‘Cycles’ with Hannah Krauss

This video is of a performance I created with scenographer Hannah Krauss. The piece was the result of a collaboration over several months to make a piece of experimental theatre – combining music and scenography. The final piece was performed at de Theaterschool, Amsterdam on the 1 May 2015. For those especially interested a video from an earlier stage in the process can be seen in this post.

R.I.P. Terry Pratchett

One of the first books I remember reading was Truckers. It was the first experience I had of getting wrapped up in a story, the fear and joy and anticipation and ecstasy of the world create in my mind. It was one of the first times my imagination was set free to run loose and animate the written word and was the beginning of a life-long relationship with Terry Pratchett.

RIP Terry Pratchett

It’s hard to overstate the love, bordering on obsession, I have for Pratchett’s novels. I began with Truckers and then every morning from the age of four to eight, on the 30 minute journey to school, my brother and I would listen to Tony Robinson narrating The Bromeliad Trilogy, The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic. Pretty much every night since then, to this day, I read a Pratchett novel as I’m going to sleep.

There’s humanity and sorrow and joy in his writing. They forced me to think about the way that I want to live and the person I want to be. Read more

What to do with a…

I’ve been working on a piece in collaboration with scenographer Hannah Krauß for the last while. The project is an interdepartmental project between the Conservatorium van Amsterdam and de Theaterschool. In it a composer and a scenographer are paired up to make something.  We’re working on a stage piece together combining music with set design and have decided to focus creating a piece from everyday objects which make sound, like table-fans, record players and balloons. We’ve been working together for about a month now throwing around ideas and are at about the half way point in the project. I’ve put together a video with some of the things we’ve been working with so far. It was a fun video to make and I hope you enjoy.

I’m interested to look back on this video when we’ve finished to see where our explorations lead. Just out of personal curiosity about where the collaborative process of making something can lead. Join us for the live staging at de Theaterschool at the end of April to see what we come up with.

Making contemporary music relevant

There was a palatable air of tension in the room as one of the other students confronted Leo, our business practice teacher, about the idea of a business plan. “I just don’t understand how this will help me be a better musician” seemed to be the undercurrent of his question. It’s not the point though.Making contemporary music relevant

I’ve been going to different entrepreneurial talks and courses for a few years now. I did a course in Trinity about monetising your research, one in UCD which was trying to get people back into the workforce and another at the So Percussion Summer Institute which was more focused on the arts. I got into them as I’m interested in building a business from my work as a musician. Read more

So Percussion performing ‘Dusk’

Last July I wrote my first percussion piece Dusk for the So Percussion’s Summer Institute. I’ve written about the festival at length in another post but suffice to say I had an amazing time, meet lots of interesting people and heard tons of percussion music. As part of the festival So Percussion performed Dusk at Princeton University and this week the Vic Firth featured a video of the performance on their YouTube. It was a load of fun working with those guys and Evan Chapman, the videographer, did a great job capturing the concert. Hope you enjoy.

‘it shimmers in the air’ at the Muziekgebouw

'it shimmer in the air' by David Collier at the Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ
Last Saturday was the first performance of a piece I’d written since arriving in Amsterdam… and it happened in the Muziekgebouw! The piece called it shimmers in the air and was written for the Conservatorium van Amsterdam‘s newest ensemble Score Collective. It’s only the ensemble’s second performance and it’s an honour to have been asked to write for them.

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Kate Ellis performing ‘In your own time’

Here’s a video of Kate Ellis performing In your own time at the Music and Media Technologies Show in May 2012. Kate did a really great job of turning a collection of ideas I came to the rehearsals with into something really wonderful. It was a real pleasure to hear what we had worked on come alive on the night.

Kate Ellis

Cellist Kate Ellis is a versatile musician dedicated to the performance and exploration of all new music. With an interest in the use of electronics, Kate has commissioned and premiered works by numerous Irish and International composers and has toured and broadcast in Australia, the USA, Europe and China. Kate has performed with Bobby McFerrin, Iarla O Lionaird, Gavin Friday and Karan Casey and plays regularly with Tarab, Yurodny and the Ergodos Musicians.

So Percussion Summer Institute

At the beginning of August I got back from the So Percussion Summer Institute (SoSI) at Princeton University. I’d applied to the course not really knowing what to expect. I’d never written for percussion before, been on a course in the States or worked with American musicians. There was a lot of unknowns. At the very least I’d certainly never expected to be performing blindfolded with Matmos in a Brooklyn bar…

The course was a mix of performance, lecturers practice and demonstrations and the theme of the course was percussion and electronics. The faculty and speakers were peppered with people who are straddling the electronic and acoustic worlds. Princeton composers such as Dan Trueman showed us examples of the electronics playing an active role in the musical performance. Each of his piano etudes causing the performer to work within the framework of the electronics and adapt to them in a different way. Read more

Moving on – My Contemporary Music Centre highlights

It’s a little over two years since I started working for the Contemporary Music Centre. I arrived out of college and lucked my way into a really interesting job filming and editing videos and recordings of concerts and interviews of contemporary music: composers, performers and organisers. I’ve got to work with some great people during my time there and meet lots of interesting people as well. I was also privileged to work with a great group of people in my time at the Contemporary Music Centre, some of whom have move on and some who are still there. In no particular order thanks to Jonathan, Caitríona, Keith, Evonne, Eve, Sinéad, Karen, Emma, Ben and Sam. I’m now leaving to move to the Netherlands and start a Master in Composition and as I move on to pastures new I wanted to share some of the work which I’m proudest of from my time at the Contemporary Music Centre.

Culture Night

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