Paul Gilgunn is a composer and musician working across the peripheries of classical and popular music – primarily, encompassing avant-rock, improvised music, and post-minimalist composition. His aesthetic is characterised by a defiant avant-gardism and a fascination with creating new musical representation to engage and expand subjectivity, encompassing a variety of forms, genres, instruments, and techniques. These collaborative, ensemble, and solo projects often involve cross-disciplinary activities with literature, video, video games, and visual art. He has collaborated and performed with leading musicians including Rhys Chatham, Tony Conrad, David Daniell, Cora Venus Lunny, Robbie Malone, Jay Oglesby, Nick Roth, Danny Snow, and Jennifer Walshe.
Paul’s compositions frequently use alternate tuning systems, bricolage, extended techniques, improvisation, layering, polyrhythms, noise, overtones, repetition, and volume to engage a listener. A studio recording of his latest work HERE WE ARE NOW (2019) was released to critical acclaim in February 2019. He outlines his approach in his new project: “layers of iterated patterns and pulses – awash with justly-tuned drones and overtones – transform Irish folk modalities and rhythms into bold, distinct new music; a ten-part form using dense timbres, duration, repetition, and volume to engage listeners on a number of levels and reconfigure how we are now”.
As an educator and writer, Paul’s areas of interest include contemporary audio culture, cultural theory and philosophy, musicology, performance, popular culture, and underground music. He holds a B.A. in English and Music (DCU), an M.Phil. in Popular Literature (TCD), and a Ph.D. in Music (Goldsmiths). His doctoral thesis (2017) examined Rhys Chatham’s pioneering compositions for multiple electric guitars in the context of a post-1945 culture characterised by immanence, immersion, and participation. He is a music tutor and module leader at BIMM, Dublin (Europe’s leading provider of contemporary music education), a committee member of the Music Generation South Dublin partnership, and music editor for Cassandra Voices magazine.
Paul is currently preparing collaborations, installations, performances, and recordings featuring music for analogue synthesiser, electric guitars, electronics, percussion, and voice.
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