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.
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.
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..
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!