Choir Works

This page is devoted to my choral works. The earlier ones are published by Universal Edition and Ricordi London, the later ones are available directly from me.

Please feel free to peruse the sound and score excerpts of these works – I am happy to make available complete PDF perusal scores and complete sound recordings to listen to; interested parties should contact me through the website’s email.  I can supply directly any number of the later works for performance and can provide contact details for the relevant people at UE or Ricordi for the earlier ones.

Please note that The Beloved and her Lover is available to listen to in its entirety on the website’s Jukebox, on the album One Day Fine.

Previous
Next
nine(birds)here (1990, 3') Limbo (1999, 5') Under the lark full cloud (1999, 11')
bluebrighteyes (1999, 5') Little red fish (2006, 13') An tOileán (2007, 5')
White guardians of the universe of sleep (2007, 8') Crabbing (2007, 3') Safe Harbour (2007, 4')
The Stone House Dromod Harbour (2007, 4') The Harbour (2007, 5') Bealach Conglais (2009, 4')
The Beloved and Her Lover (2009, 9') Haru no sono (2011, 2') i carry your heart (2011, 5')

 

Previous
Next
Play Time
   
2'45"
   
Excerpt
   
Download
View Full PDF Sample
 

nine(birds)here (1990, 3’)


A setting of two short poems by E.E. Cummings, both with birds as their subject, the first slow, the second more mobile. My first choral piece and still to me a very attractive work, it has been sung by a number of choirs, both amateur and professional. Published by Universal Edition Ltd.
Enlarge
Play Time
   
5'26"
   
Excerpt
   
Download
View Full PDF Sample
 

Limbo (1999, 5½‘)

This setting of Seamus Heaney’s eponymous and moving poem was written for the City of Derry Youth Choir. Published by Universal Edition Ltd.
  Enlarge
Play Time
   
11'25"
   
Excerpt
   
Download
View Full PDF Sample
 

Under the lark full cloud (1999, 11’)

This was a commission from the National Chamber Choir of Ireland and my first attempt at a ‘long’ choral piece. It is through-composed, following the structure of, as well as setting the text of Dylan Thomas’ wonderful Poem in October, written on his own 30th birthday, so it’s celebratory and nostalgic at the same time. The language is firmly modal, although with some rather ‘piquant’ harmonies to spice things up. Published by Universal Edition Ltd.
  Enlarge
Play Time
   
5'03"
   
Excerpt from b.23
   
Download
View Full PDF Sample
 

bluebrighteyes (1999, 5’)

A commission from the Cork International Choral Festival and one of my most difficult choral works, this is a setting of an intense love poem by Irish poet Cathal Ó Searcaigh While most of the language of the work is typically modal, the opening of the penultimate section is particularly challenging to sing, although highly effective in its reflection of the stormy text. Published by Universal Edition Ltd.

  Enlarge
Play Time
   
12'33"
   
Excerpt
   
Download
View Full PDF Sample
 

Little red fish (2006, 13')

A setting of Oskar Kokoschka’s macabre German poem, Rot fischlein, this piece was another commission from the National Chamber Choir of Ireland for themselves and the Rascher Saxophone Quartet. The Raschers have been building up quite a folio of such works and the combination of voices and saxophones works surprisingly well. The language is more complicated than in many of my choral works, with the text often being split up into separate syllables and phonemes to create a mysterious and arresting soundworld. Published by Ricordi London Ltd.

  Enlarge
Play Time
   
5'39"
   
Excerpt
   
Download
View Full PDF Sample
 

An tOileán (2007, 5')

This piece was my first setting of an Irish-language poem, Deirdre Brennan’s popular The Island. The score is written phonetically so knowledge of the language is not necessary to sing it. Commissioned by the Carlow Young Artists Choir (now known as Aspiro), the division of voices is SS AA Bar. Available directly from the composer.

  Enlarge
Play Time
   
8'23"
   
Excerpt
   
Download
View Full PDF Sample
 

White guardians of the universe of sleep (2007, 8')

While not overly complicated to sing, this setting of a number of poems by E.E. Cummings needs either a double choir or, as was the original intention, one choir and a live recording system – the first half repeats during the second half of the work, at which point new material is introduced to accompany the first-half music. Available directly from the composer.

  Enlarge
Play Time
   
3'16"
   
Excerpt
   
Download
View Full PDF Sample
 

Crabbing (2007, 3')

This energetic and joyful work is the opening movement of my large-scale choral cantata Harbouring. Jacob Polley’s evocative poem inspired an ebullient setting which can be accompanied either by piano or strings. Available directly from the composer.

  Enlarge
Play Time
   
3'43"
   
Excerpt
   
Download
View Full PDF Sample
 

Safe Harbour (2007, 4')

Another movement from Harbouring and a real contrast to Crabbing, Helen Pizzey’s text is a tender love poem and the stillness and intensity of the music reflects that. Available directly from the composer.

  Enlarge
Play Time
   
3'51"
   
Excerpt
   
Download
View Full PDF Sample
 

 

The Stone House Dromod Harbour (2007, 4')

This is one of two poems by Irish poet Gerard Fanning I set in Harbouring. It’s a ruminative and reflective work requiring a double choir. Available directly from the composer.

 
Enlarge
Play Time
   
5'35"
   
Excerpt
   
Download
View Full PDF Sample
 

The Harbour (2007, 5')

The final movement from Harbouring and an unashamedly straightforward, tender setting of a nostalgic poem by Winfred Letts. Available directly from the composer.

 
Enlarge
Play Time
   
5'39"
   
Excerpt from b.20
   
Download
View Full PDF Sample
 

Bealach Conglais (2009, 4')

This is my second setting of a Deirdre Brennan Irish-language poem, again set phonetically. Commissioned by the New Dublin Voices choir, they premiered it at the Marktoberdorf Festival in Germany. Although an amateur choir, NDV is very adventurous and so I was able to introduce some interesting things into the writing.

  Enlarge
Play Time
   
9'41"
   
Excerpt
   
Download
View Full PDF Sample
 

The Beloved and Her Lover (2009, 9')

Another phonetic Irish-language work, this time a setting of the opening verses from the Song of Solomon. The choir sings the lines of the Beloved, and these sections are more harmonically and texturally complex, deliberately providing a vivid contrast with the soloist (male or female) sections. An additional textural element is supplied through the use of the Irish language version of the text which is quite beautiful in its own way. The Beloved and Her Lover was commissioned by Aisling Ryan with funds from the Arts Council of Ireland and is a favourite of mine. Available directly from the composer.

  Enlarge
Play Time
   
2'26"
   
Excerpt
   
Download
View Full PDF Sample
 

Haru no sono (2011, 2')

This tiny piece was written for the school choir of Mount St Mary’s in Claremorris, County Mayo. It’s a simple and beautiful setting of an old Japanese poem, in phonetic Japanese. It’s also straightforward to sing but very effective. Available directly from the composer.

  Enlarge
Play Time
   
2'07"
   
Excerpt from b.20
   
Download
View Full PDF Sample
 

 

i carry your heart (2011, 5')

This piece was commissioned as a wedding present for the choirmaster of the Mornington Singers in Dublin. The text is another poem by E.E. Cummings, one of his most direct love poems. Available directly from the composer.

  Enlarge