Elaine Agnew


Type of Work: Solo
Instrumentation: Piano
Length: 5 minutes
Commissioned by: 2006 AXA Dublin International Piano Competition
Premiere: 13 May 2006, National Concert Hall, Dublin.
Kyu Yeon Kim
Recording: Isabelle O’Connell, Diatribe Solo Series Reservoir (DIACDSOLO01)

Romian Descharmes, Contemporary Music from Ireland Volume 8 (CD08)


Seagull is a one-movement work for solo piano, inspired by a poem of the same title by Chris Agee.  A central fast moving section is framed by a slow shimmery introduction and a delicate finale, its lyrical line reflecting the image of the lone gull facing seawards.  Irish pianist Isabelle O’Connell gave it’s New York premiere at the Carnegie Hall as well as featuring the piece on her solo New Zealand tour in 2011. Dublin choreographer and dancer Fiona Quilligan included Seagull in the sound score of her new show at the Project Arts Centre in Dublin Pas De Chat. The score is published by the Contemporary Music Centre.

Anthony Aibel, New York Concert Review: New Music, New Ireland, New York 14 October 2007

“The program opened with Isabelle O’Connell performing impressively in Elaine Agnew’s solo piano work, Seagull, composed in 2005. This dramatic work explored the keyboard’s range with raw excitement. It is an excellent work for the piano that shows a high level of craftsmanship. Ms. O’Connell’s commitment to the work was in evidence, and she was riveting throughout the performance”

Where lichen daubs a spit of sea-rocks
with the gold of goldenrod,

undersides of fungi,
or sea-clumps of pallid algae:

where the slow swell girds the dreadlocks of bladderwrack
in shallows of sea-brown and sea-green:

where sea-turf and primroses face a salt lough
and the tongue’s foreshore meets the sea’s Word:

the common gull stands sentinel
for the shofar of a muffled foghorn.                       Chris Agee (from In The New Hampshire Woods)

Performed by:
Isabelle O’Connell