World Premiere Of 'As The Sun Brightens, The Shadows Deepen'

Apr, 2023

Friday 5th May, 2023

The world premiere of Neil Hannon's new orchestral composition 'As The Sun Brightens, The Shadows Deepen' will take place at the Ulster Hall on Friday 5th May.

Performed as part of the 'Dwellers All In Time And Space' concert, the inspiration for 'As The Sun Brightens' comes from a deeply personal place for Neil. The roots of the piece lie in a 1963 short film by Terence McDonald and John Hume called 'A City Solitary'. The film charts the development of Derry~Londonderry and is narrated by Neil Hannon's father, the late Bishop Brian Hannon.

Neil says: "Until quite recently I’d only been dimly aware of the film, 'A City Solitary', and my father’s role in it. Then, not long after his funeral, a particularly resourceful niece tracked it down on the internet. I was entranced. I love those little historical/societal documentaries of the 40s and 50s; here was one about the city of my birth, narrated by my Dad! And this just happened to coincide with the Ulster Orchestra asking me for a new piece about the north. It was all strangely perfect."

'As The Sun Brightens'
carries a message of hope for a shared future and draws inspiration from Adams, Elgar, Copland and the light orchestral music of the 1950s.

'Dwellers All In Time And Space' also features 'To Our Fathers In Distress' which was originally performed in 2014. Inspired by memories of a traditional Hannon family Sunday in the 1980s, it was written to mark the restoration of the Royal Festival Hall organ. The Ulster Orchestra will be joined by singers of the Ulster Consort with Tristan Russcher at the console of the Ulster Hall's majestic Mulholland Organ. The programme also includes two pieces chosen by Neil which have personal significance to him.

From 7pm there will be a pre-show Q&A
with Neil Hannon and Patrick McCarthy of the Ulster Orchestra. The concert will be recorded by BBC Radio Ulster for broadcast at a later date. Tickets for the event include the Q&A session and are on sale now at the Ulster Orchestra website.

Note on timings:
Doors open at 6.30pm with the Q&A starting at 7pm. The performance will begin at 7.45pm, with an interval at 8.15pm. Latecomers will be admitted at a suitable break in the performance.