Music and music technology is central to teaching and learning in School of the Divine Child. Since 2018 Garry Jones has been visiting the school and exploring ideas for developing musical sculptures. Wings – a project commissioned by Music Generation provided some of Garry’s large scale winged creatures which pupils in the School of the Divine Child were to use in their St. Patrick’s Day Parade in 2020. The day before the event, a government announcement closed the school and the opportunity was lost.
Garry didn’t forget about the school and a year later he phoned with an offer to install musical chimes as a gift to the pupils. The chimes are played daily and the pure sound they emit when hit with a beater echoes over the tops of the building and enters all the different playground spaces used by the pupils during the day. Those playing the chimes feel the vibrations as well as hearing the notes played.
The success of the chimes project prompted the Board of Management to commission Garry to create another musical piece in memory of the pupils who have sadly passed away whilst attending School of the Divine Child. Garry’s proposal was to install a Rainbow Organ and butterfly on one of the walls on the corridor of the school. The rainbow organ is designed in such a way that with a fist or hand punch a pupil may push air through any one of the colours to produce a sound in organ parts rescued by Garry from an abandoned organ. The butterfly then takes the sound to join the soul of the pupils who are still remembered by their friends, SNAs and Teachers. After just two days some of the pupils play only one note whilst others are exploring using the different notes to make their own music.
Born in Queensland, Australia, Garry Jones began making acoustic guitars and mandolins with his brother in the 1980s. Ten year’s later he was using recycled materials to make large scale instruments and providing workshops in schools and art centres in music making using these materials. In 1998, he toured Ireland with a show called ‘White Bird’ and after that stayed in Clifden Co. Galway composing music and conducting instrument making workshops in community, disability and school groups.
Garry soon received a commission to compose music for Clifden’s millennium celebrations and the following year a performance as part of the Bealtaine festival, Co. Westmeath. This was followed by commissions to build musical sculptures in public spaces in Australia. Back in Ireland by 2004, Garry built ‘the temple of wind’ at Brigid’s Garden, Co. Galway and musical water fountains in Connemara and Mournegrange, Camphill.
A move to Vermont, USA in 2008 was the start of eight years of music making and more musical sculptures. Then back to Ireland to do the same work in Sligo, followed by a move to California before moving to Cork in 2018 where Garry became a member of the National Sculpture Factory. His most recent projects include a Cork City Council commission to build a musical park bench for the Greenway Trail project, Wings project with Cork Music Generation involving workshops in School of the Divine Child and a musical trail in Lismore, Co. Waterford.
Contact information for Garry Jones :
Garry Jones and The Harmonic Forge
+353 (0)89 420 7275