James Camien McGuiggan

James Camien McGuiggan studied music in Maynooth University and has a PhD in the philosophy of art from the University of Southampton. He is currently an independent scholar.

A Soundworld that has Become Deeper and Richer
Lankum's fourth studio album, 'False Lankum', is a refinement of their sound more than it is something radically new, but there are many other achievements, writes James Camien McGuiggan.
Every Note to Be Magical
'Litir ó Do Chara', a portrait film about the late guitarist Dennis Cahill, was broadcast on TG4 on 5 March. James Camien McGuiggan reviews.
A Tempered Solitude
Harper Úna Monaghan's new album 'Aonaracht' is a collection of six pieces for solo traditional musicians and computer, featuring Tiarnán Ó Duinnchinn, Jack Talty, Pauline Scanlon, Saileog Ní Cheannabháin, Paddy Glackin and Monaghan herself. James Camien McGuiggan reviews.
So That They are Not Lost
The Dublin-based Dutch soprano Judith Mok, born to Jewish survivors of the Holocaust, has recently published 'The State of Dark', a book telling the story of her family. James Camien McGuiggan reviews.
The Things That Keep People Connected
The 2022 Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival took place on 18–27 November and included a focus on Ireland and Australia as well as performances by Pat Thomas, Explore Ensemble and more. James Camien McGuiggan reviews the final weekend.
A Tradition Carried Forward
'MÁM' by Michael Keegan-Dolan and dance company Teaċ Daṁsa, featuring concertina player Cormac Begley and the Berlin-based collective s t a r g a z e, is currently on tour. James Camien McGuiggan reviews a performance in Portarlington Community Centre on 28 October.
Starting with Intent
Music Network's first tour of the autumn season began with Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh, Cormac de Barra and Mark Redmond at the Sugar Club in Dublin on 14 September. James Camien McGuiggan reviews.
Clarity of Vision
Celebrating ten years, Kirkos ensemble hosted their festival '10' in Dublin in July, featuring new work from Susan Geaney, Sebastian Adams, Jonathan Nangle, Áine Mallon and Robbie Blake. James Camien McGuiggan reviews.
In-Depth Experience in West Cork
Returning for its first live festival since 2019, the West Cork Chamber Music Festival took place from 24 June to 3 July with over 100 concerts. James Camien McGuiggan attended for three days and reviews a number of events.
Representing Ireland's Damaged Past
Farpoint Recordings have recently released 'SacrumProfanum' by composer Benjamin Dwyer, a work for ensemble and tape inspired by the medieval Sheela-na-gig carvings found in Ireland. James Camien McGuiggan reviews.
Shades of Drama and Light
Last week, the National Symphony Orchestra performed under Portuguese conductor Joana Carneiro a programme of works by Salonen, Mahler, and Stravinsky, featuring mezzo-soprano Tara Erraught. James Camien McGuiggan reviews.
Making Unlikely Things Possible
The Music Current contemporary music festival returned last week post-pandemic and featured international groups Splinter Reeds, Loadbang and Ensemble Garage, Barry Guy and Maya Homburger, and a range of premieres. James Camien McGuiggan reviews.
Reflections on Home from Norway to Ukraine
Norwegian violinist and composer Henning Kraggerud recently performed with the Irish Chamber Orchestra at the NCH. James Camien McGuiggan reviews.
Drawing on a Host of Traditions
The Fidelio Trio have recently released an album of chamber music by Ernest Moeran with works dating from the 1920s to the 40s. James Camien McGuiggan reviews.
Remembering Stanford
Music for Galway's annual Midwinter Festival took place last weekend (21–23 January) and focused on the Irish composer Charles Villiers Stanford. James Camien McGuiggan reviews.
Capturing the Darkness and Lightness of Maxwell Davies
Peter Maxwell Davies' 'The Lighthouse', Irish National Opera's most recent production which ends its national tour this week, is based on a true story about keepers who go missing without a trace. James Camien McGuiggan reviews.
Picturing Flutes
The Music Current festival in Dublin ended with concerts by Lina Andonovska and Richard Craig. James Camien McGuiggan reviews.
Hear Him Out
Composer Dave Flynn has recently released an album of string quartet and chamber works, 'Irish Minimalism', which combines traditional Irish and contemporary music. James Camien McGuiggan reviews.
Shouting About Housing
'Music for Cranes', a site-specific performance by Kirkos ensemble, recently took place as part of the Dublin Fringe Festival. James Camien McGuiggan reviews.
Sounds and Sadness in South Dublin
The latest release from Farpoint Recordings is a combination of field recordings from Dún Laoghaire by Anthony Kelly and improvisations from pianist Izumi Kimura and violinist Cora Venus Lunny. James Camien McGuiggan reviews.
Within the Stillness
Released in March, 'Lipids' features three works by Barry O'Halpin performed by Crash Ensemble and the composer. James Camien McGuiggan reviews.
A European Tour Under Lockdown
The Sligo International Chamber Music Festival took place online this year with four concerts and three new commissions from Irish composers. James Camien McGuiggan reviews.
Is Music Timeless?
Presented as part of the MusicTown festival this year, 'A Weldon Kane Report – Joe Heaney Is a Time Traveller' explores the revelation that there exists a secret society of time-travelling Irish traditional musicians. James Camien McGuiggan reviews.
Love of the Living Sounds
Composer Karen Power's new album 'human nature' combines recordings of the living world with improvisations from musicians such as Michelle O'Rourke and Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh. James Camien McGuiggan reviews.
Is Great Music Always Subversive?
A major book by American writer Ted Gioia, published last autumn, explores the history of music and many overlooked traditions, and argues that the best music has almost always been subversive. James Camien McGuiggan reviews.
Bringing Out the Stillness
Violinist Darragh Morgan and pianist John Tilbury have recently released a recording of the demanding work 'For John Cage' by Morton Feldman on Diatribe records. James Camien McGuiggan reviews.
Celtic Connection or Talented Imitator?
Axel Klein, who has written a number of works on Irish classical music, has recently published a voluminous biography of the almost totally unknown Irish-American, Paris-resident composer Swan Hennessy. Is his music worth reviving? James Camien McGuiggan reviews.
The Breadth of Contemporary Flute
Flute-player Lina Andonovska's much-anticipated debut album 'A Way a Lone a Last' features five new works by Barry O'Halpin, Nick Roth, Donnacha Dennehy and Judith Ring. James Camien McGuiggan reviews.
Making the Case for Ina Boyle
A recent book on the life and work of the Irish composer Ina Boyle suggests an oeuvre worth uncovering. James Camien McGuiggan explores the arguments.
Extreme Encounters
American composer Missy Mazzoli's 'Breaking the Waves' received its European premiere at the Edinburgh International Festival in August. James Camien McGuiggan reviews.