Ones to watch in 2014

In the glorious year of 2013 I was luck enough to meet lots of interesting people. While I don’t want to anyone to feel left out I do want to single out two of the music makers I met who I think are doing interesting things and who I look forward to seeing more from in 2014 i.e. these are my ones to watch in 2014. I’ve picked two young composers/performers who I met throughout 2013 and whose music I really gelled with. Make no bones about it this is a very subjective choice on my part – I really like the music, but I also think that both of these music makers are very productive and proactive. They’re much more competent and accomplished than I was at a similar stage and I’m interested to see where their talents will take them. Check them out below and give their music some of your time. Read more

2013 – a look back on the year that was

2013 – the year that was

The year of Our Lord 2013 is almost over and at least 2013 things have happened to me this year, but rather than list them all here is an abridged summary. Lots of travelling, meeting new people and hearing interesting things in interesting places with interesting people. 


This year was a pretty hectic  in terms of education. I’m out of my masters a little over 18 months and I’ve been trying to continue to learn as much I can. I’ve been luck enough to get the opportunity to study on a number of courses, both in Ireland and internationally. The first was the Young Composers’ Meeting in Apeldoorn. This was a pretty terrifying experience as I got to write for a 16 piece ensemble with voice. Most of the instruments were ones which I had never written for before, and I wrote the piece as we drift softly (into the fog) for the course. Read more

Leap into the void – embracing my uncertain fate

I’ve just finished reading Stewart Lee’s  How I Escaped My Certain Fate. As anyone who has ever heard me talk about Lee will know I’m a huge fan, often going into lengthy monologues about his use of repetition, structure and recurring themes within his work. I was recently watching a video of a talk he gave at Oxford about the process of writing–or as he now does of not writing–and decided to get his book. Read more

Presentation from MusTechFest

Here’s my presentation from the MusTechFest conference which was on in London last April. It was one of the scarier talks I’ve  had to do and I can’t bring myself to watch more than a minute of it least I curl up into a ball of cringe, but here it is.

Daily Rituals – how artists work

Daily RitualsDaily Rituals is a book about the working habits of creative people, from artists and composers to philosophers and scientists. How and when they work, and how they get from a blank sheet to a finished piece. I initially came across it when it was a blog, Daily Routines. As I do creative work I was really interested in how other people create their work and browsed through the blog for a while. It was really interesting, but found it kind of disjointed and difficult to digest. It also hadn’t been updated for a while, so I copied it into my RSS reader to catch anything new posted. A while after that Mason Currey, the author, posted that he was releasing the content of the blog as a book, I jumped at the chance to get it.

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MusicTechFest 2013 – My experience

I’m just back from presenting at MusicTechFest. It was my first chance to talk to people outside Ireland about In Your Own Time and  was a pretty daunting and exhilerating experience. But I loved every minute of it. As well as presenting about my work I was also able to take it some of the other talks. Chat to people and immerse myself in the festival. I’m now very taken with MusicTechFest, it’s an excellent event.

In my day to day life I like meeting with entrepreneurs. Talking with them and hearing what motivates them can be a really energising experience. They’re always really interesting people, full of energy, optimism and a ‘Lets do it!’ attitude. But there’s always a difference what we’re ultimately interested in. What you get at MusicTechFest is that same kind of enthusiasm, passion and excitement singularly focused on music. Read more

In Your Own Time at MusicTechFest

I’ve been following Andrew Dubber on Twitter for a while. He’s a pretty prolific social media user with lots of interesting ideas about everything but I’m mostly interested in his writings on the music industry. To cut a long story short I saw that he is heading to MusicTechFest in London this month. I had a look at the website and immediately got super jealous. There’s going to be an amazing lineup at the festival from lots of different aspects of the music technology. I spent a while drooling over the website and playing with their html sequencer, but then had to get on with my life and put it out of my mind. A few days ago though I got an email asking me if I’d like to give a talk about In Your Own TimeI was over the moon!

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copying machine music by Xerophonics

copying machine music is an album of music created from the sounds of photocopying machines. Each track was created from the recorded sounds of different copier machines and wonderfully arranged as electroacoustic music. It is a really interesting concept album, one which is likely to inspire feelings of nostalgia into anyone who as every had to use a photocopier.

Created by Dr. Stefan Helmreich aka Xerophonics, listen to two of the fourteen tracks below.

Arduino: the Documentary

Arduino: The Documentary is a film giving some background on the Arduino boards, which have opened up technology for everyone. The film also looks at  the wider open source hardware movements and talks about the kinds of effects projects like the Arduino is having on the way people learn about and interact with technology. One of the interviewees makes a very good point in the documentary that although there is now more technology than ever before there is also less understanding about how it works. The Arduino is one of the stars in the open source technology movement and it’s been allowing groups like artists and students to get hands one with their technical lives. Thanks to Javier Laguna Inzolia for the heads up about this documentary.

Disclosure: I have no affiliation with this product or service, I just think it’s epic!