously interested in the music of our time, and is a must-have on any music lover’s bookshelf.