IMBAS MEMBERS

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Helen Phelan

Helen Phelan is Professor of Arts Practice at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, University of Limerick, Ireland and director of the PhD in Arts Practice. She is an Irish Research Council recipient for her work on music and migration. She is co-founder of the female vocal ensemble Cantoral, specializing in Irish medieval chant, and founder of the Singing and Social Inclusion group. She is principal investigator for the HRI (Health Research Institute) funded research cluster exploring the use of singing and other participatory arts-based methods in migrant health research. Recent books include Singing the Rite to Belong: Music, Ritual and the New Irish (Oxford University Press), and The Artist and Academia (Routledge) with Graham Welch. She is the founding and current Chair of IMBAS.

Institution/Affiliation: Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, University of Limerick

Field of Practice/Research: Ritual Chant and Song / Culturally Diverse Community Singing

Link: Profile at UL

Link: RTE Article

Yvon Bonenfant

Yvon Bonenfant, PhD, is Head of Department, Theatre at UCC and leader of the MA Theatre and Performative Practices Performance and Activism theme. His artistic research explores the intersection of voice and vocality, identity, touch, marginalised audiences, participation, queerdom and interdisciplinary composition for performance, integrating betimes engineering, coding, textile design and voice science. Funders have included the IRC, the Wellcome Trust, the UK’s AHRC, Arts Council England, Youth Music, Postcode Community Trust. He has shown work in 14 countries and published widely. His project Resonant Tails, for children with Profound and Multiple Learning Disabilities, currently runs in 4 schools.

Institution/Affiliation: Head of Dept., Theatre, University College Cork

Field of Practice/Research: Voice/Theatre/Performance/Installation/Interaction

Link: Profile at UCC

Link: Tract and Touch

John Godfrey

John Godfrey is a Senior Lecturer in the Music Department of University College Cork. His research interests include performance of contemporary art music, improvisation, composition, Expanded Instrument Systems, experimental music and other sonic arts. 

He was the cofounder and Musical Director of Icebreaker (UK), 1989-1997; founder member of Crash Ensemble (IRL), 1997-2017; founder of Quiet Music Ensemble (2008-present). He has performed and been broadcast worldwide and appears on many commercial and non-commercial publicly available recordings.

Institution/Affiliation: University College Cork

Field of Practice/Research: Music

Link: Quiet Music Ensemble

Diviane Helena de Oliveira

Artistic director, choreographer, performer, dancer, writer and art therapist. The focus of my artistic work is on the poetic language of sensations, challenging modes of interaction between bodies, cultures and subjectivities. I direct and coordinate artistic projects in Brazil and Ireland. I have experience in solo creations, collaborative projects, and community art projects. I am developing an artistic investigation entitled Sensorygraphy [Sensóriografia] experimenting with relationships between words, movements and bodily senses.

Nowadays enthusiasm, surprise, transcultural questions and affections are the lifeblood of my work. I am a PhD in Arts Practice student at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance – University of Limerick. I completed my Master of Arts in Art Therapy in 2020 at Crawford College of Art and Design. I hold a Postgraduate in Psychoanalysis: theory and practice, Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Psychologist Training at the Universidade Federal Paraná.

Institution/Affiliation: Irish World Academy of Music & Dance – University of Limerick

Field of Practice/Research: Dance, Creative Writing and Somatics

Link:  Personal Website

Link: Instagram

Matthew Noone

A self-confessed musical ‘mongrel’, Matthew Noone is an Australian-Irish ex-indie rocker, improviser, composer, thinker and performer of the 25 stringed lute called sarode. He has studied Indian classical music with Sougata Roy Chowdhury in Kolkata and K. Sridhar in the UK for two decades and works in a diverse range of disciplines ranging from Irish traditional and Indian Classical music to free improvisation and electroacoustic music.  He has collaborated with a host of international artists such as Martin Hayes & Dennis Cahill, Liam O Maonlai, Lisa Hanigan,Steve Cooney, Jiggy, K. Subramaniam, Debojyoti Sanyal,  Catherine Sikora, Sean Mac Erlaine, Sean Tyrell and the Irish Gamelan Orchestra.  He has released two albums with percussionist Tommy Hayes (An Tara) and three solo albums of contemporary material using sarode using loops, feedback, voice, electronics and ukulele!

Institution/Affiliation: University of Limerick

Field of Practice/Research: Music/Improvisation

Link: Personal Website

Mel Mercier

An award-winning composer and performer, Mel is Professor and Chair of Performing Arts at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, University of Limerick, since 2016. He was introduced to music by his father, Peadar Mercier, who taught him to play the bodhrán and bones. Mel collaborated as a traditional
percussionist with pianist and composer Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin for 40 years. Throughout the 1980s, he and his father performed in Europe and the USA with John Cage and the Merce Cunningham Dance Company. Mel has created music for theatre in Ireland and internationally for twenty years, during which time he
has worked regularly with Deborah Warner and Fiona Shaw, Corcadorca (Cork) and Gare St Lazare Ireland.

Awards include: Irish Times Theatre Award for Best Soundscape for the Gare St Lazare production of Beckett’s How It Is – Part I (2018); Irish Times Theatre Award for Best Soundscape for the Corcadorca production of Caryl Churchill’s Far Away (2017); Gradam Cheoil Award for Collaboration for CONCERT with Colin Dunne and Sinead Rushe (TG4, 2018); New York Festival Bronze Medal Award for his radio documentary, Peadar Mercier (RTÉ Doc on One, 2017); New York Drama Desk Award and Tony Award nomination for Colm Tóibín/Deborah Warner/Fiona Shaw Testament of Mary (Broadway 2012).

Current/recent creative projects: ARCADIA (with Deborah Warner). World Premiere, July 2021, at The Factory, Manchester. Co-commissioned by Manchester International Festival and Stanford University; Guests of the Nation (co-devised with Kevin Barry and Pat Kiernan). Produced by Corcadorca and Cork Midsummer Festival in 2021-2022; How it is Film (with Irish Gamelan Orchestra and MÓNCKK). Produced by Gare St Lazare Ireland. World Premiere at Dublin Theatre Festival in October 2021.

Mel is director of the Irish Gamelan Orchestra, which released its debut album The Three Forges to critical acclaim in August 2015. In January 2019, his album of theatre scores, Testament, was released on Heresy Records to critical acclaim. He recently formed the group PULSUS, the first Irish traditional percussion
ensemble, and in 2021 he formed the ensemble MÓNCKK to create and perform original music.

Institution/Affiliation: Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, University of Limerick

Field of Practice/Research: Music, Theatre

Link: mel.mercier@ul.ie

Fióna Bolger  

Fióna is a poet interested in breaking down the borders between languages and practices. She lives, when possible. between India and Ireland. She is working on becoming a better facilitator and mentor of plurilingual and quieter voices. A recipient of an Arts Council Agility award with a poetry collection forthcoming from Salmon. Workshops she has run include Sticking Out Your Tongue, through Yoda Press Delhi and All the Words in the World, through the Irish Writers Centre. Her first collection is a compound of words (Yoda Press, 2019) and her poems have appears in Poetry Ireland Review, Southword, The Brown Critique and the Chattahoochee Review among others. She is interested in finding the poems in the cracks between borders, all kinds of borders. Loves to collaborate!

Institution/Affiliation:

Field of Practice/Research: Poetry, Plurilingualism, Creative writing

Link: Personal Website

Maziar Kanani  

I am Maziar Kanani, an Iranian music musician and researcher with an interdisciplinary approach. After graduating with an MA from the Art University of Tehran, he has published some papers and an album while my new practical experience is more focused on scoring. The previously published papers are in the rhythm ground, Avaz and Tahrir. The current research is focused on the improvisational conversation between the arts. I have taught music in the universities and Isfahan conservatory as a lecturer for more than four years.

Institution/Affiliation:  Irish World Academy​

Field of Practice/Research: Music

Link: Sound Cloud

Giuseppe Torre  

My work spans live electronic performances, audiovisual compositions and media theory. More recently I have developed a keen interest in the issues arising from the relationships between art and technology; a process that has so far led me to question under what forms and forces truly creative efforts may, or may not, arise. I have performed live and exhibited both nationally and internationally, My academic writings features in journals and books by publishing houses such as MIT Press, Springer and with Routledge a book titled An Ethico-Phenomenology of Digital Art Practices (2021). Currently I am Course Director for the BSc in Music Media & Performance Technology at UL.

Institution/Affiliation:  University of Limerick

Field of Practice/Research: Digital Art Practices

Link: Profile at UL

Link: Gitlab

Professor Una Hunt

Professor Una Hunt lectures at TU Dublin Conservatoire and is founder and chair of the National Forum for Music Performance Research and project leader of PERFORM_LIVE, the first festival of Music Performance Research funded by the Irish Research Council (held at the National Concert Hall, March 2022). Una is extremely active in Performance Research and has led many notable projects with multi-media outputs including “My Gentle Harp, Moore’s Irish Melodies, 1808-2008” and the digital transfer project, “The National Archive of Irish Composers” showcasing music from the National Library. Most recently, she produced the first-ever performance in English of Stanford’s “The Veiled Prophet” opera with Wexford Festival (2019). Una is series editor of the Performance Research Ireland series of monographs for Peter Lang, Oxford, each of which includes complementary audio-visual performance exemplars on the internet. She is an award-winning documentary maker and has produced numerous features for RTE Lyric fm.

Institution/Affiliation: Tu Dublin Conservatoire

Field of Practice/Research: Music

Link: Orcid Profile

Link: Arrow @ TU Dublin

Daithí Kearney

Ethnomusicologist, geographer and performer Dr Daithí Kearney is a lecturer in music, theatre and tourism and co-director of the Creative Arts Research Centre at Dundalk Institute of Technology. A graduate of UCC, his research is primarily focused on Irish traditional music and folk theatre but extends to include performance studies, community music and tourism. His PhD concentrated on the construction of geographies and regional identities in Irish traditional music and the relationship between music and place. He has toured regularly as a musician, singer and dancer with a number of groups including Siamsa Tíre, The National Folk Theatre of Ireland. In 2012 he released an album with accordion player John Cronin entitled Midleton Rare, which is related to a wider research agenda on the music and musicians of the Sliabh Luachra region. In 2016 Daithí released an album of new compositions in the Irish traditional idiom with Dr Adèle Commins.

Institution/Affiliation: Dundalk Institute of Technology

Field of Practice/Research: Music

Link: A Louth Lilt

Link: Dundalk Institute of Technology Profile

Ciaran Crilly

Ciarán is Head of the UCD School of Music and Assistant Professor of Orchestral Conducting. He has been Artistic Director of the UCD Symphony Orchestra since its foundation in 2002, directing over 50 performances, including concerts in Belgium, France, Germany, Sweden and the UK. He teaches modules on performance, analysis, orchestration and twentieth-century music. He has also been a lecturer in orchestral conducting for the BMus Performance Degree at the Royal Irish Academy of Music and for the MA in Film Scoring at Pulse College, Windmill Lane Studios. He is currently Membership Secretary of the SMI (Society for Musicology in Ireland) and Chair of CHMHE (Council of Heads of Music in Higher Education).

Institution/Affiliation: UCD

Field of Practice/Research: Music/Orchestral Conducting

Link: UCD Profile

Link: UCD Orchestra

Ben Lamb O’Sullivan

Ben is a musician and PhD research student at the Creative Arts Research Centre in the Dundalk Institute of Technology. Having been awarded the DkIT Postgraduate Scholarship in the summer of 2021, Ben’s work focuses on creative practice using new interfaces within music performance and production. The project considers the use of individual reflexive practice as pedagogy. It builds on themes from previous study including an MA in Music Technology (2021) at DkIT and MA in Music Performance (2017) at UCC. As a performer and song-writer Ben has performed and recorded works within blues, folk, and punk groups helping to shape his interest in DIY production and music creation.

Institution/Affiliation: Creative Arts Research Centre, Dundalk Institute of Technology

Field of Practice/Research: Music

Link: Personal Website

Úna Kealy

Úna Kealy lectures in Theatre Studies and English in Waterford Institute of Technology and, in recent years, her research has focused on the work of playwright Teresa Deevy. In addition to academic publications this research takes the form of rehearsed play readings and workshops. Úna’s research is driven by a desire to interrogate questions of marginalization, social inclusion and exclusion and to work with colleagues in sister institutions, cultural organisations, independent theatre makers, cultural advisory bodies and policy makers to improve equality of opportunity and achievement within the Irish cultural sector. In 2016 Úna shared the WIT Teaching Excellence Award with Kate McCarthy, in 2018 she was awarded the Research Supervision Excellence Award from WIT and in 2021 she won a Teaching Hero Award from the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning. She is currently co-editing a collection of critical essays on the work of Teresa Deevy with Kate McCarthy.

Institution/Affiliation: Waterford Institute of Technology

Field of Practice/Research: Theatre

Link: Waterford IT Profile

Kate McCarthy

Kate McCarthy lectures in Drama at Waterford Institute of Technology. She holds a BA (1st class hons.) in Drama and Theatre Studies and English, and an MA (1st class hons.) in Drama and Theatre Studies from University College Cork. She also holds Associate and Licentiate diplomas in Performance from Guildhall/Trinity College London. Her PhD research, at the School of Education, Trinity College Dublin, investigated the relationship between drama and theatre education, and applied theatre. In 2016 Kate was awarded the WIT Teaching Excellence Award, in 2020 she won a Teaching Hero Award from the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning, and in 2021 she was awarded the Early Career Researcher Award by Waterford Institute of Technology. Her research interests include: the arts and education, contemporary theatre practice, in particular participatory performance and live art, and the work of Waterford playwright, Teresa Deevy. As a practitioner, Kate has facilitated and devised numerous contemporary performance projects in Ireland and in the UK—ranging from youth theatre to site-responsive and street theatre to drama education projects. She is currently co-editing a collection of critical essays on the work of Teresa Deevy with Úna Kealy.

Institution/Affiliation: Waterford Institute of Technology

Field of Practice/Research: Theatre

Link: Waterford IT Profile