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

‘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.

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.

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

Pre-release – In Your Own Time Part #2

In Your Own Time – one year on

This post follows on from a previous post about the inspiration behind In Your Own Time. In this post I talk about taking the prototype that I created for my thesis and recruiting people who could help turn that idea into a reality. Read more

Inspiration – In Your Own Time Part #1

In Your Own Time – one year on

The length of the initial post was starting to get a bit out of hand so I’ve separated it out into two posts. This one contains the backstory of the app: the inspiration behind it and how it came into being as a masters project. The second post is about what happened when the app went out into the world. What worked, what didn’t, the ups and downs of putting something out, and the lessons I learned along the way.

It’s been a little over a  year since I, along with the help of Shane Finan and Mick Cody, released In Your Own Time. The app has now been downloaded over 1000 times in over 20 countries and has been a massive step for me both personally and artistically. I want to share the journey to date with you here. Read more

Screen Nights at #12 Rutland Place

Screen Nights

Screen Nights is a series of film screening/concerts happening at  12 Rutland Place in January. The idea being to bring ideas from different musical scenes together for low cost nights out. As part of Screen Nights there will be three films shown which showcase different musical scenes: All Ears – a film about the L.A. beat scene, A Joyful Slog – a film about the independent music scene in Ireland, and PressPausePlay – a film about being an artist, whatever the discipline, in the digital age. As well as the film each night will have a related act performing, which will allow the audience to ask questions about what they’ve seen and listened to. Read more

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