Selected Press

 

Praise for The Root and the Crown, as performed by Crash Ensemble (Killian Farrell, conductor) at Free State 9, National Concert Hall, Dublin, March 2016:

“Colour and atmospherics came to the fore completely in Garrett Sholdice’s The Root and the Crown. Everything seemed to be derived from the varying presentation of about two chord-types. This was a piece with massive repetition or with none, depending how close you listened in, and it really repaid close listening. It is hard to produce such satisfying music with scant recourse to traditionally perceived line, counterpoint or functional harmony. What was working tirelessly through this piece was subtle balance of the voicing and colour of chords, so that the listener could not baulk as the piece used black dissonance here, and white diatonic sets there, often spread over the whole available range.” – John McLachlan, The Journal of Music

Praise for The Dreams Flow Down, Too, as performed by Michael McHale, piano at The Santa Rita Concerts, January 2016:

“The spare openness of The dreams flow down, too by Garrett Sholdice gradually draws its material to greater density, ideas coming in and out of phase like apparitions, before gently scattering to nothing.” – Michael Lee, GoldenPlec.com

Praise for Unter Träumen, as performed by Janina Staub, voice, and Clare McCague, Irish harp, at Kaleidoscope Night events in Dublin and Cok, early May 2015:

“Based on a single line from a Yeats poem translated into German (Aber ich altere unter Träumen, or ‘But I grow old among dreams’), Unter Träumen was a superb exploration of textures within the confines of the duo, with naturally emotive and fluid vocal lines gradually emerging from initial hesitations and musings. The composer responded well to the performance space, contracting his characteristic framework of long spaces and resonant harmonies for a less reverberant venue, opting instead for greater movement in the harp, creating a cushion upon which the introspective voice could rest. The whole gave an impression of a kind of questing, wandering thought, eventually crystallising into assured statements like a decision reached through a daydream.” – Anna Murray, The Journal of Music

Songs, an album of songs by songwriters as diverse as Antonio Vivaldi and Richard Thompson, arranged by Garrett Sholdice and Benedict-Schlepper-Connolly, performed by Ergodos Musicians and released on Ergodos Records, July 2014:

“Nothing could better exemplify the continued vitality of the song tradition.” ★★★★ ‘CD Choice’ – The Irish Times

“… the eclectic set-list spans some 800 years, crossing and blending traditions in a way that is both thoughtful and provocative.” – Michael Lee, GoldenPlec.com

“This is a recording that behaves like a book of poems, bringing together materials and ideas, working with aural textures and timbres, and texts, raising questions and evoking wonder – as good songs should. A fascinating release.” – Michael Lee, GoldenPlec.com

“Further evidence of something remarkable happening in Dublin, is this latest offering from the ever-enterprising Ergodos Musicians. The sense of ambition that has come to characterise this formidable ensemble of equals is evidenced by the nine-century sweep of this celebration of song […] Founder-composers Garrett Sholdice and Benedict Schlepper-Connolly trawl far and wide in a compendium that stretches from Pérotin to The XX and from traditional Javanese melodies to Richard Thompson’s contemporary folk-rock […] Contemporary music making at its most intelligent, lyrical and accessible. Recommended.” – Michael Quinn, Classical Ear

Concerto for Piano and Small Orchestra, as performed by pianist Michael McHale, the Irish Chamber Orchestra and conductor Gábor Tákacs-Nagy, RDS Concert Hall, Dublin, March 2014:

“Throughout, there is an overwhelming element of hope and the entire work is rich in emotion.” – Thelma Harris, goldenplec.com, March 2014.

“The night’s highlight was the world premiere of Irish composer Garrett Sholdice’s Concerto for Piano and Small Orchestra. […] The opening movement, in which the composer grasps a memory of Paris at dusk, had a visceral sense of space and time.  – Dick O’Riordan, The Sunday Business Post, March 2014.

“… a mesmeric piece…” – Dick O’Riordan, The Sunday Business Post, March 2014.

I Call to You, an album of music by Garrett Sholdice, Benedict-Schlepper-Connolly, Simon O’Connor and Jonathan Nangle, inspired by a chorale prelude of J.S. Bach, performed by Ergodos Musicians and released on Ergodos Records, April 2013:

“… characteristically intelligent, inquisitive and full of altogether beguiling sounds. With Baroque sensibilities left intact, the overall tone here is contemplative and quietly celebratory …” – Michael Quinn, Classical Ear app (http://classicalear.co.uk/), April 2014

“… one of the year’s most beautiful and moving discs …” – Michael Quinn, Classical Ear app (http://classicalear.co.uk/), April 2014

“[…] perhaps the most important record of new Irish music released this year.” – Paddy Kehoe, RTÉ Ten, July 2013.

Am Koppenplatz, as recorded on the debut solo album by pianist Michael McHale, The Irish Piano, released on the RTÉ lyric fm label, October 2012:

“Garrett Sholdice’s gamelan-sounding Am Koppenplatz is beautiful in its simplicity.” – Steve Arloff, music-webinternational.com, January 2013

“[…] a striking evocation of a desolate Berlin square, eliciting from McHale playing of rapt concentration, the music’s silent spaces tingling with mystery and apprehension.” – Terry Blain, culturenorthernireland.com, October 2012

Premiere of Fall and Disappear performed by the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, conductor Gavin Maloney, January 2012:

“Sholdice’s Fall and Disappear takes its title from the final stanza of Ach wie nichtig, permeating the Western hymn with the flavour of Javanese gamelan, and creating an ambulatory feel, taking the listener past the same landmarks in a way that forces fresh observations.” – Michael Dervan, The Irish Times, February 2012.

Fliehen/Nehmen, as recorded on the debut album by Trio Scordatura, Dubh, released on Ergodos Records, July 2010:

“More modal colour, drone and silence comes with Garrett Sholdice’s Fliehen/Nehmen. Here [Alfrun] Schmid’s voice is reminiscent of Nico, and the quality of the voice along with the work’s overall mood creates a hearkening back to the ruined grandeur and the coldness of The Marble Index; except with the drama here taking place in slow motion, outside of normal time.” – Liam Cagney, musicalcriticism.com, October 2010

Premiere of Sonate, performed by Maya Homburger (Baroque violin) and Barry Guy (double bass), St. Audeon’s Church, Dublin, September 2009:

“The substance of Garrett Sholdice’s Sonate comes from a chord progression in the Adagio movement of Bach’s G minor Sonata for Solo Violin, which Homburger played as an introduction. The new piece has an exquisite delicacy, something akin to spectral music: slow single notes from both instruments, little motifs, combining, separating, yielding something tender and sorrowful, a modern-day moving of the baroque-style Affections.” – Michael Dungan, The Irish Times, 28 September 2009

Premiere of For Magister Léonin performed by Ergodos Voices, National Concert Hall, Dublin, December 2009:

“Garrett Sholdice’s For Magister Léonin followed, a work using the medieval technique of organum to weave a contemporary web again recalling voices past […] The voices ushered in tones that appeared from nothing and sounded the length of a breath before disappearing into the same nothing again, the absence as fascinating as the presence of each voice, the work’s form having a cumulative effect someway reminiscent of Feldman, the vocal discourse gradually becoming a play of contrary-motion glissandi.– Liam Cagney, musicalcriticism.com, December 2009

Premiere of silent, listening to the air becoming no air becoming air again performed by Gamelan Sekar Petak, National Concert Hall, Dublin, April 2009:

“The standout work was Garrett Sholdice’s silent, listening to the air becoming no air becoming air again, which perfectly captured the ‘buckling and wheezing’ of the Frank O’Hara poem from which it took its name. With the addition of two cellos, it was at times a confluence of the subtle repetition of Morton Feldman and the sparse pointillism of Luigi Nono’s fragmente.” – Rob Casey, The Journal of Music, June/July 2009