I’ve been keeping busy. If you are interested in anything that I do, below you will find some highlights of the past few months. I also just posted a newish piece to soundcloud here.
Walk from Birmingham to London for de Ereprijs
In July, myself and Joe Cutler walked from Birmingham to London along the Grand Union Canal to raise money for Dutch Ensemble Orkest de Ereprijs and in particular their Young Composers Meeting, which has been crucial to the development of young composers over the last twenty years or so (Both myself and Joe were participants at different times and Joe has been back as a teacher). We had a very nice walk over seven days, saw some really beautiful parts of the UK countryside and had some fantastic chats (Joe is a wonderful travel companion!) More importantly, the weather was bad for only three out of the seven days! All told we managed to raise £5465 for the young composers meeting and we are incredibly grateful to all who gave us words of encouragement and gave us the £££!
You can read about our story here
Birmingham Record Company Release
In August Birmingham Record Company released my first full length album entitled 45 Minutes of Music on the Subject of Football.
Performed by Ensemble Krock from Sweden, the album was recorded and mixed in Guerrilla Studios, Dublin by John Murphy and mastered in Birmingham Conservatoire by Simon Hall. There is also a video performance made by Seán Zissou here.
The album can be streamed and/or downloaded here for the low, low price of four english pounds.
It has also had some nice airplay by Bernard Clarke on RTÉ Lyric FM Nova and John Schaefer on WNYC New Sounds.
Over the past few months I have been working on an electronic album (to be released sometime in 2016). It is being created entirely on an Op-1 Synthesiser and is made up of synthesis and found sounds that I have been collecting over the past year and a half. The pieces also use a dialectical structure that I have been devising over the past number of months. Some of this work will be getting an outing in Birmingham next week. (Details below)
Holidays in America
It’s always good to get away and I had a wonderful couple of weeks on the east coast of America visiting Jaime’s family in August. While it was nice to take some time off, it was also a very inspiring trip. We stayed in Madison, the exact same place where Karlheinz Stockhausen wrote Stimmung in the 60’s and we also visited La Monte Young’s Dream House in New York City, which was an incredible experience. We also had fantastic days at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Barnes Foundation and the recently (re)opened Whitney where I saw in person some of my favourite works of art on this planet. It was an incredibly refreshing trip and just being in an incredibly different environment, with different sights, smells sounds and so on and so forth gives much food for thought.
I was very fortunate to be part of the Contemporary Music Centre’s programme of events for Culture Night 2015. I created a site specific work which featured the CMC’s staff as collaborators, writing texts to be displayed around the building, which were then featured in a 40 minute live electronic piece created collaboratively by myself and Thomas Parkes.
It was a really enjoyable experience working with the CMC staff in the week leading up to the performance, and it was very enjoyable performing again! It was also wonderful to hear the work of other composers and performers on the night including the Brennan-Cahill duo, Anna Murray, Michelle O’ Rourke, Gavin Prior, Enda Bates, Ian Wilson and Cathal Roche
Back to Birmingham Conservatoire
We are already in week two at Birmingham Conservatoire. It has been nice to meet all of our new incoming students and welcome back all of our returning students. I have some very exciting classes planned for this year, and am very glad to be back in this wonderful place with brilliant colleagues and fantastic students.
New Pieces to Write
I am currently continuing with the composition of my electronic album mentioned above. I am also writing a new solo piano piece for an interesting publication in 2016 as well as a new piece for Workers Union Ensemble in 2016 and a new piece for Crash Ensemble for 2017. Additionally, myself and Thomas Parkes are sifting through 8 hours of Moog material to release an album sometime in 2016. They are all brilliant projects to be working on!
Some Upcoming Performances
My new electronic work Six Minutes of Music Created From Sounds Around My Home will be performed in the Legacies in Technology concert series 12-13 October 2015 at Birmingham Conservatoire. More details available here
I am a featured composer in the Austrian Cultural Forum, London’s Soundings Series along with Christian Mason, and Kate Whitley from the UK, and Mirela Ivičević, Hannes Kerschbaumer, and Daniel Moser from Austria. I will have a number of pieces performed there between 2-5 November 2015, including a new piece especially written for Darragh Morgan & Mary Dullea. I’m very much looking forward to this exchange of music and ideas and more information can be found here
Ergodos have just released an amazing CD of music by Kevin Volans. I was at the launch concert last night and it really is incredible music, pristinely recorded and beautifully packaged. You should go get it here.
The Jimmy Cake recently released one of the best albums ever to come out of Ireland. If you like long music and synths, then this is one for you! Get it here
That’s about all I got right now. Hope to see you soon!