Press

do you remember the planets:
“Fantastically brutal, reminiscent of the glitch music of acts such as Autechre.”

Chiyo: “Beautiful intertwining string textures”

Ó Íochtar Mara: “Direct emotionality”

– Liam Cagney, Composing the Island

“Buckley’s Error Messages (2006), leisurely arpeggios meet shuddering static, is exquisite.”

-Philip Clark, Gramophone

‘Understated beauty’ is close to being a cliché when speaking of Linda Buckley’s music, but that is how the composer herself describes the poetry of Chiyo-ni. The work of this 18th-century Haiku poet is a perfect match for the gentle simplicity of Buckley’s, and through chiyo, the composer achieves a graceful balance. This work is a commission by the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, and makes use of the large force well, though without sacrificing the subtlety characteristic of her other works.

-Anna Murray

Available from Ergodos (download only) is Linda Buckley’s Immersia, a 16-minute EP of ambient electronica. In three parts, its first movement in particular is glacially majestic, played on what sounds like a flanged synthesiser or mellotron. There are echoes of the band Tangerine Dream on this fascinating work by the Cork-born composer.

The continuous flow is absorbing and you can’t wait to hear what it will bring you to, but it’s not the arrival that matters, it is the journey. Immersia, part one, is essentially one chord, with the player’s hand stretching for additional notes, effects and accents, sounds that are almost like train whistles. Did I imagine that or did I actually hear it, you find yourself asking at one point about what sounds like a phone ringing in the middle of the river of sound?

In part two, Buckley breaks the majestic sweep of part one into fragmented notes, with echoes of Massive Attack’s 100th Window album. Part three seems to break it even further down, to finish in a slow fumble of organ notes, the inscrutable drama of the piece gone, the train exhausted as it enters the final station.

-Paddy Kehoe, RTE Ten

“The concert closed with a new work by Linda Buckley, Númarimur, for two voices, which was inspired by Icelandic epic poetry. It’s a work of slow, rolling beauty, with what you might call futuristic echo-chamber effects.”

— Michael Dervan, Irish Times, reviewing Ergodos Voices, National Concert Hall, Dublin, December 2009.

“The full ensemble of clarinet, violin, viola, double bass and percussion played thoughtful pieces by Linda Buckley – her Nikuda (Nowhere) opens and closes with a busy, funky pulse that goes into hiding but remains implicit when the scoring pares down to a single voice.”

— Michael Dungan, Irish Times, reviewing Ensemble Scratch the Surface, Hugh Lane Gallery, Nov 2008.

“Buckley’s work often sidestepped expectations, allowing unforeseen passages to surface suddenly from within a deliberately crafted texture: the energetic interchange between piano and violin that began Volt gave way to a repeating cycle of chords that wouldn’t have been out of place on an electronica track, and the calm homophony that opens jöklar unexpectedly fragmented into angular pointillism.

The near capacity attendance in the John Field Room showed an appetite among the concert-going public for progressive programming. It is hoped that similarly talented young Irish composers are afforded every opportunity to display their wares in front of such a receptive audience.”

— Rob Casey, Journal of Music, Composer’s Choice, March 2008

Excerpts from ‘All Collisions End in Static: The Music of Linda Buckley’ by Bob Gilmore (Journal Of Music, September 2008)

“She has done several pieces for instruments and electronics together, and many purely electroacoustic pieces. They’re all good, with a confidence in handling the medium that makes all manner of sonic adventures possible. This is an exciting body of work that marks her out as a leading figure in the younger generation of Irish composers working in the medium.

— Excerpted from ‘All Collisions End in Static: The Music of Linda Buckley’ by Bob Gilmore (Journal Of Music, September 2008)

She is an active participant in the Dublin scene, and recent works have been commissioned by a great many Irish musicians and ensembles, including the Crash Ensemble, the Fidelio Trio, Natasha Lohan, Darragh Morgan and Mary Dullea, the Rothko String Trio, and others. It is difficult to know quite how her music will develop from her impressive achievements thus far. In works like Fall Approaches, and in even more recent pieces like Q for female voice and electronics and Fiol for string trio, all premiered this year, Buckley engages with an area of experience that new music is generally shy of, which, simplified and reduced to a single word, I’d call ecstasy. Not the drug-induced euphoria of dance music, but exultant, heightened states of being that are the product of an excitable sensibility, of an emotional response to the world that sees the bright places of life as clearly as the dark. A line from the text she set to music in Q (by the 13th century Persian poet Jalal ad-Din Muhammad, known as Rumi) reads: “Become the sky./ Take an axe to the prison wall./ Escape./ Walk out like someone suddenly born into colour.” The music, a gradual crescendo over twelve minutes, perfectly captures the poem’s uplifting description of rebirth through love. Take ten-second samples at random from Q and we might be listening to an unknown laptop artist in a squat; to an extract from a multi-million dollar pop album with rich, sensuous vocals (Björk? Goldfrapp? don’t ask me); or to a computer music demonstration in a university. In Linda Buckley’s world all these musics collide and end in static that is delicious as it is energising.”

— Excerpted from ‘All Collisions End in Static: The Music of Linda Buckley’ by Bob Gilmore (Journal Of Music, September 2008)

“The last full work on the programme was Linda Buckley’s Númarimur, a slow-moving and finely wrought duo based on an Icelandic text from the tradition of rimur poetry. With each singer wearing headphones for their cues, the voices sang alongside an electronic part which occasionally outlaid the sung tones with resonators and other effects, their voices recalling, as they moved towards an ever-richer harmony, the glacial planes of landscapes both inner and outer.”

— Liam Cagney, musicalcriticism.com