a graphic score written in collaboration with bass-clarinettist Paul Roe, commissioned by the Arts Council. The physical score is AO size. Click on the link to see it.

The work revolves around the idea of contained energy; ‘keeping one’s composure’ implying the maintenance of a shaky cool, and its future breakdown under pressure. Thus the score contains apparently solid objects or lines that are in jeopardy due to their positioning. The score’s main motif is that of the note which breaks up into pieces, hence becoming timbral rather than pitch-oriented.

In the main, the score was created by drawing on blotting paper with different pens, and then dropping water from a pipette onto the ink to form chromatographs. It is impossible to control the exact result when doing this, so the compositional process mirrors the indeterminacy of the performance.

Loop Walks

A work of scored polyphonic poetry, made in collaboration with the poet Billy Mills. It was published in 2013 by hardPressed poetry and Béal as a book containing the text, this score, and a CD of the performance by ensembÉal. Available from or Billy Mills’ programme notes:

Loop Walks is a series of eight poems, each one mapping a walk from memory. The routes range from urban night-time to Connemara bogs. Loop because each one, in some sense, starts out from its destination. The ninth and final section is a chorus that brings together the metaphysical concerns of the eight walking sections.

The primary compositional focus of the texts is rhythmic, with the rhythm varying to suit the terrain being walked and the pace of the walkers. Along with the written text, I also wrote a grid to map the distribution of the text across four pairs of singers, itself another set of loops, an indication of rhythm for each section, and a recording of me reading them. David Bremner produced a score based on this reading for the choir to use.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: