The Longest River - Arts and Marine Science fuse celebrating Ireland’s role in ESOF 2012

An arts and science fusion called “The Longest River” will be presented this evening (Wednesday 11th July 2012) showcasing the very best in Irish talent at St. Anne’s Church, Dawson Street, Dublin as part of the Euroscience Open Forum in association with the Marine Institute.

Co-coordinated by Brendan O’Connor, managing director of AQUAFACT, and Professor John Delaney of the University of Washington, The Longest River showcases an amalgamation of the creative energies of the arts and the sciences including traditional Irish music from the uilleann pipe, harp, choral music, poetry and marine photography.  The science of the deep sea will be presented through a unique presentation comprising high definition video footage and stills of rarely filmed extreme marine environments.

The event illustrating Brendan O’Connor’s life long affair with both the arts and the sciences, in which he is also the director of the Galway based choir Cois Cladaigh, stated “the evening demonstrates the cohesion that exists between the two worlds. Poets and scientists alike are powerfully drawn to the sea for inspiration and resolution. It is in their nature to ask questions, to seek answers, and to explore through research and development, poetry, music and photography in order to illuminate some piece of the great mystery of our oceans and share its beauty.”

Performances will include Cois Cladaigh whom specialise in European music from the late 15th and early 16th centauries as well as contemporary choral music from Ireland, Scandinavia, Eastern Europe and North America.  Dublin native Eugene Lambe, a lecturer in the Department of Botany in NUIG, will perform on the uilleann pipe. Kathleen Loughnane, harpist and co-founder of the group Dordán will perform a mix of Irish and Baroque music. Deirbhile Ní Bhrolcháin will provide an exciting and innovative repertoire of sean-nós singing.  Mary O’Malley, poet and author of the book Valparaiso, will recite a collection of poetry she wrote while at sea, as part of the writers residency, on board the Marine Institute’s RV Celtic Explorer in 2007.

Co-hosting the evening Dr. Peter Heffernan, CEO of the Marine Institute, said, “The Longest River reflects the depths with which the sea has evinced not only our history but also our future. The performers tonight illustrate the importance of the collaboration between the arts and the sciences, constructing and composing, formulating and forging and actualising Ireland’s heritage and economic future in one.  The Marine Institute acknowledges the ongoing innovation, integration and collaboration in these disciplines, and how the importance of incorporating these to the realisation of the economic potential of our marine resources.”

The most influential from the world of science, society and policy are gathering in Dublin this week for the largest open forum of its kind – ESOF 2012. An event such as The Longest River highlights the importance of appreciating and strengthening the links between science and our local communities. Professor Patrick Cunningham Chairman of ESOF2012, speaking about The Longest River said he is enthusiastic about linking science and the arts, “in fact the ESOF2012 programme includes many such sessions, including Science meets Poetry.”