Fourteenth century Ireland was a time of invasions, war, lawlessness, famine and plague. A time of fear, violence and almost unimaginable mutability. In 1317 Richard de Ledrede arrived in Kilkenny as the new Bishop of Ossory and immediately set about challenging the secular authorities and making a name for himself as a zealous moraliser and "scourge of heresy". Throughout Ledrede’s forty-three years as Bishop of Ossory he continued to court controversy for the sake of ecclesiastical power. He was also the author of some sixty Latin verses which he intended to be sung by the priests and choristers of St. Canice's Cathedral so that their throats would not be "polluted" by secular lyrics. These verses, collected in The Red Book of Ossory, were set to popular tunes of the day.
While the majority of those tunes have been lost to the ages, Anakronos has undertaken a project of speculative reconstruction. With The Red Book of Ossory Anakronos presents these remarkable works in a mesmerising concert that promises to be one of the musical highlights of 2020.
Anakronos is a new ensemble devoted to exploring ancient music from a modern perspective. The ensemble features some of Ireland's foremost exponents of medieval music, contemporary classical, traditional and jazz. Anakronos’ reconstructions and virtuosic interpretations of rare and previously unknown works create a thrilling new interplay between the music of the past and today.
Caitríona O'Leary, voice
Deirdre O'Leary, clarinets
Nick Roth, saxophones
Matthias Loibner, hurdy-gurdy
Mel Mercier, percussion
Ian Dowdall – Sound Engineer