Ulster Orchestra joins forces with DJ/producer Phil Kieran at Derry's Celtronic fest
ELECTRONICA and classical music will collide at this year's Celtronic Festival in Derry when DJ/producer Phil Kieran teams up with the Ulster Orchestra for a special live performance of new original work.
Having previously worked with Peter Hook, Gary Numan, Green Velvet, Speedy J and David Holmes, Kieran became hooked on the idea of composing original orchestrally enhanced music after performing live in Australia with a 12 piece chamber orchestra in 2016.
Kieran had already approached the Ulster Orchestra while working on his last album Blinded by The Sun, and this year he became their electronic music ambassador through the European Orchestra Laboratory, which aims to develop new audiences for orchestras.
He embarked on a six month project collaborating with viola player Jonathan Simmance and three local musicians, Eoin O’Callaghan, Neil Burns and Leon Crockett at Celtronic Studios.
Kieran explains: "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 be performed with a synthesised sound or its equivalent acoustic instrument.
"It has both dance-music and classical sensibilities at its heart."
He adds: "I’ve always felt that classical music and electronica have more in common than what sets them apart.
"Beethoven knew how to hammer home a phrase. His music's power and its ability to release emotion probably made it the techno of its day."
Phil Kieran and The Ulster Orchestra will perform the new compositions live at Celtronic on Saturday June 30 at the Glassworks on Great James Street.
"I’m used to planning performances meticulously from the safe surrounds of my studio," says Kieran of the upcoming show. "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’."
Audiences can also hear a sample of these new works performed at the Ulster Orchestra’s Gala night performance on June 23 at St Columb’s Hall, Derry, at 7pm.