Project Award for Penji

Delighted to announce I have been awarded a Project Award by Arts Council Ireland, for my Penji project.

I will be creating a suite of six new electronic tracks. Thematically I will be exploring the isolation of the Covid-19 pandemic and especially with humanity’s growing dependence on technology throughout.

I’ll also be working with my favourite venue in the world, The Black Gate, to put on a live streamed concert.

Stay tuned 🎶

Arts Council Bursary for solo project

I’m just speechless at this fantastic news..I have been awarded an Arts Council Music Bursary!

The award will support me to develop my solo project. I will be spending a good portion of 2021 working on improvisation for guitar and electronics. As well as this, I will collaborate with two of Ireland’s finest proponents of improvised music:

Mike Nielsen is one of Europe’s leading jazz guitarists and has shared the stage with many international stars including Dave Liebman, Larry Coryell, Joe Lovano, Kenny Werner, Kenny Wheeler and the RTE Concert Orchestra.

Shane Latimer is an absolute expert when it comes to improvising with guitar and electronics, and I will work together with him to come up with innovative ways to incorporate electronics into live improvising.

MISP Recording Grant awarded for trio album

Fantastic news – I have been awarded the MISP Recording Grant! Very chuffed about this. 😊

This will support me to make an album next year with the Aengus Hackett Trio, with some of my favourite musicians; Matthew Jacobson and Derek Whyte.

Huge thanks to First Music Contact and Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media.

About MISP:

The Music Industry Stimulus Package involves three funding schemes, designed to help sustain the popular and commercial music sector, across all music genres including rock, pop, hip hop, indie, jazz, country & western, traditional and folk.

Under this package, a fund of €1,700,000 is being put in place to stimulate areas of work which artists would usually fund with income from own sources, including live event fees.

The music stimulus schemes are targeted at professional musicians and their teams and will support song writing camps, recording and album releases. 

The aim is to ensure that Irish musicians, engineers, PR, media, agents, labels and publishers can continue to develop and share their work in the context of COVID restrictions.

The Music Industry Stimulus Package schemes are managed on behalf of the Department by First Music Contact and are subject to expert panel assessment.

‘Shimmer’ out today!

I’m really excited to share my new EP with you!
‘Shimmer’ is out today, available to buy and stream at these links:

https://aengushackett.bandcamp.com/album/shimmer

https://soundcloud.com/aengushackett/sets/shimmer

The musical moments which happen during free improv have always been the most exciting to me. This series of six pieces is my effort to capture that in the compositional process.
Created with support from Arts Council Ireland’s COVID-19 Crisis Response Award.

IMC Piece by Piece

I am thrilled to be a part of Improvised Music Company’s series ‘Piece by Piece’!
Thoroughly looking forward to sharing the piece I have created, which brings together my work as a jazz guitarist and also my electronic production work as Penji.
It will premiere next Friday 27th Nov at 8pm.

Here is what IMC have to say about Piece by Piece:

The first series of Piece by Piece demonstrated the rich possibilities of the online medium, as some of Ireland’s finest improvising artists created new musical works. Creative use of film and manipulated visuals showed the artists’ inspirations and thought processes, and became as much part of the experience as the music.  
With a fresh impetus for this second season of Piece by Piece, the principle of interconnectedness will continue, with each artist’s performance influencing or inspiring the next. Piece by piece, artists will create new improvised work, based on the preceding work.
The full freedom of improvisation and spontaneous creation, and a diverse range of artists whose practice often expands beyond the musical will make for distinctive digital experiences. 


These eight sequential solo performances Piece by Piece Season 2, will be broadcast via IMC’s YouTube channel, as well as IMC’s social media platforms on Fridays at 8pm, beginning on Friday 27th November with a ‘live’ solo performance from Galway-based  guitarist and electronic improviser Aengus Hackett.
Other artists commissioned in this series include vocalist and electronics composer Jenna Harris, innovati ve Belfast drummer Steve Davis, guitarist and composer Chris Guilfoyle, sound and performance artist Vicky Langan, keyboard and gamelan explorer Bianca Gannon, critically-acclaimed vocalist and composer  Lauren Kinsella, and dynamic alto-sax player Chris Engel.
Enjoy fresh new music, influenced in real-time, from world-class Irish improvising musicians, telling the story of these times through new music and live performance, piece by piece.

‘A Life Lived’ – second video of new series

Here is ‘A Life Lived’, the second video of my new series of compositions.
I don’t usually share personal matters on my website, but this needs an introduction.

The pandemic and lockdown have been tough on everyone, and I had the added sorrow of my father passing away last April. I composed these pieces mostly during the summer, and I’d like to say it was clear sailing, but it wasn’t. The grief of losing my Dad was really awful at times, and it was compounded by the fact that we couldn’t have a regular funeral for months afterward. I honestly had to dig deep to write this music, and while it was tough, it was cathartic too.
Lots of people are going through challenging times these days, and I’m sure that this is a story shared by countless others. My heart goes out to everyone who has lost someone during this awful pandemic. This piece is dedicated to my father Richard, and if you find expression in it for your story, then it’s dedicated to you and the loved ones you have lost too.

Massive thanks to Arts Council Ireland for the support through these dark times.
#COVID-19 Crisis Response Award

New video of ‘Shimmer’

Let me present ‘Shimmer’! This is the first in a series of six pieces I created using improvisation as a compositional process. The full EP will be released on Nov 26th.

Created with support from Arts Council Ireland‘s #COVID-19 Crisis Response Award.

‘Shimmer’ EP out Nov 24

I’m proud to present my contribution which was supported by the Arts Council Ireland Covid-19 Crisis Response Award.


I have composed and recorded six new pieces for guitar and electronics, and two live videos.
I set myself a strict method of composing through improvisation. So all the main thematic material was written in the heat of the moment and the pieces were meticulously finished afterwards. It was an interesting process and I’m pretty happy with the result!

All will be revealed in the coming days and weeks, so please stay tuned..

‘JazzTempo’ project with Contempo Quartet

Very much looking forward to next week as I will be working with one of Ireland’s leading ensembles, the ConTempo Quartet!

This wonderful project is put together by Galway Music Residency. The concept is to combine the classical string group with a jazz ensemble featuring myself and three of the finest exponents of jazz coming out of the west of Ireland; Matthew Berrill, Barry Donohue and Róisín Mulliez.

We will perform a selection of Matthew’s compositions and some jazz standards, all arranged by Matthew Berrill.

Absolutely thrilled to be part of this socially-distanced project. Massive thanks to GMR for keeping the scene alive during #COVID-19!

More about JazzTempo here: https://thisisgalway.ie/hmmm-what-is-jazztempo/

Sligo Jazz Project 2020

I have been invited by Sligo Jazz Project to record a solo set from home, as part of their online festival this year!

This is a huge honour for me, as I attended the summer school and festival as a teenager and it was a very formative time for me.

It will stream on Fri 24th July, as part of a night featuring the finest in Irish Jazz acts such as Mike Nielsen, Michael Buckley and Paul Dunlea.

All details available on http://www.sligojazz.ie