“Craig brought the concert and this year’s festival to an end with Kristian Ireland’s luminous for amplified alto flute. Over the course of its half-hour duration, I almost wondered whether my heart was going to come to a stop. Articulated with a Feldman-like single-minded patience, it unfolds from extremely quiet pitches emanating via ex- and inhalations, resulting in softly-clashing dyads (out) followed by infinitesimal whispers (in). It was as though Craig were putting down individual aural breadcrumbs to be discovered – or, to switch analogies, like reciting a story or poem one halting word (or even syllable) at a time. Later on, Ireland allows the material to become more extended, which in such a small-scale environment as this (another fitting analogy: as though everything had been shrunken down to microscopic size), such minor extensions felt like major elaborations, almost rudely exuberant despite their unwavering fastidiousness. Whatever it all meant – whatever it all was – I very much liked being in its enigmatic, challenging, disquieting, ravishing company. In the same way as a star umpteen light years away, it dazzled.” Simon Cummings, ‘Recognition, raw ambition and raw power: Alba New Music 2017’, 5:4 (United Kingdom, 13 October 2017).

“Kristian Ireland: pressed, prolonged sounds refused an easy interpretation, but just that was received with great applause.” Lena Dražić, ‘Die Qual der Quinten’, Vienna Times (Austria, 29 October 2013).

“Kristian Ireland: Gepresste, gezogene Klänge verweigerten sich einer einfachen Konsumation, fanden aber wohl gerade deswegen großen Beifall.” Lena Dražić, ‘Die Qual der Quinten’, Wiener Zeitung (Österreich, 29. Oktober 2013).

“Ireland stops time as he brings colour to rough and unstable surfaces; he constrains the potential of the instrumental technique by specifying long stubborn bowing that produces metallic collisions in the upper registers, producing ripples that are the result of rigorous and detailed writing.” /nu/thing composers collective, Venice Biennale (Italy, October 2013).

“Ireland arresta il tempo affrescando superfici ruvide e instabili; restringe le possibilità della tecnica strumentale prescrivendo lunghe arcate ostinate che producono collisioni metalliche nel registrato acuto, le cui screziature sono il risultato di una scrittura rigorosa e dettagliata.” Collettivo /nu/thing, La Biennale di Venezia (Italia, ottobre 2013).

“Kristian Ireland’s clearing (I) began with an icy roar, a wailing violin whiteout from Menzies, with shadows of viola and cello appearing and then receding. The lashing barrage was so intense that it was almost unbelievable that McIntosh had put down his violin to conduct, but then added yet another layer of crunch to the middle when he did finally jump into the mix a few minutes in. Having begun in the upper reaches of the highest instrument, the sound subtly slid down from the rafters to finish with the solo cello creaking low . . .” Zoë Madonna, ‘L.A.’s Formalist Quartet Gets Blood Flowing at Frozen Oberlin’, San Francisco Classical Voice (United States, 5 March 2015).

“Kristian Ireland is aware of the challenge that 21st century music often presents . . . There is no need to shy away from unfamiliar music. . . . ‘Music excludes no one.'” Olivia Franke, ‘Unheard and New Perspectives: Australian composer is guest at Künstlerhaus Schloss Wiepersdorf’ [Wiepersdorf Castle Artist Residence], Märkische General Newspaper (Land Brandenburg, Germany, 19 October 2012).

“Kristian Ireland ist sicht bewusst, dass gerade die Musik des 21. Jahrhunderts oft sehr herausfordernd ist . . . Die Scheu vor ungewohnter Musik ist unbegründet. . . . ‘Musik schließt niemanden aus.'” Olivia Franke, ‘Ungehörtes und neue Perspektiven – Australischer Komponist zu Gast im Künstlerhaus Schloss Wiepersdorf’, Märkische Allgemeine (Land Brandenburg, Deutschland, 19. Oktober 2012).

“laureates of the Staubach Prize. . . . Ireland launched an overtone firework”. Achim Heidenreich, ‘Forever young – the Darmstadt Summer Course for New Music’, Frankfurt General Times (Germany, 22 July 2008).

“Preisträgern des Staubachpreises. . . . Ireland schoss ein Obertonfeuerwerk ab”. Achim Heidenreich, ‘Auf ewig jung – Die Darmstädter Ferienkurse für Neue Musik’, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (Deutschland, 22. Juli 2008).

page header image: Yokohama, Japan, 2000. Photograph by Kristian Ireland. Copyright © Kristian Ireland. All rights reserved.