Historical Documents of the Irish Avant-Garde
- Submitting institution
Brunel University London
- Unit of assessment
- 33 - Music, Drama, Dance, Performing Arts, Film and Screen Studies
- Output identifier
- Q - Digital or visual media
- Supplementary information
- Request cross-referral to
- Output has been delayed by COVID-19
- COVID-19 affected output statement
- Forensic science
- Number of additional authors
- Research group(s)
3 - Music
- Proposed double-weighted
- Double-weighted statement
- The output is a multi-component piece consisting of a book, a music album and a digital archive. The composite work serves as a rich revisionist exercise into an imaginary world, as it provides an extensive survey of a fictional Irish avant-garde.
Walshe has created historical documents, compositions, scores, musical recordings, material and ephemera in realising this fictional history well as a digital footprint and webpage. In total, this work represents a complex and multi-layered process of creative investigation and performance.
- Reserve for an output with double weighting
- Additional information
- The purpose of the research was to open up an imaginative space where an Irish Avant-garde could have happened and to conduct a revisionist exercise in ‘what if?’ In producing this practice-based research, the work offers a fictional survey of avant-garde composition in Ireland from the late 19th to early 21st centuries, spanning over 187 years in total. Creating fictional historical documents and recordings, it carves our potential ancestors into being and shapes their stories with care.
Walshe conducted research into the structures and establishments of Irish artistic history to investigate how histories of music are created. She found there was no real data and no Irish Fluxus movement. She subsequently began bending history and explored a potential tradition of experimentalism in Ireland that includes Futurism, Dadaism, ecclesiastical organ work and radio art, amongst others. Following this methodology, the research project opened up into a history of the imaginary which operates in parallel to the Irish cultural mainstream.
The research findings showed that linear narratives in music are often fictional anyway due to the editing and obfuscation they require. Particularly, the research process unearthed parallels to Irish culture as a whole, which tends to expel its artists first before welcoming them back into their realm once they’re dead, famous and no longer a threat. The creation of an imaginative space in this work showed that an Irish avant-garde with revolutionaries, female, queer and other artists, who may have existed and subsequently been written out of history, could have happened.
This output consists of a book (available in both print and electronic format), which was published by Aisteach on 30 January 2015, a digital music album, which was released by Migro Records on 11 October 2017, and a digital archive which can be accessed at http://www.aisteach.org/
- Author contribution statement
- English abstract