IMC Navigator Residency

Very happy to announce that I have been chosen for an artist residency at The Courthouse Arts Centre in Tinahely, Co. Wicklow!

https://www.improvisedmusic.ie/whats-happening/news/four-artists-chosen-for-imcs-navigator-programme

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.

Improvised Music Company 30/30 platform

It is a huge honour and privilege to announce that I have been chosen by Improvised Music Company for their 30/30 platform!

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!

Agility Award for Penji

I’m very thrilled to have been awarded an Agility Award by The Arts Council!

For this project, I will be doing some field recording around Lough Corrib, Co. Galway and using nature sounds and ambient recording to make some new Penji tracks.

‘New Arrival’ – In Flow album launch

Very proud to be finally launching ‘New Arrival’, the album of new original music composed and performed in collaboration with In Flow gamelan ensemble! Also launching on the night is the wonderful documentary on the project by AMW Visual.

This Wednesday 25 May, 7pm at Nuns Island Theatre

A lot of work has gone into this, more than any other individual project I have ever been involved in!

I have been working together with That’s Life on In Flow since 2015. After taking on the facilitation of the ensemble in 2017 I collaborated with six musicians with intellectual disability to develop improvisational techniques and compose music which showcased this. This culminated in performances at Galway Jazz Festival and in the recording of this album.

This project is truly incredible and the dedication, creativity and focus that all the musicians involved have put into this cannot be understated. It is a massive achievement for all involved and I could not be more proud of everyone!

As with everything That’s Life is involved in, this truly is Arts & Disability at its finest. This could not have happened without the generous and continued support of all the funders, and I want to give my thanks in particular to Arts Council Ireland, Galway City Council and Galway and Roscommon ETB.

Aengus Hackett Trio – Agility Award

Some great news – The Arts Council have awarded me with an Agility Award to compose some new works and develop them with my trio!

I will be honing in on free improv, a great passion of mine. It’s an absolute privilege to work with Matthew Jacobson and Derek Whyte, truly two of Ireland’s most gifted musicians. I cannot wait!

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.

‘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/