Tide Quartet – Sebastian Adams

A string quartet dress in wet suits, sitting on chairs on the dry sea-bed in Dublin Bay. They perform a theme and variations (improvised from a set of instructions) as the tide begins to rush in around them. The performance ends for each musician only when the water reaches their neck, making it a durational piece reliant on the speed of the tide. Afterwards, the saturated instruments will be retrieved and the composer will attempt to save them by leaving them to dry naturally. This process will also be recorded and shown on this website. Unsalvageable parts will be repaired using driftwood, and the piece will be performed again next year.

( Watch video here )

On Biosphere: “our big events always shift shape during their gestation period. Biosphere, in particular, originated simply from a long-term ambition to do a significant site-specific concert. That’s something rob and I have discussed for many years. But as we prepared for it over the last nine months, it seemed increasingly obvious that an event like this in the current moment simply couldn’t take place without climate change and waste being central to it.

A duality emerged: between wanting to show work that rings in sympathy with our beautiful landscape and much-loved city; and wanting to make an event which is not just conceptually “about” climate change but actually attempts to research and reassess the place of music in a world which will either be adopting radical change, or else changing radically despite inaction. 

One of the interesting things about this is that the production process has become performative…”

DAMAGED GOODS — Tide Quartet continues recent trends in Sebastian’s music exploring the physical limitations of performers (mostly himself, but this time joined by the other Kirkos string players) and of intentionally damaging and rebuilding string instruments 

Sebastian Adams (b. 1991) is an Irish composer, performer and artistic director with wide-ranging interests that include experimental text pieces, early music and artificial intelligence. He is the founder and director of Kirkos. His instrumental music is performed regularly by top Irish artists and ensembles as well as abroad. Besides this, Sebastian produces computer-generated notated music which can be written and sightread mid-concert.

A significant aspect of Sebastian’s creative output is as an organiser, curator and advocate for new music. His ensemble Kirkos has become a leading light of the Irish scene, providing a vital arena for the most exciting young composers in the country and exploring the gamut of the most experimental and striking music written in our time. As a viola player, Sebastian has premiered many solo and chamber works, and enjoys working closely with composers on their new music. He is also active as an improviser, including in live theatre, and as an early music performer on viola and gamba.