David Bremner is the composer of a diverse range of innovative works which have been performed frequently in Ireland and abroad. Originally from West Cumbria, UK, he moved to Ireland in 1999. In 2013 he completed a Ph.D in Composition at DIT with Gráinne Mulvey. He co-directs the music/text production company Béal, who have mounted two successful festivals featuring new Irish and international work.
His compositions share a focus on the concept of line. This concept is explored in a range of diverse instrumentations (orchestra, choral, solo instrument/voice, chamber ensemble, electronics) and diverse compositional methods (fully-notated scores, graphic scores, devised improvised schemes). Another constant is an interest in mathematical structures and how they can be used to create interesting musical forms.
He has previously studied with Karl Stirner, and has attended masterclasses with Michael Finnissy, Christopher Fox and Bogusław Schaeffer. He has attended the Irish Composition Summer School, and in 2011 he was invited to take part in Ostrava New Music Days on a fellowship. David has had works performed by, amongst others, RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, Paul Roe, Elizabeth Hilliard, Mark Redmond, New Dublin Voices, Quasars Ensemble and avantgarde tirol, and has featured in festivals such as Ostrava New Music Days, New Music Dublin, Happy Days fringe, Hilltown Festival, Pipeworks, Béal Festival, and avantgarde tirol. He founded the music/theatre improvisation collective TheOpenRehearsals; in 2012 this ensemble received an Arts Council Opera Development award to further develop their work. His music is represented by the Contemporary Music Centre (www.cmc.ie).
David also has a busy career as a performer; he is Assistant Organist at Christ Church Cathedral Dublin, and has played with ensembles such as the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, Crash Ensemble, and Opera Theatre Company. In 2013-15 he is performing as part of the Association of Irish Composers Irish Canon series. Recent performances include Sonic Vigil in May 2015 and Temple Bar TradFest in January 2015.
Recent composition projects include a work for the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, a work for banjo and live electronics (facilitated by an Arts Council Bursary Award), and a large-scale song-cycle entitled Logical Fallacies setting the poetry of Irish minimalist poet Billy Mills, written for soprano Elizabeth Hilliard and violist Andreea Banciu. Another work was featured on a CD of music performed by Hilliard, produced by Christopher Fox, released in October 2016 on the Métier/Divine Art label. Loop Walks, a work of scored poetry by Bremner and Mills was published in 2013 by hardPressed Poetry. With the piper Mark Redmond, David in 2014 released the CD l’air du temps/the spirit of the times, a suite of new compositions and arrangements for pipe organ and uilleann pipes creatively exploring the links between French Baroque music and Irish traditional music. This has provoked considerable critical acclaim and media attention; a track was selected for inclusion on the Contemporary Music Centre’s new music::new ireland 2 compilation CD.
An in-depth interview with David was featured on John Schaefer’s WNYC/NYPR New Sounds programme in April 2015; he has also featured on RTÉ’s Nova and Arena programmes, and South Africa’s Radio Horizon. He was interviewed by Dr. Peter Moran as part of the Composers’ Commentaries project by the AIC New Music Journal, in the form of a live commentary over the recording of his orchestral work Gap Static played by the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Gavin Maloney.
Current projects include works for Clarion Trio and mandolin virtuoso Annika Hinsche.