Jürgen Simpson

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Jürgen Simpson’s work spans multiple mediums and approaches including electroacoustic works, opera, music for film, dance, and sound installations. He has written two operas, and 2003’s Thwaite (librettist Simon Doyle) received the Genesis Opera Prize’s top award and was performed at Aldeburgh, London (as part of the Almeida Opera Festival) and at the Dublin Fringe Festival. His song cycle The Second Lesson of the Anatomists, in collaboration with poet Sinead Morrissey, was the featured Irish work at the 2006 Sligo New Music Festival and his choral work Lycanth for the National Chamber Choir was one of the main commissions for the 2003 RTÉ Living Music Festival.

He has collaborated with numerous composers including Michael Nyman, Ian Wilson, Kevin Volans, Raymond Deane and Judith Ring. His long standing association with film maker Clare Langan has produced four films with 2007’s Metamorphosis winning the Oberhausen International Film Festival’s premier prize and their work has been shown at the MOMA New York, the Liverpool Tate Gallery, Houldsworth Gallery, London and Galerie Nichido Contemporary, Tokyo. He has also created silent film scores for director Andrew Legge, the sound track for Buail, a dance film with choreographer John Scott and director Steve Woods and SIX, an experimental film with Simon Doyle commissioned by the Crash Ensemble. He has worked extensively in the field of contemporary dance creating music for the Irish Modern Dance Theatre company, choreographer Shobana Jeyasingh and performers Mary Wycherley and Nicole Peisl. He has performed and toured internationally with the rock band The Jimmy Cake and in 2008 produced their third album Spectre and Crown to critical acclaim. Other performances include works by Luigi Nono and Karlheinz Stockhausen for The National Concert Hall Ireland and a solo performance at the 2002 NIME festival. His works have been performed internationally including the Southbank Centre in London and Talinn Estonia where he represented Ireland as part of the cultural programme for Ireland’s EU Presidency. He has received numerous commissions and awards from the Arts Council of Ireland, the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and the British Council.

Since 2005 he has created installation works for gallery spaces and in 2008 he created two such works; Hanging Gardens, a sound installation co-located in the Ormeau Baths Gallery Belfast and the University of Limerick, and Within Me, Without You for the 2008 Venice Architecture Biennale, a sound, light and architectural collaboration for architects O’Donnell & Tuomey with lighting designer Nicholas Ward. He has worked extensively as a curator and in 2000 founded The Whispering Gallery, a music collective which over a three year period introduced many important artists to Ireland (including Keiji Haino, Derek Bailey, Kaffe Mathews and John Russell) as well as promoting Irish experimental work. He has guest curated for the National Concert Hall Ireland, the project arts centre Dublin and he currently runs Soundings, a concert series run in collaboration with the Daghdha Dance Company. He is currently writing a third opera with director William Galinsky and librettist Michael West for the 2010 Cork Midsummer Festival. He has worked extensively as an educator, teaching at numerous institutions including Trinity College Dublin (2000 to 2004), Pulse Recording College as well as running master classes in sound art and composition. Since 2004 he has taught at the University of Limerick where he is postgraduate course director for the Masters in Music Technology and runs the DMARC.

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