State Facesstate.ie names its artists to look out for in the 12 months flowing from January each year, and accompanied by original photoshoots from our team of photographers.
Dublin based minimalist/ambient composer.
I began writing ambient music after discovering the work of Japanes composer Satoshi Ashikawa. For years, I had been casually writing short instrumental pieces but I never knew what exactly I wanted to do with them. After listening to Ashikawa’s album Still Way and reading its liner notes, I felt as though I had discovered a conceptual framework that offered these short instrumental tracks the potential to grow and develop. It was a short time after this in October of 2017 that I began writing and recording my first album, Laistigh den Ghleo.
After releasing the album, I was fortunate enough to have the support of friends and other musicians but it wasn’t until this past year that I began to meet and work with other ambient artists. It all really began with Ben Rawlins, one half of Irish ambient group Saso, who has been incredibly supportive of my work and a great friend. Since then, I’ve slowly but surely been discovering amazing Irish Ambient/Modern Classical artists such as Mshutak, Ordnance Survey, Mount Alaska and Paddy Mulcahy. One gets the sense that there is some semblance of a community/scene beginning to form, which is both reassuring and very exciting.
I find music journalism to be presently very political and less about critically engaging with music as an art form. There are a lot of exceptionally gifted music reviewers but also those who continue to review genres such as Ambient and Modern Classical through the lens of popular music with little to no cultural context. Music and culture are intimately bound to one another and at present I feel as though this isn’t being represented enough in music journalism. A great example of an Irish music reviewer who provided a cultural backdrop to his reviews was Remy. The amount of research he did for a review was very apparent and made for a captivating read, I hope one day he decides to start reviewing music again.
Monachopsis was the first in a collaborative series of works by myself and Irish visual artist Conor Campbell. Comprising four pieces intimately bound to a specific artwork of Campbell’s, each song is designed to reflect and add further depth to the narrative and meaning of one painting. This is the first step in our pursuit of developing how one can experience an artwork beyond what is seen. Conor and I have become fast friends and we work very well together, as a result of this the EP came together very naturally over the course of only a couple of months. Presently, Conor is working on a few new paintings and we are both looking forward to realising a deeper narrative in these works through sound.
At the moment I think a lot better. I’ve signed a deal with Swiss label We Release Whatever The Fuck We Want Records who released Laistigh den Ghleo physically on both vinyl and CD. Seeing my album on sale in Japan, China (Hong Kong) and across mainland Europe has been mind blowing but always underpinned with a little sadness that my music hasn’t been picked up as much in my own country. In regards to radio, I received great support from Gavin Glass when he was on Radio Nova but besides that it has been relatively nonexistent. Outside of Ireland I get a lot more radio play, especially from the support of Seattle based radio station KEXP. The consistent air play from DJ Alex Ruder has resulted in a major boost in my North American listenership.
Since releasing Monachopsis I’ve decided to focus on my live show. I’ve placed such a great emphasis on recording and releasing my music that the time has come for me to balance this weight out with a live show that I can feel just as proud of. The gigs are slowly but surely becoming more and more frequent so I’m hoping that this can in some way lead to a wider audience discovering my music and that of my fellow ambient/modern classical artists.