I am an Irish composer, based in Cork, Ireland. My compositions use two primary sources; acoustic instruments and everyday sound-objects/environmental soundscapes. I hear and work with these two sources both separately and collectively, with each musical concept dictating the medium employed. My creative output is diverse, both in its approach and delivery, seeking to capture and translate the essence of an idea through a variety of forms, media and methods of dissemination. For example, recent musical works have been presented as sound installations + multi-sensory walk-through experiences, staged orchestral + ensemble pieces, wordless opera, collaborations between sound and dance, sound and image, free + guided improvisations, solo instrumental works, duets, musical happenings + most recently Augmented/Virtual and Expanded Realities.
Every day environments and how we hear every day sounds lies at the core of my practice, with a continued interest in blurring the distinction between what we consider ‘music’ and all other sound. Listening and recording throughout the world and discovering the uniqueness of every place through sound allows my work to share, enhance, respect and highlight everyday and extraordinary environments in equal measure. I have listened and recorded in some of the worlds most isolated and challenging locations: The Arctic, Amazon, Namib Desert, Outback Australia and most recently Antarctica. I have found inspiration in the natural world, specifically appreciating when uninterrupted by us and it is allowed time to unfold. My art utilises our inherent familiarity with such sounds, as a means of engaging with performers and audiences with ambitions of altering our relationship with our world and how are behave and effect change in our living environments. Many of my works are devised to ensure that an active listening environment is created and shared between all during any performance, and often involve some elements of co-creation, devising and collaboration within the composition itself. Resulting works simultaneously challenge every listeners memory of hearing while presenting new contexts for such sounds and forever altering how we hear our world, while acknowledging the change we all bring upon it. My practice has included field recording elements since 2012. As a recipient of a DAAD fellowship in 2015, I focused on developing scores for the ears in my aural scores + parts, as alternate methods of communication with performers within the context of working with sounds/materials from outside of the Western Art Tradition. Specifically this approach allows performers and environmental sounds/places to come together, so as to temporarily alter the shared performance/listening environment. Many of my recent works have been centred on expanding this approach, often using new and exploratory types of scores, and mostly recently into building expanded instruments.
Developing in parallel with composition is my practice as an improviser and educator. As an improviser, I specialise in using environmental/everyday sounds/place as catalysts for constructing new sound-worlds. Such improvisations - whether solo or ensemble - offer unique interactions related to time, sonic sculpting and gesture. My educational work outside of Tertiary Education focuses on early years and my development of my Natural Creators Program, which offers alternative approaches to EY music education by harnessing and shaping the natural curiosity of our youngest ears.