Little Pictures of the Night at the Abbey Mill Wheel
It was a night of music and magic. In the beautiful pastoral setting of the Abbey Mill Wheel, just outside Ballyshannon, the Coffee Shop hosted an exhibition of paintings by Seoirse Ó Dochartaigh called “Nocturne”. The theme of the show was music, but music of the night in particular.
The inspiration for these Nocturne paintings came from John Field, an Irish composer born in Dublin in 1782. Field made his home in Russia and gained a huge reputation for himself there both as a pianist and composer. His music has been somewhat neglected over the last 100 years or so but today most of his compositions are available on CD performed by internationally acclaimed pianists like John O’Conor. Field’s name has at last been reinstated as one of the great pianists of all time and as the man who invented the piano “Nocturne”.
Seoirse Ó Dochartaigh, from Donegal Town, likes the challenge of new ideas and new approaches, such as in the current series “Nocturne”. Here he has taken the complete piano Nocturnes of Field and produced a series of 18 pictures depicting each piano piece as a kind of vignette, or small-scale landscape. They could be described perhaps as “little pictures of the night” The aim was to capture the mood of each of these beautiful and evocative seoda ceoil and aspire to render them in paint. This was certainly in evidence in the Abbey Mill Wheel exhibition where the essence of the music was recreated as if by magic by an artist of vision.