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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: April 5, 2011 @ 5:35 pm

    Bring a touch of class to your sandwich munching

    Laurence Mackin

    The Harmonic series, organised by Foggy Notions, is a solid line-up of intriguing acts, and, in admirably innovative fashion, it has come up with a clever ticketing policy. Ticket bundles are available for several gigs, so you could see A Hawk + A Hacksaw at the Workmans Club on April 15th and hotly tipped Agnes Obel at the Sugar Club on April 16th for €20 – a saving of €11 on separate tickets. This is not some sort of IFA double-ticket bungle though – punters can opt for separate tickets, but it makes perfect sense to offer loyal music fans a break.

    Here’s hoping that a few of the festivals follow their lead. A few years ago, I spent a small fortune on tickets to the Dublin Theatre Festival in one fell swoop (well, about €250, but still) and did my best in the box office to get at least one free ticket, but to no avail. I understand that festivals operate on tight budgets, but it did strike me at the time that there should have been a better policy on bulk purchases. Although there are “friends of the festival” schemes, many of them don’t seem like great value. It will be interesting to see what pricing policies emerge as we head into arts festival time.

    This week’s recommendations for some lunchtime leisure are all of a classical music nature, and we’ve included several, because they are one-off events in two different places in the country. On Wednesday in Belfast’s Sonic Arts Research Centre at Queen’s, Russell Mason from the University of Surrey will tackle the thorny subject of Towards An Audio Quality Meter or Why Aren’t Humans Easier to Predict? It’s from 1pm, and is free in. Again in Belfast, but this time on Thursday, you can catch pianist Daan Vandewalle in concert in the Harty Room at 1.10pm and admission is again free.

    Meanwhile in Dublin, there are two lunchtime concerts on Thursday: St Anne’s Church in Dawson Street is hosting Elaine Kenny and Michael Joyce at 1.10pm; and the Mill Theatre in Dundrum will have Grace Bermingham and Aileen Cahill, also at 1.10pm. Go on, bring a touch of class to your sandwich munching.

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