Mick Wilson, Dónal Óg, 2017, sound piece, 17 fragments, various duration, 15–45 sec.

Mick Wilson, Dónal Óg, 2017, booklets

Dónal Óg comprises a small booklet and an audio recording of a traditional Irish/Scottish song of disputed antiquity and complex genealogy. The song is performed in four versions, which are played intermittently in short bursts. These versions of the song are novel and do not conform to established practices. They draw upon existing variants in performance from Irish, Scottish, and English performers. The booklet provides variant lyrics of the song, and some variant source details as well. It obliquely connects the song to the question of orality within the contexts of colonial modernity.

This work is part of a series entitled Rhetor that is an ongoing inquiry into rhetorical modes and forms of address. The specific focus for this work is the hailing effects of the song, which consist of a series of direct and indirect calls and addresses: “o Dónal go…”; “whistled and called you . . . twelve times repeating”; “my mother will ask you to name your people."

  • Part of To Seminar exhibition conceptualized by Henk Slager
  • Part of Future Vocabularies long-term research and propositional trajectory rethinking art’s conceptual lexicon