Micro review from No More Workhorse

No More Workhorsehorse-head published a brief review of Smacht calling it “a delicately layered affair.” Check out the full review on their website or listen to the album teaser below.


Genesis of the Smacht string quartet

Ergodos are shortly releasing a piece I wrote called Smacht. The piece is a 23 minute string quartet, but it didn’t start out that way. I want to take you back and show you how it began.

Smacht... in the beginningIt was Autumn 2011 and I was up to my eyes in the final year of my masters. I was at one of those points in my life where there’s a constant feeling that the world is falling in. And was suffering from the the ever-present pangs of self doubt: Had I made the right decision in pursuing music? Was it all just a pipe dream? Was the light at the end of the tunnel a train?

As well as trying to fulfil all my college commitments I was involved in the Dublin Laptop Orchestra – which had kicked off in ernest that summer. We had our first major gig happening in November with This is how we fly. I was in the throes of writing something for it… and was struggling.

Much to my shame I hadn’t actually known who This is how we fly were prior to that. And as I’d ultimately be writing something for them I was having a wee look on YouTube to see who they were. I came across videos of Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh performing his solo material with a loop pedal and was enraptured. I really liked the droney, hypnotic feel to his music. Read more

Taking photos with Kim


This is the result of an afternoon taking photos with Kim Raad. I gave her the brief of making me look like Salvador Dali and then spent the afternoon pretending my Super 8 camera was a gun. During the shoot I managed to inhabit the characters of James Bond, Tony Montana and Charlie’s Angels. We got more than a few funny looks and even made two guys jump back in horror. It was a wonderfully silly day.

‘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.

‘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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Release – In Your Own Time Part #3

This is the third in a series of post rounding out my experience of putting out In Your Own Time in April 2013. The previous posts covered the inspiration behind the project and putting it together as an app. This post will talk about putting the app out into the world and what that has meant for me.

Release & Press

The release date for the app was April 2nd and in advance of that I sent out some press releases to magazines and blog who I thought might be interested. There wasn’t an immediate take up on the idea. It had a summary write up in Noise in the first week. It also got a tweet from Harmless Noise. Largely though, initially at least, the response was a bit disappointing. Read more