Hello, I'm an Irish composer, currently completing a PhD in Composition at Princeton University. I graduated from Trinity College Dublin, having completed a B.A in Music in 2006 and an M.Phil in Music and Media Technologies in 2009. Past collaborators include Crash Ensemble, Fidelio Trio, Contempo String Quartet, Dither Quartet, Dublin Guitar Quartet, Mivos String Quartet, Orkest de Ereprijs, Quince Vocal Ensemble, Lisa Moore, Michelle O'Rourke, Cora-Venus Lunny, Zoe Conway, and Paul Roe. Over the past few years I've participated as a composer fellow at festivals and residencies including Ostrava Days Festival (Czech Republic), Soundscape Festival (Italy), Bang on a Can Summer Festival (U.S) and the International Young Composers Meeting (Netherlands). Nice things like this and this happened too.
A lot of my musical ideas come from literature, landscape, humour, and the mundanities and upheavals of everyday life. I'm interested in how place, folklore, and migration hold clues to the style and identity of Irish traditional music and song, in the hope of uprooting hidden histories and connections to folk music from Europe and beyond. I also sing, play piano as often as possible, and make visual things when music ideas are few and far.
Current and future projects include a large-scale multimedia work for vocal quartet and So Percussion based on the diary entries of Donald Crowhurst, and commissions from Ensemble Mise-en, Bearthoven, Jacquin Trio, and cellist Amanda Gookin.
Stray Sods for cello and electronics
Through Amanda's brilliant Forward Music Project, each of the composers were encouraged to think about a female issue we would like to focus on and explore in our works. The obvious choice for me was to somehow explore the issue of reproductive rights in Ireland. When I wrote this piece, abortion was still illegal in Ireland unless it occurred as a result of a medical intervention to save the life of the mother. When a woman's life was not considered at risk, a termination carried a 14 year prison sentence. For decades, up to 12 women per day traveled by ferry or plane to the UK to access medical care for an abortion, sometimes alone and in secrecy. I was thinking about the wealth of old folk songs and lullabies sung from the female perspective of missing and fretting for the husband who is working at sea. I felt that the act of traveling by air or by sea, alone, to another country for a procedure which can have associations of such sorrow, deserved its own textless melody, a hybrid lullaby and song or mourning for something intangible. On May 25th 2018, Ireland voted in a referendum to legalize abortion, with 66.4% of the voters voting yes, so my piece now takes on an added meaning.