The Mighty Ocean

Venue: TG4

Date: 25 April 2021 at 9.30pm


The Mighty Ocean commissioned by Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture , produced by Galway Music Residency for TG4 as part of Galway 2020’s Capital of Culture Programme will have its World Premiere on Sunday 25 April at 9:30pm. Composed by Máirtín O’Connor, the premiere of this musical suite reflecting on climate change and the environment will coincide with the final week of Galway 2020’s programme.

The Mighty Ocean opens a musical dialogue between mankind and the environment, touching on the entrancing power of the sea, while questioning the destructive influence of humankind on our endangered oceans. The piece is scored and arranged for 12 musicians including Irish traditional music legends Máirtín O’Connor, Garry Ó Briain, Cathal Hayden and Seamie O’Dowd and Jimmy Higgins, and Galway Music Residency’s ensemble in residence, ConTempo Quartet.

As well as exploring the themes of climate change, environment and landscape, the half-hour film marks a decades-long musical dialogue between Galway Music Residency, its permanent ensemble in residence ConTempo Quartet, Máirtín O’Connor, Garry Ó Briain and Cathal Hayden. Over more than 15 years, these partners have pushed the boundaries of musical and cultural fusion to present unique listening experiences to the people of Galway and beyond. The Mighty Ocean sees the culmination of this creative friendship in a spectacular celebration of music and the sea.

The programme was filmed by HeavyMan Films in St Nicholas’ Collegiate Church. This iconic medieval building is considered by many to be the heart of Galway City and has its own links to the ocean through its most famous visitor, voyager Christopher Columbus. The Mighty Ocean also features stunning visuals of Galway and of course our great global connector – the sea.

Speaking about The Mighty Ocean, Marilyn Gaughan-Reddan, Head of Programme for Galway 2020, said, “This is a really stunning body of work. Mairtin O’Connor has truly once again created something very moving, beautiful and truly remarkable. This is a project built on true collaboration with the Galway Music Residency, TG4, Creative Ireland, Heavy Man Films and incredibly talented musicians. We are so glad to see it come to fruition and more so in these times, when we need music and art in our lives now more than ever”.

Maeve Bryan, General Manager of Galway Music Residency, added, “The Mighty Ocean epitomises Galway Music Residency’s commitment to collaboration across genres and other art forms, artists and organisations. Through Máirtín O’Connor’s tremendously emotive composition, and the artful performance of 12 incredible musicians including our own ConTempo Quartet, we are proud to share this moment of reflection, connection and celebration in respect to our beautiful, but threatened, oceans.”

Proinsias Ní Ghráinne, TG4 said, “TG4 is delighted to broadcast ‘The Mighty Ocean’, a Galway 2020 and Galway Music Residency project. Recorded in the beautiful St. Nicholas’ Collegiate Church, this programme will showcase the best of Galway and appeal to viewers here in Ireland and worldwide.”

The Mighty Ocean is commissioned by Galway 2020, European Capital of Culture, Produced by Galway Music Residency, with HeavyMan Films, for TG4 and Galway2020, and Co-Funded by Creative Ireland, Galway County Council and Galway City Council.

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