New Music Dublin is Ireland's foremost contemporary music festival, taking place in Spring each year within the National Concert Hall and other venues throughout Dublin.

Recorded remotely at home, the RTÉ Concert Orchestra performs Atomic Hope by Natasa Paulberg. This is the second time the RTÉ CO has worked with Paulberg, having recorded her soundtrack to the TV documentary The Great Hunger in 2020.


Atomic Hope

I: Electron

II: Proton

III: Neutron

IV: Atomic Hope

RTÉ Concert Orchestra with Mia Cooper, leader

An orchestral piece of music exploring the component parts of the atom as a metaphor of our current human experience, the themes of the work express the variable and fluctuating nature of our existence spanning activity, connectivity, dormancy, and ultimately hope...

Natasa Paulberg

Atomic Hope contains four movements which symbolically associate the structure of the atom and our current human experience. Humankind, like the atom, is composed of many unique parts that on coming together create a greater whole. The first movement describes the busyness of life and industry through interweaving lines of rhythmic complexity building into a dense texture. Progressing to the second movement the experience of community, family and the interconnectedness of people is represented. This all comes to a sudden halt in movement three where we find ourselves separated, alone in a sparseness that teeters on despair and isolation. From this sense of inertia emerge isolated parts, disjointed initially that slowly merge to again become a whole – different from before, but again as one, an atomic hope.

Find out more about this year's New Music Dublin programme here.