Kankyō Ongaku: Donegal

Wednesday December 20, 2023
KO 3

Inspired by Japan’s Kankyō Ongaku environmental music, a genre developed in the 1980s in response to urbanisation and rapid economic growth, Regional Cultural Centre has commissioned five leading sound artists to compose new music that will respond to the contemporary architecture of the Cultural Centre and soundtrack its shared spaces during late-night exhibition and event visits during 2024.

Kankyō Ongaku shares conceptual structural affinities with minimalism in modern art & contemporary design and seeks to provide location-specific soundscapes for public areas.

Further details of late-night opening hours will be published in January 2024. This project has been supported by The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon and the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media (Late-Night Events Pilot Programme).

Commissioned Artists

Gareth Quinn Redmond + Albert Karch

Since releasing his first album Laistigh den Ghleo, Gareth Quinn Redmond’s work has continued to be inspired by the Japanese concept of Kankyō Ongaku, Environmental Music. This concept runs throughout Quinn Redmond’s approach to writing, which focuses on building and sustaining a connection between listener and environment. Gareth has released works in the ambient style collaborating internationally with artists such as Albert Karch, C.R. Gillespie, Francis Harris and Irish painter Conor Campbell. A selection of these records have been released on record labels including Hidden Harmony Recordings and WRWTFWW Records.

Gareth is also one of Ireland’s most in-demand session musicians, performing and recording with some of the island’s most celebrated artists, including Villagers, James Vincent McMorrow, Ye Vagabonds, Glen Hansard, and Bell X1.

Albert Karch is an ambient musician, record producer and multi-instrumentalist. He has contributed to more than 40 albums across many genres of music. His 2019 album, Celestially Light, was recorded in collaboration with Japanese artist Ichiko Aoba.

Albert incorporates his experiences with environmental music in his approach to production and often encourages artists to work for extended periods at unique locations rather than traditional recording studios. He graduated from the Rhythmic Music Conservatory in Copenhagen with a master’s in composition and a bachelor’s degree in performance.

Stephen Shannon

Stephen Shannon is a composer, musician and producer who works out of his own studio, Experimental Audio in Dublin, where he writes and composes for film, documentaries and television. His most recent film work includes scores for Claire Dix’s feature film Sunlight (2023), Kim Bartley’s award-winning feature documentary Pure Grit (2021) and The Ex Wife (2022), a four-part TV drama for Paramount. Previously, he composed the scores for an adaptation of Daniel Woodrell’s Tomato Red, directed by Juanita Williams and Brian O’Malley’s gothic horror, The Lodgers. He has recorded and released original music as a member of Halfset, Strands and Mount Alaska.

Natalia Beylis

Natalia Beylis’s music revolves somewhere between sonic storyteller and multi-instrumental explorer. She has released over 40 albums between solo works and collaborations and has appeared on numerous compilations. While she regularly records on a variety of traditional instruments (mainly pianos, organs, keyboards and mandola), she is just as likely to use non-musical sound sources within her compositions. For example, she recently released an album using just the sounds created by a domestic sewing machine. Natalia’s latest album ‘Mermaids’ is now available on Touch Sensitive Records.

Orri McBrearty

Orri McBrearty is a creative multi-instrumentalist composer and producer living on the west coast of Donegal. He is equally at home soundtracking experimental films as he is facilitating the creation of other people’s records as a studio engineer and producer (quite often at the award-winning studio Attica Audio in Donegal). Recently, Orri has composed music for Photo Museum Ireland’s Galleries Without Walls Project (2021), released a highly regarded audio collaboration with artist Little John Nee (2021), and won ‘Best Soundtrack’ at the Portuguese Film Festival for his work on Other Land (2022).

Viva Dean

Viva Dean is a sound artist and mechanical engineer. Recently, Viva released the experimental electronic EP ‘I Live Here’ under the moniker Brave Young Soldier, in collaboration with Brian McNamara, and music on Gash Collective’s GASH TRAX VOL.2 under the moniker To Apeiron.

Viva also designs and facilitates workshops as Synthesize_Her_, an oganistion she founded in 2022 to provide electronics workshops for girls and gender minorities, workshops that would allow young people to have significant experiences with sound technology in a communal way. Recently she has collaborated with Dublin Modular, Drop Everything, Gash Collective, Make-Create-Innovate and Noise Music.

Poster artwork designed by Mori, a multi-disciplinary studio run by Sara Leslie.