Happy New Year everyone! I hope it’s a good one for you all. I've made a start on my new year’s resolutions by updating and upgrading my website. There is lots of new stuff there, I think it's more streamlined and I'll be working on it to improve it and keep it updated, so please do check it out now and then if you feel like it.
Here are some other bits of news from 2014, and plans for 2015
I've decided to do some one-to-one private teaching again. I haven't done this for a long time and it's something I enjoy. Up to this point my work at the school I teach at has eaten up all my teaching time, however I'm changing a few things so that I can teach people privately again. I'll be doing it on Skype as well as in Dublin, so I can work with people internationally as well as at home. There are more details here on the site if anyone reading this is interested. If you have direct questions about getting lessons, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
2014 had many musical highlights; a reunion with the Guilfoyle/Nielsen trio, gigs with two great American musicians John O Gallagher and Jeff Williams, gigs with the legendary Bob Gullotti and Bruce Saunders, performing my Joycean-inspired suite ‘Counterparts’, at the Centre Culturel Irlandais in Paris, performing and recording with a multinational band of Lupa Santiago, Michael Buckley, Goncalo Marques and Anders Vestergard in Lisbon, and performing and teaching in South Africa. This latter experience was very inspiring, I had a great time playing with two wonderful musicians in particular, drummer Kesivan Naidoo and the pianist Kyle Shepherd, and I hope to do that again as soon as possible! Also while there I made the aquaintance of other great musicians such as Mike Del Ferro and Ganesh Geymeier. As I said, a very inspiring time.
The year began with something very inspiring too – a recording of my own compositions made in Systems Two in New York with a great band consisting of Dave Binney on saxophones, Tom Rainey on drums and my son Chris on guitar. It turned out really well and I was very happy with it, but with the year that I’ve had, I’ve been slow to do anything with it. Well this is going to change, and I’m going to release this in the the first three months of the new year. I'll let you know!
The first half of 2015 promises to be very musically rewarding. Next week I go to New York to take part in the 7th International Rhythm Studies Association meeting. This brings together high level practitioners in the world of rhythm in improvised music together for three days of playing and hanging, and discussing the latest developments on the rhythmic scene. This is the first time in NY and it looks really exciting with Dave Liebman, Donny McCaslin, Johannes Weidenmuller, Jen Shyu and Miles Okazaki among the participants. Here’s a video from the Dublin meeting a few years ago, which gives an idea of what goes on at these gatherings.
In late January I’ll be taking up residence for a month at the Centre Culturel Irlandais in Paris. I’ll be there to write some music and play some music. I’ll be playing ‘Counterparts’ again, travelling to Den Haag to play with two great masters Eric Ineke and John Ruocco and do some teaching at the Royal Conservatory there, and debuting new piano trio music with the very talented young Swiss pianist Marie Kruttli and my colleage in ‘Counterparts’, Christophe Lavergne. I’ll also be doing some teaching at the Paris Conservatoire while I’m there.
Full details of these and more dates are on the website here.
Later in the year I'll be returning to South Africa to perform again, and will also be taking part in a concert with two of the most outstanding contemporary improvising musicians on the scene today - Christy Doran and Gerry Hemingway - full dates will be on the website soon.
On the composition front I did manage to get some pieces written, including a piano piece dedicated to my mother, a trio piece for the Guilfoyle/Nielsen Trio and I'm very happy to say that in the next year I will be working on a piece for chamber orchestra, soprano saxophone and piano, written to celebrate the 70th birthdays of two of the greatest contemporary jazz musicians, Dave Liebman and Richie Beirach.
More on that as it develops, for now I want to wish all the readers of this a very happy and prosperous 2015!
I'll leave you with this piece from the Guilfoyle/Nielsen Trio's reunion concert. Hope you enjoy it!