27–29 APRIL 2017

See Programme


27 April, 8pm

Vox Electronica

Elizabeth Hilliard

Christopher Fox, Sea to the west
Kaija Saariaho, Lonh
Christopher Fox, Catalogue irraisoné

Elizabeth Hilliard (soprano)
Fergal Dowling

Elizabeth Hilliard is a pioneer and champion of Irish contemporary music. She is renowned for her exceptional musicianship and creative prowess and the emotional intensity she brings to her performances.

In this concert Elizabeth frames Kaija Saariaho's Lonh, a seminal work for solo soprano and electronics, with two more recent works by festival composer Christopher Fox.

Sea to the west, recently released on CD on the Metier label, evokes boyhood nostalgia, while Fox's encyclopaedic Catalogue irraisoné forms a stunning concert-length meditation on language and the fragility of communication.


Artist biographies

28 April, 8pm



J'adoreNO (for improvising ensemble)
BEINGBORG (for kitchen utensils)
HADT (for 6 - 8 speakers)
KLANK kauft KOMMERZBANK (for partially amplified improvising ensemble)

Reinhart Hammerschmidt - double bass, stuff
Markus Markowski - electric guitar, stuff
Christoph Ogiermann - violin, voice, stuff
Tim Schomacker - everyday percussion, voice, stuff

Bremen-based music performance ensemble, KLANK have created their own sonic universe from a dizzying array of musical techniques and cultural approaches.

The complex interaction of improvised music and the musical potential of various materials from everyday life combine in the logic of KLANK. Whether using kitchen utensils, office equipment, children's toys or tools from whatever workplace, KLANK is willing to declare almost everything a musical instrument. And in their brand of Klang-Aktionen (sound performances), they can make everything sing.

Artist biographies


29 April, 4pm

New Voices

Anna Murray

Des Clarke, Hypoglossa
Elis Czerniak, Kolo
Francis Heery, Unborrowed Light
Edmund Hunt, We Are Apart
Anna Murray, S:NP-VP-NP
Silvia Rosani, Omertà
Steven Whiteley, [    ] [   ] [  ] [ ] []

Elizabeth Hilliard (soprano)
Michael Quinn (harpsichord)
Fergal Dowling (computer)
Alexis Nealon (sound)

A concert of new works for soprano and electronics developed by participant composers during the festival workshops and also including S:NPVPNP, Anna Murray's newly commissioned cryptic invention for harpsichord and electronics. Composers can apply to participate in Music Current and to take part in masterclasses and workshops with Christopher Fox. We will select up to eight works for any combination of soprano, computer or live electronics for inclusion in this programme. See below for more details on the participation programme in Music Current 2017.

29 April, 8pm & 9pm


Dublin Sound Lab PERISONIC

Gráinne Mulvey, Part I
Fergal Dowling, Part II
Scott McLaughlin, Part III

Mihai Cucu, video photography, projection
Sabina Bonnici, creative producer
Alexis Nealon, sound projection

PERISONIC is an immersive, large-scale, panoramic 'painting' of Dublin, using 8 loudspeakers and 4 video screens. The audience are invited to actively discover and explore different audio-visual perspectives of Dublin, created by three composers and a video artist.

Dublin Sound Lab marks the 230th anniversary year of Robert Barker's patent application for the panorama painting, by extending Barker's vision of a 360˚ visual experience and re-imagining a cityscape constructed in pure sound.

Commissioned by Dublin Sound Lab, this concert-length installation is the result of a major collaboration with composers Scott McLaughlin, Gráinne Mulvey and Fergal Dowling, creative producer Sabina Bonnici and video artist Mihai Cucu.
Artist biographies

Participate in Music Current 2017

Dublin Sound Lab invites composers of any age or nationality, with experience or interest in electronic composition and performance, to participate in Music Current 2017.

Participation & Commission Opportunity

Composers are invited to submit new or existing works for soprano in combination with tape, computer, live electronics or video. As many as eight composers will be selected to participate in workshops and masterclasses with the esteemed English composer Christopher Fox. Participating composers will attend all festival concerts, and will take part in the masterclasses and workshops at the Contemporary Music Centre and Smock Alley Theatre Dublin.

Submitted works will be considered for public performance on the final day of the festival, when one of the participating composers will be awarded the IMRO/Music Current Commission of €2,500 for a new work to be premiered at Music Current 2018.

The commission opportunity is not a prize. It is not awarded on a competitive basis and does not necessarily relate to the submitted work. Instead, Dublin Sound Lab want to use the commission to foster relationships with composers over extended periods. When selecting participant composers for the commission award, Dublin Sound Lab directors will consider a variety of factors but, especially, the potential to develop an ongoing partnership with the commissioned composer.

Masterclasses and Workshops

Thursday 27 April, 4–5pm: Welcome and Presentation by Christopher Fox (CMC Library)
Presentation by festival composer, Christopher Fox, concerning his own recent work, relevant to festival programme, and with reference to use of electronics in his work.

Thursday 27 April, 6–7pm: Music Current Festival Launch (CMC Library)
Festival launch with invited guests, festival composer Christopher Fox, participant composers, Elizabeth Hilliard, Klank, and composers and technicians from Dublin Sound Lab.

Thursday 27 April, 8–9pm: CONCERT (Smock Alley Theatre)
VOX ELECTRONICA, Elizabeth Hilliard, soprano, programme: Christopher Fox, Sea to the west; Kaija Saariaho, Lonh; Christopher Fox, Catalogue irraisoné

Friday 28 April, 10am–12pm: Masterclass with Christopher Fox (CMC Library)
Participating composers will present their work in round-table discussions moderated by Christopher Fox. Composers will discuss technical and performance-related issues relevant to the selected works in a friendly discursive session involving all participant composers.

Friday 28 April, 12.30–2pm: Composition Review with Elizabeth Hilliard (CMC Library)
Soprano Elizabeth Hilliard will offer observations on  participants' compositions with particular reference to vocal technique, presentation, style, and performance-related issues.

Friday 28 April, 3–4pm: Music Current Commission 2016 Presentation with Anna Murray (CMC Library)
Anna Murray, recipient of the 2016 Music Current Commission, will present on her recently completed S:NP-VP-NP (for harpsichord and computer).

Friday 28 April, 4–5pm: Computer Music Realisation with Alexis Nealon (CMC Library)
Sound Engineer Alexis Nealon discusses practical issues concerning computer music performance and real-world issues for computer-based music and mixed music, including: scalable performance, studio audition versus concert reproduction, microphone and loudspeaker selection and placement, distribution and portability of electronic music, understanding sound levels, and engineering terminology. Participant composers will be able to discuss the electronic part of their own works in preparation for later rehearsals.

Friday 28 April, 6–7pm: Public Panel Discussion: (CMC Library)
‘Are You Talking to Me?’ Discussion concerning the relationship between listeners, composers, promoters and performers as viewed from the audience’s perspective. With festival composers and guest speakers, the panel will include members of Klank and Christopher Fox, and will be moderated by Evonne Ferguson, Director of CMC. Audience members and concert-goers are welcome to participate. Attendance is free, but spaces are strictly limited.

Friday 28 April, 8–9pm: CONCERT (Smock Alley Theatre)
KLANK PLAYS KLANK, Reinhart Hammerschmidt - double bass, stuff; Markus Markowski - electric guitar, stuff; Christoph Ogiermann - violin, voice, stuff; Tim Schomacker - everyday percussion, voice, stuff

Saturday 29 April, 10am–2pm: Rehearsal of participant works by Elizabeth Hilliard (soprano) (Smock Alley Theatre)
Rehearsal of works by participant composers will be rehearsed in advance of the public performance, at New Voices concert.

Saturday 29 April, 4pm–5pm: CONCERT (Smock Alley Theatre)
Concert performance of seven selected participant works developed during the festival, and premiere of Anna Murray's 2016 Music Current Commission S:NP-VP-NP (for harpsichord and computer). Announcement of IMRO / MUSIC CURRENT Commission 2017. Elizabeth Hilliard, soprano; Michael Quinn, harpsichord

Saturday 29 April, 8–8.30pm: CONCERT (Smock Alley Theatre)
PERISONIC, a concert-length, multimedia spectacle and representation of Dublin in surround sound and panoramic video, developed in collaboration between Dublin Sound Lab and composers Scott McLaughlin, Gráinne Mulvey, Fergal Dowling and video artist Mihai Cucu, and produced by Sabina Bonnici.

Saturday 29 April, 9–9.30pm: CONCERT (Smock Alley Theatre)
PERISONIC (second performance)

Participant Composers can also avail of:

  • Audio recording of the concert performance of their work
  • Free Entrance to four concerts and all Music Current 2017 events and presentations
  • Contemporary Music Centre Travel Bursary to cover travel costs within the island of Ireland

Deadline for applications closed on 13 March 2017

Seven composers have been accepted to participate in Music Current and will present works at the New Voices concert at Smock Alley Theatre, 29 April 2017. The selected composers are:

Des Clarke, England
Elis Czerniak, Ireland
Francis Heery, Ireland
Edmund Hunt, England
Elizabeth O'Brien, Ireland
Silvia Rosani, Italy
Steven Whiteley , USA



Christopher Fox (b.1955) grew up in the north of England. He went to Liverpool University to read music, attracted both by the prospect of studying with Hugh Wood, the university's composer in residence, and of being in the same city as Liverpool Football Club. From Liverpool he went to Southampton, studying with Jonathan Harvey for a year, before returning to York to do a PhD in composition, supervised by Richard Orton.

In 1978 he began a collaboration with the clarinettist Roger Heaton and it was at Heaton's suggestion that Fox went to the Darmstadt Ferienkurse for the first time 1982. The succès de scandaleof his Dance, performed at Heaton's instigation during the Ferienkurse, led to many further opportunities in Germany, including a DAAD Berliner Künstlerprogramm residency in 1987, and elsewhere in continental Europe. Further close collaborations with soloists and ensembles have been a feature of Fox's life as a composer, most notably with the pianists Ian Pace, John Snijders and Philip Thomas, the cellist Anton Lukoszevieze, and the ensembles Apartment House, EXAUDI, The Clerks and the Ives Ensemble.

As well as composing, he taught art history in the Art School of Bradford College for 10 years before joining the music departments of Huddersfield University and, more recently, Brunel University. He writes about music, producing newspaper features, radio scripts, musicological journal articles and book chapters, and editing books on Michael Finnissy and the history of the Darmstadt Ferienkurse. Recordings of his works are to be found on many different labels; the most recent, Sea to the west, features the soprano Elizabeth Hilliard. Publication of his music is exclusively with his own imprint, the Fox Edition. In 2016 a book about his music, Perspectives on the meusic of Christopher Fox: Straight lines in broken times, was published by Ashgate-Routledge.


Elizabeth Hilliard is a soprano from Dublin. She sings a wide range of repertoire, bringing a dramatic quality and emotional intensity to her performances. She combines pinpoint accuracy and razor sharp musicianship with her passion and relish for performing music by living composers. Elizabeth is a co-director (with David Bremner) of Béal, a production company committed to exploring the relationship between sung and spoken word. The pair have brought international figures such as Robert Ashley, Tom Johnson, Jennifer Walshe and Christopher Fox to Dublin


KLANK, Bremen-based music performance ensemble, has created a sonic universe from a dizzying array of musical techniques and cultural approaches.

Founded by improvisers Reinhart Hammerschmidt and Hainer Wörmann, sound-performer Tim Schomacker and composer / instrumentalist Christoph Ogiermann in 2008, KLANK built their common ground in both the complex and dense logic of the interaction in playing improvised music and in researching the musical potential of various materials from everyday life. Be it kitchen utensils, office equipment, children's toys or tools from whatever workplace, KLANK is willing to declare almost everything a musical instrument, and able to expand the range of its sonic creations.

KLANK recognise that music doesn't just sound - but it is also important what a performance "looks like". The quartet focuses on performative and site-specific concepts, establishing a unique brand of Klang-Aktionen (music-based performances) involving the use of body, voice, video and various theatrical elements.


Anna Murray is a mixed-media composer with a particular interest in text-based music and collaborative processes. Her work as a composer is informed by her interest in non-musical artforms and non-standard concert contexts. Through her composition work, Anna's focus is to seek out the points of connection, both technical and expressive, between music and other arts, including visual arts, film and literature.

Anna is a highly-trained pianist, having studied with Leonora Carney and Adrian Vernon Fish. She regularly performs live with improvised electronics and visuals, including appearances at the New Music Dublin Festival 2014, and a concert with saxophonist Nick Roth presented by the Irish Embassy of Korea in Seoul in 2016. She also is a member of two performing gamelan ensembles, NCH Gamelan and Gamelan Nua, and she plays guitar, bass, piano and electronics with indie band The Manhattan Syndrome.

As well as a BMus from NUI Maynooth, Anna holds an MPhil n Music and Media Technologies, and has a great interest in the many facets of music technologies. She has produced a number of concerts for her own company Fractal Music Dublin, which specialises in multimedia events, and acts as sound engineer and technical assistant for concerts by Fractal, Quiet Music Ensemble, the Irish Composers Collective and Association of Irish Composers.

Anna is a dedicated music educator and for many years has given private lessons to a variety of learners, from adult beginner pianists to game designers looking to learn more about audio and sound. She also teaches piano, guitar, theory and pre-instrumental/early music at Clonee Music Tuition Centre. She combines solid grounding in technique and repertoire with fostering a greater understanding of composition and musical intent which encourages a deeper understanding and love of music in her students.

Recent works include: LIT, a work for voice and electronics from vocalist Michelle O'Rourke based on the poetry of Robert Fitterman and commissioned with funds from the Arts Council of Ireland; At Miidera for piano and electronics, written for Máire Carroll and commissioned by Kirkos Ensemble for their Kirkoskammer concert series with funds from Arts Council of Ireland; a Fluxus-inspired text piece titled words, performed by members of Kirkos Ensemble at Fluxfest 2016; and a highly competitive commission from Dublin Sound Lab, to be featured at next year's Music Currents festival. She has twice been the recipient of the Arts Council Music Bursary for composition, the most recent of which allowed her to continue her ongoing study of Japanese Noh Theatre. She is currently writing a number of works based on the principles and sounds of Noh, as well as some articles based on her study of the form.

Anna's works have been performed and broadcast in many places across the world, and a number have been selected for inclusion in CD releases from Demerara Records and Heresy Records. She released her own debut EP of electronic music, titled Rndr in 2013, with a follow-up to be released soon.


Michael Quinn studied piano and organ at the Royal Irish Academy of Music, and organ and harpsichord at the Royal Conservatory, The Hague. He is a music graduate of Trinity College Dublin and King's College London.

Michael has appeared as organist in The Netherlands, Spain and England and as soloist with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra. He has given recitals in St Patrick's Cathedral, and St Mary's Pro-Cathedral, Dublin and in St Michael's Church, Dun Laoghaire, as part of their summer series. With a particular interest in new music, he has premiered works by Fergal Dowling and Jacques Bank, and presented several Irish premieres with Dublin Sound Lab.



Fergal Dowling is a composer, computer musician and ensemble director. He studied composition at Trinity College Dublin (BMus, 2000), (MLitt, 2002) and, with the aid of the Elizabeth Maconchy Composition Fellowship (2002), the University of York (PhD, 2006), and continues research in interactive audio performance, sound spatialisation and algorithmic composition. His works often combine computer-based interaction and sound spatialisation to engage the listener with a sense of immediacy, and draw on a variety of simple sound materials to create complex inharmonic textures.

His compositions have been presented widely at festivals and conferences, including: ISSTC 2014, Composition in the 21st Century (Dublin, 2014), Noise in/and/as Music, Huddersfield (2013), Atelierfrankfurt (2011), Música Viva (2010), Japan Electroacoustic Festival (2009), ISCM World Music Days (2009), Future Sonic (2007), and by many ensembles and soloists, including: Ex-Machina (Brazil), Projektgruppe Neue Musik Bremen, Grup XXI (Spain), Hear This Space (England), Acousmain (Germany), and notes inégales.

An active performer of computer music, he co-founded Dublin Sound Lab (2008), and has collaborated with many Irish and international composers and performers, including: Karlheinz Essl, Garth Knox and Peter Ablinger.


Scott McLaughlin is a composer and improviser based in Huddersfield, UK. Born in Ireland (Co. Clare) in 1975. He lectures in composition and music technology at the University of Leeds. His research focuses on contingency and indeterminacy in the physical materiality of sound and performance, combining approaches from spectral music and experimental music with dynamical systems theory to explore autopoiesis and recursive feedback systems in constraint-based open-form composition. His debut CD 'There are neither wholes nor parts' was recently released on Ergodos Records.


Gráinne Mulvey is one of the most widely performed Irish composers. She has been the recipient of many awards, including the Young Musician of the Future Award, (Composers Class) in 1994, the Macaulay Fellowship (Arts Council Of Ireland). She has received commissions from Concorde, the ACME Ensemble of Chicago, RTE NSO, Romanian Radio Chamber Orchestra and The Northern Sinfonia. Her orchestral work has also been performed by the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra, the Hradec Králové Philharmonic and the Orchestre De Lorraine. She has represented Ireland twice at the ISCM World Music Days (2008, 2009) and at the International Rostrum of Composers (1994, 2006).

Her works have been performed by Joe O'Farrell, Elizabeth Hilliard, David Bremner, Martin Johnson, Annette Cleary, Therese Fahy, Slawomir Zubrzycki, Matthew Schellhorn, Paul Roe, Dermot Dunne, and Mary Dullea.
She has been commissioned by RTE NSO for a cello concerto, and by The Dublin International Piano Competition. Many of her recent works develop her research interests acoustics, electro-acoustics and live electronics. She is a member of the Association of Irish Composers, Irish Music Rights Organization, the IAWM, Donne In Musica and Aosdána, Ireland's organization of creative artists.


Sabina Bonnici is an Australian creative producer based in Dublin. Having started her career producing radio and television, she was soon lured by bright, shiny, digital things.

Since setting up FizzyThinking in 2006, Sabina has worked as a producer and strategist with TV production companies, creative agencies, start-ups, established brands, and cultural organisations. She creates digital experiences and interactions, telling and spreading stories across multiple platforms, from online to real-world.

Recent interactive productions include Running Blind, a dance performance with a difference; The Party, an experiential event inspired by George Orwell's novel 1984 for the Tiger Dublin Fringe Festival; and 1014Retold, a Twitter retelling of the Battle of Clontarf.


Mihai Cucu has collaborated closely with many artists, especially composers and music performance groups in Ireland, Romania and through Europe making many video artworks for projections during live music performance. His approach involves working closely with creative musicians to create a new unique video artwork that integrates with the music performance.

He has worked directly with many composers, artists and groups, including: Gráinne Mulvey, Diana Rotaru, Seducant, John Feeley, RTÉ ConTempo Quartet, Fergal Dowling, Dublin Sound Lab, Irish Composers Collective, Association of Irish Composers, Elizabeth Hilliard, David Bremner, Béal Festival, Music Current Festival and Hilltown Music Festival. His work has been performed and exhibited widely at such venues as De Nieuwe Regentes Theater, The Hague; Porta Theater, Athens; National University of Music, Bucharest; National Operetta and Musical Theatre, Bucharest; Galway City Museum; and Smock Alley Theatre, Dublin.

He also creates videos and animations for cultural institutions, portrait and event photography, and works in the restoration of frescoes and iconostasis, painting and exhibiting Byzantine icons, glass painting. Mihai also teaches Byzantine iconography.


Alexis Nealon is a sound engineer with years of experience with electronic and acoustic music, in both the studio and in concert. Recent projects include Lorcán MacMathuna's 'Preab Meadar' album project, QME's live performances and recordings, and Corn Exchange Theatre's 'A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing'. He runs his own project studio and provides location recording facilities. He has toured across Europe and further, and taught guitar and Information Technology. Alexis works with Qlab, Wavelab, Nuendo, MaxMSP, Reaper, Kontact software and RME, Eventide, DPA, Neumann hardware. With a background in music appreciation and guitar performance, he holds a Masters from TCD in Music and Media Technology.


Smock Alley Theatre

6–7 Exchange Street Lower,
Temple Bar, Dublin 8

Smock Alley Theatre

Smock Alley Theatre is situated on Exchange Street Lower with its façade facing on to Wood Quay.

Contemporary Music Centre

19 Fishamble Street,
Temple Bar, Dublin 8

Contmporary Music Centre Fishamble Street

The Contemporary Music Centre is at 19 Fishamble Street in the west end of Dublin's cultural quarter, Temple Bar, adjacent to Smock Alley Theatre, Christ Church Cathedral and Dublin Castle, and is a short walk from Trinity College.

How to get there

Map of west end of Dublin's cultural quarter, Temple Bar

Music Current Venues





Nearest car parks are Fleet Street Car Park and Christchurch Car Park at the rear of Jury's Hotel.


Both venues are close to the Dublin City Council Offices on Wood Quay; a 10-minute walk from Tara Street DART station and 5-minute walk from the Jervis Street stop on the red LUAS line, and a 10-minute walk from O'Connell Street.


All buses to Wood Quay, Ormond Quay, Wellington Quay, Parliament Street, and Lord Edward Street.


Dublin Sound Lab is supported by the Arts Council and Dublin City Council. Music Current Festival is presented in collaboration with the Contemporary Music Centre, Dublin and supported by Irish Music Rights Organisation.


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Vibrating string photo courtesy of Andrew Davidhazy