Recording piano with Simon Quigley in Camden Studios, Dublin

Nothing Like A Steinway

Simon is a pianist and composer that I’ve been working with for years. We have recorded together several times in Windmill Lane and Camden Studios, and in June we went back in to Camden Studios, Dublin to record piano for three of his compositions. Over the course of these sessions I’ve learned a lot about recording grand pianos, which I am sharing here in the hope that the information will be useful to some folks. Continue reading

Simon Quigley at the National Concert Hall

On Tuesday I found myself performing in Dublin’s National Concert Hall with an array of very talented musicians as part of Simon Quigley’s “A Night By The Ocean”. The video shows a snippet from the soundcheck, with Clare Kavanagh and Martin McCann duetting on “Ryan Vs The White Star Line”.
I shot it from my little guitar/electronics perch near the back of the stage. Below is a little run-through of the live setup, the challenges we faced and the workarounds we used.
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Gig prep for “A Night By The Ocean” – Simon Quigley

Next Tuesday night I’ll be performing with Simon Quigley and a host of incredibly talented people in the National Concert Hall’s beautiful John Field room.

At this particular show I get to do some fun stuff that’s out of the ordinary. I’ll be playing electric guitar for sure, but I’ll also be conducting(!) and using Ableton Live to do “play” a variety of different sounds. Apart from the more common finger-drumming with Native Instruments Maschine and playing regular synth patches with the Ableton Push, I’ll also be “playing” a boys and men’s choir using a configuration of Ableton that allows me to step through the various chord voicings at my own pace, negating the need for a click. Sounds boring, but not being tied to a click makes performance much more about the feel and expressive potential.

looking forward to hearing it on the night.

String quartet recording in Bay

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This weekend I was down in Bay Studio to track strings for a couple of Simon Quigley‘s pieces. It’s always amazing to hear the pieces come to life. Prior to the day we walk into the studio, the string parts only exist as MIDI parts triggering samplers in Logic. While there are some particularly lovely virtual string libraries out there, there’s nothing like a group of musicians interacting with each other, vibing off each other and offering suggestions and ideas that might not have been thought of beforehand.

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Teaser trailer for Simon Quigley’s film 41° 46′ North

What a lovely way to start the new year.

Over two years ago Simon Quigley came to me to record a new piece he had composed – “Ryan Vs The White Star Line”. It was by far the most complex, ambitious, yet well developed piece he had written (that I had heard anyway!), so it was going to be a big job. After preproduction to get a session together and mock up strings and electronics, and we headed in to Windmill Lane to lay down the piano. Continue reading