Suzanne Walsh: Thomas Garrett.

 

Lullymore Climate Music.

There is already a lilt to the name Lullymore, a lyrical cadence like that of some old lament.

A photograph, printed on aluminium, shows a watery world of small spiked-grass islands against a low green horizon. A cobalt patch of sky we cannot see is reflected on the liquid surface of a pool.

The musical score on the wall beside it, also on aluminium, is created from annual climate records for this location, which is the Bog of Allen in Lullymore, Co.Kildare. Garrett assigns instruments to the data variables: maximum temperature to violin, minimum temperature to cello, water temperature to viola. Bow placement is dictated by the wind, humidity is reflected in the rate and extent of vibrato.

One can’t help but think of how we daily contribute to our own climate score that will play out in the future on a world scale, here reflected locally, and yet to only think that might flatten this work unfairly. There is something particular and poignant about the singularity of this location. A student who was invigilating on my visit and knows the bog told me, “it’s always been an eerie place”.

The audio from the score, presented simply on headphones, pulls one into the intensity of the composition, which is its own thing. It progresses slowly, tuneful but always tending towards discordant. This composition is not concerned with us, not entirely. The cello seems at first to anchor it underneath, but the violin continually pulls the composition tortuously towards what feels like an imagined evaporation point.

There is a tension in its continued ascent that nevertheless tempts the ear to expect its eventual resolve, to wait for some restful conclusion that never comes.

 

Written by Suzanne Walsh

Suzanne Walsh is an artist and writer from Wexford, based in Dublin.

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