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Brightly Burning Flame

In June 2022, after 2 years of working through the pandemic, members of the Irish Doctors Orchestra met together on Heir Island off the coast of West Cork for a week of music making. They invited composer Justin Grounds to join them with some of his music, and the result is a new film produced by Grounds of a live performance of his string orchestra piece ‘Brightly Burning Flame.’

“‘Brightly Burning Flame’ was written by the Composer some years ago after sadly losing a friend to motor neurone disease,’I wanted to create a piece for string orchestra which portrayed the arc of a life lived, with all of the pulsing rhythms of a body growing and ageing, but also the hopes, dreams, loves – the way a life sings its unique song to the world. It seemed really fitting to bring this piece to the Irish Doctors Orchestra during this extraordinary week of meeting and playing on this beautiful island.’

Justin Grounds is an artist on the Arts For Health team. His orchestral work draws influence from the modern minimalists such as Philip Glass and Arvo Pärt, but also often includes elements from his training as a baroque violinist as well as an electroacoustic composer. Receiving a bursary from the Arts Council of Ireland to help to produce a series of films of his recent work, he brought over local filmmaker Sean Phair to oversee the shoot, which took place at the Heir Island Retreat.

The film will premiere on YouTube on 14th September at the following link: and a special screening fo the work will take place at Skibbereen Community Hospital for the residents and staff with discussion, live music interaction and Q&A with the Composer, who is resident artist there for 2022.

An additional short ‘behind the scenes’ film can be viewed here: