The two weeks I spent on my artist residency in Courthouse Arts Centre Tinahely was truly inspiring and nourishing as an artist. It was also a challenge, but that is what sparks creativity. Getting out of your comfort zone is always good!
Here is a little piece I wrote as a reflection on my time there
The 14-day Navigator Jazz Residency programme is run by Improvised Music Company and it offers jazz and improvising musicians professionally remunerated time and space to develop and perform work, while building relationships locally.
It’s a wonderful opportunity to be embarking on this residency. As an artist it is rare to get the support to focus on your work for an extended period, away from the distractions of day to day life, and I feel very fortunate for this opportunity.
Community engagement with the arts is something very close to my heart and I’m really excited to work with and be inspired by the local community of Tinahely.
In recent times, nature has been inspiring my work more and more. I’m also looking forward to drawing inspiration from the beautiful surrounds of Co. Wicklow and the nearby ancient oak trees of Tomnafinnoge Woods.
IMC is Ireland’s national promoter of jazz, improvised and ethnic music and a resource organisation for Irish and Irish-based jazz musicians. To celebrate 30 years in existence IMC has chosen 30 leading improvisers in Ireland to highlight and feature for the next year. In their words “we’re taking this opportunity to spend the year highlighting 30 of Ireland’s outstanding improvisers, the ones who are writing the future, who we believe you should watch.”
I’ll be working closely with IMC to showcase my music and projects, and I am very excited indeed!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.