CITY HALL – one week to go!

Posted by Bea Cloke on Friday Jan 25, 2013 Under Live events
City Hall exterior

Photo by Daniel

 

Tickets available from entertainment.ie

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CITY HALL

Posted by Bea Cloke on Sunday Jan 13, 2013 Under Live events
city hall interior montage

Photos by Daniel. Montage by Gareth Jones.

Daniel invites you to City Hall to participate in the creation of a new music composition. The shape and form of the composition will be determined by you the audience and the pathways that you choose as you move through this unique acoustic space. Hence the piece will reveal itself in real time over three days.

Made in celebration of his native city, CITY HALL will be a truly innovative interactive event where the public and the composer are partners in the creation of the final compostion.

And all without a musician in sight!

CITY HALL by DANIEL FIGGIS
Rotunda, City Hall, Dame St. Dublin 2

1 Feb: 6.30pm
2 Feb: 6pm
3 Feb: 3pm

ADM €10 each performance or €15 for access to all three performances.

Under 12s go free.

Tickets are available from Entertainment.ie
http://entertainment.ticketsolve.com/shows/873489403/events

http://www.facebook.com/daniel.figgis

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CITY HALL – the cat’s out of the bag!

Posted by Bea Cloke on Friday Jan 11, 2013 Under Live events

Event poster for Daniel Figgis's City Hall

Dublin City Hall, Dame Street, Dublin 2

Times
1st February: 6.30pm (world premiere)
2nd February: 6pm
3rd February: 3pm

Tickets
€10 (1 day)
€15 (3 days)

From entertainment.ie (01) 889 9950
And on the door
Under 12s go free

http://www.facebook.com/daniel.figgis

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dimmerswitch live at Galway Arts Festival

Posted by Bea Cloke on Monday Jul 23, 2012 Under Live events, Music, Video

dimmerswitch (excerpt) by Daniel Figgis, performed by Crash Ensemble at the Galway Arts Festival 2012

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Interview with Journal of Music

Posted by Bea Cloke on Monday Jul 16, 2012 Under Interview

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Hot Press interview

Posted by Bea Cloke on Thursday Jul 12, 2012 Under Interview

Q & A with Colm O’Hare

Copyright ©2012 Daniel Figgis

daniel-figgisQ:  Do you always start with a blank page when composing/in construction of a piece or do you carry a store of ready made ideas? (as many artists seem to do?)

A: I regularly revisit the vast archive marked Unfinished Business! Sometimes you have to wait a while for a good idea to concretise, to find a home. I junk 90% of what I write, particularly when I stray, as we all do, into the realms of the familiar. At that point I down tools. I only present work when I know that I am, at last, hearing something that I know I haven’t already heard somewhere else.

Q: Why work, as you are doing today, in the Pearse Museum?

A: Because it’s a beautiful space to work in. I enjoy the rock’n’roll world to its fullest when that’s appropriate but when I want to create a new work from scratch I want to connect with natural growth and decay and not urban growth and decay. Outside of my roaming ad hoc/on location studio set-ups I favour Apollo Studios Dublin.

tamper-marlay-park-2004I have chosen in recent years to present live events in public spaces as opposed to traditional concert performance spaces. I am, however, feeling the pull again of the traditional venue but many of my pieces e.g. TAMPER (see photo) and THE BATTLE oF SPEEDS required these specific places.

Q: Tell me about dimmerswitch for Crash Ensemble at the Galway Arts Festival this month.

A: Crash Ensemble commissioned a piece for the full extended lineup of 10 players. I chose to further extend it. So there are 10 live performers, augmented by a further fourteen on tape who, between them, play a further 23 parts including “pigbass”, church organ, harmonium, piano, Hammond organ, Mellotron, spatula, processed brass, cello, hihat, playground swing, clock, bicycle horn and Moog Taurus 1 bass pedals. dimmerswitch is a self-regulating but faulty steam punk mechanism in hyperactive dialogue with the beating heart that is Crash Ensemble.

crashQ:  And the live line-up consists of which instruments?

A: The live players (Crash Ensemble) are: violin, viola, cello, double bass, clarinet, electric guitar, flute, bowed vibraphone, piano, trombone.

The world premiere of dimmerswitch  is at the Galway Arts Festival 19 July, St. Nicholas’ Collegiate Church, 8pm. I will also give a pre–show talk with Crash Ensemble artistic directors Donnacha Dennehy and Kate Ellis at 7pm. See you there, I hope. This is a new Adventure.

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CMC interview with Daniel Figgis

Posted by Bea Cloke on Wednesday Jul 4, 2012 Under Interview

An interview with Daniel Figgis, whose Crash Ensemble-commissioned work, dimmerswitch, will be premiered by the group as part of the Galway Arts Festival on 19 July 2012.

Copyright ©2012 Contemporary Music Centre, Ireland

Tell me about the piece you’re writing for Crash. Where did you get the idea for the piece?

Certain aspects had been gestating for decades. The opening feedback wall was largely recorded in 1978/1979 but not “composed” until 2012.daniel figgis portrait 1999

Why 10 instruments?

The Crash requested a piece for the full extended lineup of 10 players. I chose to further extend it. So there are 10 live performers, augmented by a further fourteen on tape who, between them, play a further 23 parts.

And the line-up consists of which instruments?

The live players (Crash Ensemble): violin, viola, cello, double bass, clarinet, electric guitar, flute, bowed vibraphone, piano, trombone.

The “tape players” (Daniel Figgis, Vincent Doherty, Charles Baby, Arun Rao, Roxy Goggins, Jed Belly, Mona Gown, Vonnie Pocket, Ionetta Kresta Lins, Nusch Frowd, Benny Tooth, “Sport”, Maggie Sandwich, Penny Schilling): pigbass, church organ, harmonium, pitched microphone feedback, piano, Hammond organ, Mellotron, spatula, snaredrum autopan, electric bass, processed brass, protest, processed strings, fizzbass, cello, hihat, playground swing, (faulty) plumbing, Revox, clock, bicycle horn, water taxi, Moog Taurus 1 bass pedals.

What does the tape part consist of?

It runs the gamut from my earliest tape experiments on a dictaphone and a borrowed Revox, a piano improvisation as Artist-in-Residence at the Pearse Museum with my six-month old son in tDaniel and Charles Figgis 2011ow, a water taxi in Venice 2011, a local security demonstration (binlids) which I captured on my iPhone at the Cannes film festival 2010, an early “jazz kit” extemporisation at a 17th century farmhouse since demolished, to the faulty plumbing at an old family residence revisited as base camp for the completion of the programming arm of this project – a vast repository/archive/lexicon… sound memories awaiting an instrumental destination – waiting to be played as instruments. I do not quote “verbatim” in my work so a cello is as much a found sound to me as is a playground swing. Both are “catered to” in perhaps surprisingly traditional compositional process so the notion of found sound as it is normally understood is entirely redundant in my case in that the sound archive is as composed and, yes, “played” as are the live instrumental parts. That is where the very real dialogue begins.

How much freedom will the performers have?

Very little. The piece sounds very fluid, if jarring in places, but at no point does it deviate from strict tempo. The audience experiences a certain trompe l’oreille (to mildly abuse the term).

It’s often the case that the composer has to make some changes to the score based on feedback from the players. How much change do you anticipate the piece undergoing during the rehearsal process?

The dialogue undoubtedly continues at the rehearsal stage; we’re all in this together. But it feels relatively written in stone right now.

In one Tweet, how would you describe the piece?

Ah, I know this one…

‘The piece presents a self-regulating but faulty steam punk mechanism in hyperactive dialogue with the beating heart that is Crash Ensemble’

So, are you a fan of steampunk?

Not particularly.

How influenced were you by the Crash Ensemble’s sound/style of playing when writing the piece?

You could easily lose your mind trying to second-guess the requirements of an ensemble. Elgar famously considered the orchestra to be his friends and co-conspirators and reputedly attempted to keep all hands as busy as possible. I find music-making to be a very social experience. Ultimately I wrote the piece that I needed to hear right now and this has resulted in an intriguing dialectic between what are clearly the live performed parts and the pre-recorded tape parts.

You’re well known for your site specific works. When you were writing the piece, to what extent did you think about the space/context in which the final piece would be performed?

In this case I had to forego any notion of site specificity and aim for a site neutral work, given that I have no idea when and where and how often dimmerswitch will be performed. Even the first venue came as something of a surprise – St Nicholas’ Collegiate Church, Galway (19 July 2012). Each venue presents a different challenge when you introduce the tape element. My concession to what is, of necessity, a one-size-fits-all approach was a very “dry” final tape mix.

Tell me about your approach to composing the work. Where do you work on the piece – in the studio, in the park?

Both. I find a long walk in the woods is conducive to analysis. And to getting the mood and the tone and the picture right. dimmerswitch is very “forest-y” in this respect. It addresses natural decay. It is not very urban.

The composition tends to fully realise in the studio when I get together with my programmer(s). Visitors are largely welcome as I enjoy the feedback and I tend to head up fewer cul-de-sacs as a result.

Daniel Figgis 2012Nowadays I tend to split this compositional and programming activity between my mobile set up in whatever environment takes my fancy and a more standard studio environment – Apollo in Dublin being my studio of choice.

From your other work as a record producer, working in a studio must be quite a comfortable experience for you. Would you regard the studio as your natural habitat?

I very much enjoy studio-based work. (I am equally at home on a stage, albeit manipulation of natural surroundings is my preferred modus operandi for staging.) dimmerswitch was heavily studio dependent as it comprises, in performance, live ensemble (scored) and extremely dense acousmatics.

Daniel Figgis was interviewed by email by Jonathan Grimes during May/June 2012.

Further information:

The views expressed are those of the persons concerned and are not necessarily the views of the Contemporary Music Centre.

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GAF TV

Posted by Bea Cloke on Tuesday Jul 3, 2012 Under Interview

GAF TV interview

Interview with Donnacha and Daniel at Trinity College, Dublin for Galway Arts Festival TV

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7VcVEd2EUtc&feature=youtu.be

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Crash Ensemble to premiere dimmerswitch at Galway Arts Festival

Posted by Bea Cloke on Monday Jun 4, 2012 Under Live events

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“The Galway Arts Festival is the biggest, most exciting, most imaginative explosion of arts activity this country has…’  The Irish Times

Crash Ensemble is confirmed to play at Galway Arts Festival, Ireland’s largest international arts festival, on Thursday 19 July 2012. The programme presents some of the world’s most inventive new music including the world premiere of the specially commissioned dimmerswitch by Daniel Figgis, their new work by Nico Muhly and Grá agus Bás by Donnacha Dennehy featuring sean nós singer Iarla Ó’Lionáird.

dimmerswitch, a commission for Crash Ensemble by Daniel Figgis

The music of the “inimitable” Daniel Figgis has been described by WNYC’s John Schaefer as “hypnotic”, by Hot Press as  “world-beating…marvelous…hyperintelligent” and by The Guardian as “hauntingly evocative”. Galway Arts Festival will see the world premiere of dimmerswitch, a work in 23 interlacing sections, written for the full ensemble (10 players) plus tape.

The piece presents a self-regulating but faulty steam punk mechanism in fervid hyperactive dialogue with the beating heart that is Crash Ensemble….Daniel Figgis.

PROGRAMME

Daniel Figgis – dimmerswitch (2012)

Nico Muhly – Drones, Variations, Ornaments (2011)

Donnacha Dennehy – Grá agus Bás (2009)

Daniel Figgis dimmerswitch (2012) and Nico Muhly’s Drones, Variations, Ornaments (2011) are funded by The Arts Council Commissions Award.

Backstage at the festival

Pre–show talk with Crash Ensemble artistic director Donnacha Dennehy and composer Daniel Figgis 19 July, St. Nicholas’ Church, 7pm

Booking info

Online: https://galwayartsfestival.ticketsolve.com/shows/873482123/events

By phone: 091 566577 from 18 June

In Person: Galway Tourist Office, Forster St, Galway, from Monday 18 June

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Crash Ensemble Sessions 13

Posted by The Master Switch on Wednesday May 23, 2012 Under Contemplation

23 May 2012

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