“Fiddle Strings, Airplane Wings and Humanizing Technology”

Domhnaill HernonPaul Muldoon introduces a lecture by award winning technology, innovation and creativity executive Domhnaill Hernon. In his lecture, “Fiddle strings, airplane wings and humanizing technology,” Hernon will share some of his personal history, discuss the merits of fusing art and technology, play some tunes, and talk about Irish tradition in music and in particular where he comes from in County Sligo, Ireland.

DOMHNAILL HERNON is an award-winning technology, innovation and creativity executive. He received an undergraduate degree in Aeronautical Engineering and a Ph.D. in Aerodynamics from the University of Limerick and an executive M.B.A. from Dublin City University, Ireland. He previously led research organizations and developed and executed strategies to overcome the “innovation valley of death.” He is currently as Head of Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T) at Nokia Bell Labs, which is a new initiative he founded to fuse art and engineering/science to develop solutions that humanize technology. His work has been featured in Wired Magazine, Times Square, SXSW, Nasdaq, MWC and Inspirefest, to name just a few, and he advises cultural programs globally.

“Dronehenge”: An Illustrated Talk by Anthony Murphy

Paul Muldoon introduces an illustrated talk by author and photographer Anthony Murphy. In his lecture, tentatively titled “Dronehenge,” Murphy will discuss his 2018 discovery that has radically changed our view of the Neolithic landscape of Brú na Bóinne.

Paul Muldoon introduces an illustrated talk by author and photographer Anthony Murphy. In his lecture, “Dronehenge,” Murphy will discuss his 2018 discovery that has radically changed our view of the Neolithic landscape of Brú na Bóinne.

mruphy with camera around neckANTHONY MURPHY is a journalist, author, photographer, astronomer and tour guide who lives in Drogheda, at the gateway to Ireland’s historic Boyne Valley. He has been researching, photographing and writing about the ancient megalithic monuments of the Boyne Valley and their associated mythology, cosmology and alignments for the past 20 years. He is the author of five books, with a sixth due to be published November 2019 and a seventh in production.

In 2018, Anthony achieved international recognition when he discovered a previously unknown late Neolithic henge and other monuments close to Newgrange at the Unesco World Heritage Site of Brú na Bóinne. He has been consulted as an expert on Brú na Bóinne by various international media including the History Channel, National Geographic and Britain’s Channel 4.

Learn more:
101 Facts about New Grange
Books by Murphy on Amazon



Reading and conversation with novelist John Banville

Photo by by Douglas Banville

Award-winning Irish novelist John Banville reads from his work followed by a conversation with Princeton’s Howard G.B. Clark ’21 University Professor in the Humanities Paul Muldoon on Friday, September 20. The event will take place at the James Stewart Film Theater at 185 Nassau Street on the Princeton University Campus at 4:30 p.m. The reading and conversation are free and open to the public as a part of Princeton University’s 2019-20 Fund for Irish Studies series.

Born and raised in Wexford, Ireland, Banville studied at Christian Brothers schools and St. Peter’s College before he began his career as an author. Banville worked as a clerk at Aer Lingus, Ireland’s national airline, a sub-editor at The Irish Press, and the Literary Editor of The Irish Times. Amidst Banville’s long and successful career in journalism, he began his career as a novelist.

In 1970, Banville published a short story collection and a novella, John Lankin, before publishing his first novel, Nightspawn, in 1971. Other novels by Banville include Birchwood (1973), The Book of Evidence (1989), Ghosts (1993), The Sea (2005), The Infinities (2009), and Mrs. Osmond (2017). Prague Pictures: Portraits of a City (2003) is Banville’s non-fiction book, in which he tells the story of Prague’s people and history throughout the years.

Banville has won several awards for his writing, including the Allied Irish Banks fiction prize, the American-Irish Foundation award, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, and the Guardian Fiction Prize. Banville won the Man Booker Prize for The Sea, the Franz Kafka Prize, the Prince of Asturias Award, the Austrian State Prize for Literature, and the Irish Pen Award for Outstanding Achievement in Irish Literature. The Book of Evidence was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and Ghosts was shortlisted the Whitbread Fiction Prize. Banville also has written several crime novels, some of which have been developed for production on BBC, under the pseudonym Benjamin Black.

paul muldoon
Paul Muldoon. Photo by Denise Applewhite.

Muldoon is a Professor of Creative Writing at Princeton and director of the Princeton Atelier. He was born in 1951 in County Armagh, Northern Ireland, and educated in Armagh and at the Queen’s University of Belfast. From 1973 to 1986 he worked in Belfast as a radio and television producer for the British Broadcasting Corporation. Since 1987 he has lived in the United States, where he is now Howard G.B. Clark ’21 University Professor in the Humanities at Princeton and Founding Chair of the Peter B. Lewis Center for the Arts. In 2007 he was appointed Poetry Editor of The New Yorker. Between 1999 and 2004 he was Professor of Poetry at the University of Oxford, where he is an honorary Fellow of Hertford College.

Muldoon’s main collections of poetry are New Weather (1973), Mules (1977), Why Brownlee Left (1980), Quoof (1983), Meeting The British (1987), Madoc: A Mystery (1990), The Annals of Chile (1994), Hay (1998), Poems 1968-1998 (2001), Moy Sand and Gravel (2002), Horse Latitudes (2006), Maggot (2010), One Thousand Things Worth Knowing (2015), and Poems 1968-2014 (2016).

A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Muldoon was given an American Academy of Arts and Letters award in literature for 1996. Other recent awards are the 1994 T. S. Eliot Prize, the 1997 Irish Times Poetry Prize, the 2003 Pulitzer Prize, the 2003 Griffin International Prize for Excellence in Poetry, the 2004 American Ireland Fund Literary Award, the 2004 Shakespeare Prize, the 2005 Aspen Prize for Poetry, and the 2006 European Prize for Poetry. He has been described by The Times Literary Supplement as “the most significant English-language poet born since the second World War.”

The Fund for Irish Studies affords all Princeton students, and the community at large, a wider and deeper sense of the languages, literatures, drama, visual arts, history, politics, and economics not only of Ireland but of “Ireland in the world.” The series is co-produced by the Lewis Center of the Arts and the 2019-20 edition of the series is organized by Muldoon and Senior Lecturer in Theater Michael Cadden.

The Fund for Irish Studies is generously sponsored by the Durkin Family Trust and the James J. Kerrigan, Jr. ’45 and Margaret M. Kerrigan Fund for Irish Studies.

“The Making of The Hunger”

Donnacha M. Dennehy (composer) and Iarla Ó Lionáird (singer) discuss the creation of their new music-theater piece on the Famine in Ireland. Introduced by Lecturer in Theater  Michael Cadden, the event is cosponsored by Princeton University’s Department of Music.

The Hunger premiered in 2016 starring O’Lionáird at BAM Next Wave Festival. It is based on diaries and personal accounts from the period of the Great Famine in Ireland (1845-52). A departure from conventions in which the ensemble is concealed in the orchestra pit, the work integrates the players with the action and storytelling taking place on stage. The production includes video of present-day thinkers who consider the conditions that led to the famine and their implications for inequality in our own time.

The Great Famine was a time of major upheaval, the historical significance of which is well documented. At least one million people died and yet another million emigrated. Less well-recorded are accounts of those who directly witnessed and suffered through the famine. At the heart of Dennehy’s The Hunger are personal, contemporaneous stories that introduce new dimensions in the tragedy of the famine. The Hunger also addresses the complex issues of governance and economic policy by complementing these personal, historical voices with video interviews of contemporary economists and political philosophers, such as Noam Chomsky and Paul Krugman. The piece not only recounts history as it happened, but also addresses the current socioeconomic problems of the recent global economic crisis.

man with brown hair black glasses gray shirt
Composer Donnacha Dennehy. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Dennehy is a professor of music at Princeton. His music has been featured in festivals and venues around the world, such as the Edinburgh International Festival, Royal Opera House London, Carnegie Hall New York, The Barbican London, The Wigmore Hall London, BAM New York, Tanglewood Festival, Holland Festival, Kennedy Center, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival in the UK, Dublin Theatre Festival, ISCM World Music Days, Bang On A Can, Ultima Festival in Oslo, Musica Viva Lisbon, the Saarbrucken Festival, and the Schleswig-Holstein Festival. He has received commissions from Dawn Upshaw, the Kronos Quartet, Alarm Will Sound, Bang On A Can, Third Coast Percussion, Icebreaker (London), the Doric String Quartet (London), Contact (Toronto), Lucilin (Luxembourg), Orkest de Ereprijs (Netherlands), Fidelio Trio, Percussion Group of the Hague, RTE National Symphony Orchestra, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, BBC Ulster Orchestra and the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, among others. Collaborations include pieces with the writers Colm Tóibín (The Dark Places) and Enda Walsh (including the opera The Last Hotel, and a forthcoming opera The Second Violinist), the choreographers Yoshiko Chuma and Shobana Jeyasingh, and the visual artist John Gerrard.  Dennehy founded Crash Ensemble, Ireland’s now-renowned new music group, in 1997. Alongside the singers Dawn Upshaw and Iarla O’Lionáird, Crash Ensemble features on the 2011 Nonesuch release of Dennehy’s music, entitled Grá agus Bás.  NPR named it one of its “50 favorite albums’’ (in any genre) of 2011. He joined the music faculty at Princeton in 2014.

man with short crop gray hair
Singer Iarla Ó Lionáird. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Ó Lionáird is a global scholar at Princeton in the Department of Music and Irish Studies and in 2016 was a Belknap Teaching Fellow in the Council of the Humanities. He has carved a long and unique career in music in Ireland. From his iconic early recording of the vision song Aisling Gheal as a young boy to his ground-breaking recordings with Dublin’s Crash Ensemble, he has been widely recognized. In addition to Dennehy, he has worked with a stellar cast of composers internationally, including Nico Muhly, Dan Trueman, Gavin Bryars and David Lang, and he has performed and recorded with such luminaries as Peter Gabriel, Robert Plant, Nick Cave and Sinead O’Connor. His unique singing style has carried him to stages and concert halls all over the world, from New York’s Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center to the Sydney Opera House, London’s Royal Albert Hall and beyond. His film credits include The Gangs of New York, Hotel Rwanda, and most recently as featured vocalist in the film Calvary starring Brendan Gleeson and the film adaptation of Colm Tóibín’s Brooklyn starring Saoirse Ronan.

On September 17, Princeton Sound Kitchen, the University’s lab for new music by composition faculty and staff, will present a program of new works including a concert version of The Hunger performed by Ó Lionáird, soprano Katherine Manley, and the ensemble Alarm Will Sound. The concert, at 8:00 p.m. at Richardson Auditorium, is free and open to the public, however advance tickets are recommended (available at https://music.princeton.edu/events/alarm-will-sound.)

The Fund for Irish Studies is generously sponsored by the Durkin Family Trust and the James J. Kerrigan, Jr. ’45 and Margaret M. Kerrigan Fund for Irish Studies.