Portrait: Michelle O'Rourke
Michelle O’Rourke is a singer based in Dublin, Ireland. Her natural sound, unaffected expressivity, and technical ability make for an interpreter of rare dynamism. Michelle combines her background in Baroque music with an adventurous eclecticism and an interest in interdisciplinary work.
Michelle is passionate about the commissioning and performance of new vocal music. She has worked closely with many composers, including: Ann Cleare, Andrew Hamilton, Simon O’Connor, Karen Power, Benedict Schlepper-Connolly and Garrett Sholdice. Notable releases include Andrew Hamilton: Music for People (NMC) and Left Behind: Songs of the 1916 Widows (Ergodos).
Michelle is ever fascinated by the seemingly endless expressive facility of the human voice; how singers have been centric to ritual performance for centuries, and how we continue as performers to evolve the interpretative and performative role of voice.
These portraits capture a specific moment in time for eight individuals. The unwavering single-shot focus of the camera offers a poignant and intimate closeness to each subject. They were filmed in April 2021 in locations specially chosen by each subject: a place of sanctuary within the five-kilometre radius of their home. The films are inspired by Andy Warhol’s Screen Test from the 1960s and Jane McCormick’s This Moment capturing the significant people behind the TownHall Cavan Arts Space. The films pay homage to the dedication and talent which sustained the Don’t anticipate the ending project.
Directed by Robbie Blake
Filmed and Edited by Steve O’Connor
should grow in joyousness
This note towards Dancing at Lughnasa (1990) dated 30 May 1989 contains a phrase that performance-maker Robbie Blake adapted for use as a direction for their piece ‘Running the Ending’.
Robbie Blake's blue notebook, 5
In this page from Robbie Blake’s project notebooks, Robbie makes a note of tasks for a Zoom workshop held in April that would ultimately generate the three dance solos that form part of Jessie Keenan’s film ‘So what is surfacing’.
In this video clip from 29 April 2021, masked performers Bláthnaid Conroy Murphy and Michelle O’Rourke rehearse music by Robbie Blake written for Jessie Keenan’s film ‘So What Is Surfacing’.
Recording at MoLI, 30 April 2021
These photographs were taken by Zosia Kuczyńska between recording sessions for music by Robbie Blake for Jessie Keenan’s short film ‘So what is surfacing’ at the Museum of Literature Ireland on 30 April 2021.
Robbie Blake, Denis Donoghue-inspired score
This unused score by Robbie Blake was inspired by their engagement with Denis Donoghue’s ideas around communication from his book Ferocious Alphabets (1981), which was a direct inspiration for Friel’s farcical play The Communication Cord (1982).