Now in her third year of doctoral research at Trinity College Dublin, Meg recently completed seven works featuring the integration of ethnic instruments with western orchestral instruments. She seeks to achieve a reciprocity in the ensembles, with differing genres influencing each other equally.
Zephyr is a six and a half minute piece for xiao, suspended cymbal, and cello. The airy timbre of the xiao is often accompanied by breath-like sounds in the cello and cymbal parts. In this way, the cello and the cymbal complement the ensemble without overpowering the xiao. While the word “zephyr” means a gentle, westerly breeze, an Irish traditional tune, “An Ghaoth Aneas” (The wind from the South) is loosely woven into the fabric of the piece. This work will be premiered on 22 May 2019 in The Studio at the National Concert Hall, Dublin. Martin Johnson on cello, Richard O’Donnell on cymbal, and Meg on xiao.
Hope is a six and a half minute work for Native American flute, soprano, mezzo-soprano, western flute, clarinet, and percussion. Setting the poem “Hope is the thing with feathers” by Emily Dickinson, it features opposing rhythms between the percussion and the rest of the ensemble. It was premiered at Trinity College Dublin on May 31, 2108. Performers were: Meg Collins Stoop, Native American flute; Elizabeth Hilliard, soprano; Sylvia O’Brien, mezzo-soprano; William Dowdall, flute; Paul Roe, clarinet; and Richard O’Donnell, percussion. A link to the recording of the premiere can be found below, in the LISTEN section.
Soft-spoken Power is a four and a half minute work for Native American flute solo. It explores the capabilities of the instrument with non-idiomatic chromaticism and angular melodic gestures. A link to a recording of Meg performing the piece can be found below, in the LISTEN section.
Moving Toward Home is a six minute work for uilleann pipes, clarinet, bassoon, and cello.
Under a Cobalt Sky, just under nine minutes long, is a work for two Persian instruments, the tar and the santoor, and violin and clarinet.
Clouds Shadows is a seven and a half minute work composed for five different flutes: high D tin whistle, Native American flute, xiao, silver flute, and low D whistle. It explores the timbral changes of harmonies as chord tones are swapped between the flutes. The fact that the flutes are not all tuned to equal temperament allows for fluctuations in pitch, expanding the harmonic world beyond that of 12 equidistant notes. Meg is in the process of recording all the piece, in which she will play all five parts.
Dancing Owl is written for xiao and string quartet. At just over five minutes, it is the first in what will be a multi-movement work. Following the exploration of harmonies beyond those of equal temperament, the strings bend pitches in response to the xiao. The distinctive ‘lift-off’ characteristic of Chinese flute music is complemented by pizzicato in the strings.
At the Society of Musicologists Ireland Annual Plenary Conference 28-30 June 2019, Meg gave a presentation entitled “Addressing the Integration of Folk Instruments into Western Ensembles.” The conference was held at Maynooth University.
On 20 March 2019 Meg presented a lecture/recital at the DCU Symposium Contemporary Approaches to Music Composition and Sonic Arts: Practice as Research on all Hallows Campus.
Meg is currently recording all five parts of Clouds Shadows, a piece for five flutes. She is composing a multi-movement work for xiao and string quartet. She performs regualrly in Dublin City Centre venues, playing a variety of flutes including silver flute, xiao, Native American flute, and low and high D whistles.
Meg maintains a private studio in her home in Dublin, Ireland, where she offers lessons in flute, theory and composition, and piano. She has taught privately for more than twenty-five years and derives a particular joy from teaching 'late beginners.'
Email Meg now to schedule a free consultation to discuss your musical goals.