Trigeminal Neuralgia is a nerve disorder where the sufferer experiences a stabbing pain in parts of the face. It is a very serious and uncomfortable condition which can cause severe psychological trauma, and it has been nicknamed as ‘the suicide disease’ by medical practitioners. The idea behind this composition was an attempt to simulate the emotional response to the above mentioned conditions through a sequence of auditory events. The piece, in its acousmatic form, was chosen from an international call for works by the Spatial Music Collective for performance in the Royal Irish Academy of Music in October 2011.
My brother, Luke Balbirnie, worked with me to develop the visuals. The video was composed using a combination of 2-Dimensional and 3-Dimensional animating techniques. The basic idea of the visual composition was to develop the themes of each of the sections and to add to the overall narrative of the piece. The piece plays between black and white, light and dark, structure and noise, and our individual concepts of perception. You can see a preview of the work here.
Tickets for the event can be purchased either on the night or by going to the NCH website.
A new composition of mine for solo marimba will be performed by Alex Petcu, esteemed percussionist and director of the Cork New Music Ensemble, in the Kevin Barry room of the National Concert hall on Friday 22nd June at 8.30pm. The piece was composed by controlling an algorithmic computer code to create a constantly varying musical line without repetition. This raw generative material was then contoured to develop its musicality. I would describe the piece as Steve Reich without repetition … which I know is a bit of an oxymoron. Tickets for the event can be purchased either on the night or by going to the NCH website.