Phil Kieran and Ulster Orchestra perform live orchestral versions of collaborative work between Phil Kieran, Eoin O’Callaghan, Neil Burns and Leon Crockett at the Glassworks, Derry/Londonderry on Saturday 30th June as part of Celtronic 2018.
Ever since legendary producer and DJ Phil Kieran performed with a 12 piece chamber orchestra in Melbourne’s notorious club Revolver in 2016, he has been hooked on the idea of composing original works with an orchestra.
This dream has become a reality thanks to the European Orchestra Laboratory (EO Lab II), a Creative Europe Fund project which aims to develop new audiences for orchestras through ambassadors. Phil had already approached the Ulster Orchestra (UO) whilst working on his last album ‘Blinded by the Sun’ which featured live acoustic instrumentalists.
When Phil Kieran finally got the call from the UO, early 2018, he was delighted to become their electronic music ambassador and to embark on a six month adventure. He’s been collaborating with viola player, Jonathon Simmance and three up and coming musicians Eoin O’Callaghan ( Best Boy Grip), Neil Burns ( Comrade Hat) and Leon Crockett at Celtronic Studios.
Phil said ‘I have always loved that grey area between classical and electronic music’ citing Jean-Michel Jarre, Steve Reich, Aphex Twin and John Hopkins as amongst his favourite ‘line-blurrers’.
He continues, ‘I’ve always felt that classical music and electronica have more in common than what sets them apart’ He observes that ‘Beethoven knew how to hammer home a phrase. His music’s powerfulness and its ability to release emotion probably made him the techno of his day’.
Phil continues, ‘Although there are a lot of good reinterpretations of dance music by orchestras and vice-versa, this collaboration has given us all a chance to share expertise and write pieces, from scratch, that could equally be performed with a synthesised sound or its equivalent acoustic instrument. It has both dance-music and classical sensibilities at its heart’.
A series of live performances are planned throughout the Summer, with Phil Kieran and the Ulster Orchestra especially excited to be bringing it to well-loved NI electronic music festival, Celtronic on Saturday 30th June at the Glassworks, Great James Street.
Speaking about the Celtronic show, Phil describes the thrill of working with an orchestra, ‘I’m used to planning performances meticulously from the safe surrounds of my studio, however many of the live musicians will only see the sheet music for the first time on the morning of the concert. The orchestra are totally used to working this way, but for me it’s exciting to think that I’ll only be hearing the final performance pieces for the first time along with the rest of the audience on the night’. He reassures that ‘It’ll be worth it, because there is nothing like the grandiose of a symphony to bring these melodic pieces of electronica into hi-fi’.
Kieran is one of Ireland’s best known DJs, plying his trade in the best clubs and festivals Worldwide. He has worked with artists Peter Hook, Gary Numan, Green Velvet, Speedy J and David Holmes and has released on various labels including Skint, Soma, Cocoon, Hot Creations and his own PKR. He has released and toured albums under the monikers Alloy Mental and Le Carousel. His new EP ‘Polyrhythmic’ is out on Optimo Music now.
Ahead of the full set at Celtronic, audiences can hear a sample of these new works performed at the Ulster Orchestra’s Gala night performance on 23rd June 2018 at 7pm in St Columb’s Hall, Derry/Londonderry.
Advance tickets for Ulster Orchestra and Phil Kieran, Sat June 30th at the Glassworks as part of Celtronic 2018, on sale at Eventbrite.com and from the Millenium Forum Box Office
Full festival line-up here; www.celtronicfestival.com