sonic pollinators (2017)

A co-commission with Offaly County Council, Laois County Council and Creative Ireland.   

sonic pollinators aims to capture, represent and juxtapose the real and imagined, or reimagined, place, time and uniqueness of Offaly and its pollinators through music/sound. Over the next 7 weeks this pollinators project will come to its completion, after months of listening and recording natural and maned pollinators throughout Offaly. Natural settings include: Clara Bog, Lough Boora Discovery Park + Birr Castle Garden’s. Managed settings were accessed in collaboration with Offaly Beekeeping Association.

As a versatile, enthusiastic and well-received Irish composer. Karen Power seeks to stimulate, engage and interact with audiences. Her work utilizes two primary sources; acoustic instruments and everyday sounds, spaces and soundscapes.

The root concept of this project was to spend time visiting both the natural and humanly created pollinator environments. I made multiple visits to listen and make full frequency recordings of bees, plants and their surrounding habitats. Every place has its own character and sense of time, this for me is palpable, most especially in more isolated, less human spaces. Listen to any of these spaces where nature and surroundings simply coexist. They are in sync and everything within that space has a purpose - natural chaos - you hear patterns evolve and dissolve and you hear a new kind of ‘harmony’. The sounds of any place also unveil its past, its present, its unique circumstances and the effects of mankind.


Everyday sound (soundscape) plays an essential part in my music. Manipulation of its ability to evoke associations is key: specifically, I explore the 'edges' of recognition, where just enough remains of a found sound that it simultaneously appears familiar and new. I am interested in how each of us carries individual, conscious or unconscious, associations with these sounds - particularly if we have been to the places from where they are extracted - and these associations inform our listening experience and blurs the distinction between real and imagined memory.

Performing at the centre of this large-scale composition is Ireland’s Quiet Music Ensemble, who will employ their unique skills as improvisors, listeners + interpreters as they shift between notated, graphic and aural materials to create musical dialogues that shift between music and nature.

Performance Dates:

Sept. 22nd - Culture Night @ Birr Castle - 5-6pm - an in-progress solo performance and talk

Sept. 27th - Clara Bog Visitors Centre - an in-progress solo performance and talk

Oct. 17th - Tullamore Arts Centre -sonic pollinators premier with Quiet Music Ensemble + Quad Tape


Midlands103 Program: Monday Sept 18th, 7pm -