This year just passed was likely my most productive yet in terms of sonic output, spawning numerous performances and collaborations. I had the opportunity to both cement partnerships from previous seasons and initiate some brand new relationships. Who could ask for more? This article will summarise the performance side of things; in future articles I will write up my compositions and releases.
It all began immediately in the new year, with a performance on 14 January at the Triskel Arts Centre, Cork. "TANK" is a creation of Tony Langlois and Harry Moore, involving throwing different experimental musicians together and seeing what happens [info]. On stage I played with Ed Devane, John Daly, Harry Moore, and Mick O'Shea. Here is a segment:
"The Sonic Abyss" was a group improvisation that took place on 5 May at the Barbican Centre, Drogheda for the The Drogheda Arts Festival [info]. The participants were a "who's who" of "what's what" in wild Irish electroacoustics.
My set was with Harry Moore and The Quiet Club (Mick O'Shea & Danny Mc Carthy), which followed on nicely from the first gig. Since each performance is a completely new experience, working with some of the same musicians allows me to get to know their methods and hopefully improve my responsiveness to their input.
Recently Farpoint Recordings has made available a free download release of this event [info].
Throughout the year I worked on a commission for the Quiet Music Ensemble. I am not one for notes on staves and in the past have instead implemented graphical scores. But "Agentia" did not have a score of any sort, no notes, no recipes, no game system. Rather, the structure was dictated by a taped piece made up of field recordings. And the responses of the musicians were informed by their distribution about the performance space, interspersed with the audience (their placement chosen by themselves, I should note). After a workshop in Dublin and a further rehearsal, "Agentia" was performed on 24 November, as part of the annual Sonic Vigil 7, St. Anne's Church, Shandon, Cork [info].
The response was incredible. Several people told me it was their favourite piece from the entire six hours. Athos Tsiopani, writing for the online magazine The Urge To Create, agrees, saying that it was "really beautiful stuff". All credit to John Godfrey and the other members of the ensemble, for their open and responsive natures. This was an experiment in the true sense of the word, since I had no idea it would succeed so well.
A performance of a totally different type was in store on 17 November, as part of the one-day Conflux music festival in Limerick. I guested with Raising Holy Sparks, a "devotional drone" ensemble with fluctuating membership based around David Colohan (also of Agitated Radio Pilot and United Bible Studies). I played "infinite viola", this being the first time I had been seen with this instrument in over three decades! And, given the configuration of Bourke's Bar, few saw me on the day either [info].
But there will be other opportunities!