Sat 10 Jun 2023
1:00pm | €16/13 | Promo codes can be applied at checkout
Sat 10 Jun 2023
1:00pm | €16/13 | Promo codes can be applied at checkout

Voces amissae (Lost Voices) is a work for vocalist and ensemble which explores different ways in which people have lost their voices, whether for medical, social, political or other reasons, in the context of a musical investigation into the mechanics of playing pianissimo. The idea came out of my ongoing interest in examining the minutiae of instrumental sounds – following on from a series of pieces for small forces, I wanted to take my exploration further in a longer-form piece for a larger ensemble and felt that adding a singer would help give this focus. I approached the wonderful Dutch soprano Nora Fischer, with whom I had worked before, only to find that she had been having difficulties with her singing voice. But she still wanted to be involved and this gave us the idea to contextualize Nora’s own struggle in a wider exploration of how people can lose their voice. Nora and I separately interviewed a number of people who had in some way lost their voice and transcriptions of parts of those interviews form the basis of the text that Nora vocalizes throughout Voces amissae.

I have also included a number of poems by the little-known but wonderful Serbian poet Draginja Adamović, someone who has also lost her voice since her death in 2000 because no one in her home country seems to be aware of how extraordinary her poems are. Voces amissae was created with funds from an Arts Council of Ireland Music Project award, with support from DICMF and Triskel Arts Centre.

Ian Wilson, February 2023

About the Musicians

IAN WILSON has composed over 250 works in many different genres which have been performed and broadcast on six continents. He is a member of Aosdána, Ireland’s national association of creative artists, and his music is published by G. Ricordi & Co. Ltd and Universal Edition.


NORA FISCHER attended conservatory in Amsterdam but was “kicked out […] after a single semester”, because she didn’t like the “typical classical way of singing”. She studied musicology and philosophy at the University of Amsterdam, then studied music at the Complete Vocal Institute in Copenhagen, and later earned a Master’s degree in New Audiences and Innovative Practice at the Royal Conservatoire of The Hague, in the Netherlands.

Nora has performed with many world-class orchestras and ensembles, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Kronos Quartet, Asko/Schönberg Ensemble, the Dutch National Opera, Stargaze and l’Arpeggiata, and in venues such as the Philharmonie de Paris and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. She performs regularly with Yo-Yo Ma’s Silkroad.

Nora sings music from the Renaissance and Baroque periods to contemporary music, and she has worked with a number of contemporary composers, including Steve Reich, David Lang, Michel van der Aa, and Nico Muhly. Louis Andriessen and Osvaldo Golijov have written works for her. She signed with Universal Music in 2017 and subsequently released HUSH on Deutsche Grammophon, with guitarist Marnix Dorrestein, a modern take on songs by Monteverdi, Purcell, Dowland, and others for soprano and electric guitar.

FICINO ENSEMBLE was formed by Artistic Director Nathan Sherman in 2012 as a flexible chamber music group that performs all the great music for small ensembles, ranging from string trios to works written for larger ensembles.

Ficino Ensemble’s aim is to perform works that appeal to a discerning audience whilst championing lesser-known works that deserve to be appreciated. To date, they been invited to play for President Michael D. Higgins, Howth Chamber Music Series, Music in Kilkenny Series, Hugh Lane Sundays@Noon Series, Cork Orchestral Society and the Irish Georgian Society.

​Their concerts have been described as exciting and intimate with a high calibre of ensemble playing. The members of the group are recognized in Ireland and abroad as soloists and chamber musicians.

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