How and what I teach

I had an exciting chat with my friend Paul Brewer. He was looking for an overview of the teaching of Sound Production at Degree level in Ireland. If you’re interested in music production check out his podcast. I think it’s the best Irish one out there and gives unique perspective on the field. He’s a great interviewer and he kept me on topic 😁

We explored the ins and outs of teaching sound at degree level in Ireland, for both music and film/ broadcast students.

We talked about:

  • The invaluable skills of critical thinking, reflective practice, and teamwork that are embedded in Irish degree courses.
  • Collaborative team projects that give students hands-on experience in various roles: we call them Integrated Projects.
  • The work of Jason Corey, whose research and software modules provide an excellent resource for teaching critical listening and ear training.
  • The differences between music and TV/ broadcast/ film production, and looked at the realities of working in both fields and the technological distinctions between them.
  • The importance of using the right tools for the job and the need for equipment that doesn’t get in the way.

Finally we talked a bit about referencing classic productions and also microphones.

It’s something students struggle with and I would’ve liked to say more about it. In their responses or self-evaluations students will often say “this is good pro sound” but they don’t have a concrete example or definition of what that is, and often they don’t reference other works even though they are often huge fans of film or music.

Getting them to channel that love of their favourite musician or film maker can be a very enjoyable process. Sometimes they are not even familiar with “the classics” and it’s fun seeing their reactions when they hear the good stuff.

My third year Sound Reinforcement students with the DigiCo Red Snapper back in 2014

The Album Tracks Part 1: Orchestrion

This is a combination of atmospheres and sounds from the 1870s and the 1970s. The Orchestion of the title is an Imhof & Mukle Orchestrion Music Machine. It uses a wooden barrel with pins on it to open valves in over 100 pipes that are built like woodwind instruments such as clarinets and flutes. Basically, a large version of the barrel you would see in a music box. To run it, you wind a weight up to the top of the machine, and as it runs down it drives the barrel and pumps the air through the pipes. This one was located in Dunkathel House, where I worked in the recording studio. Here’s a picture of the actual machine in the house, courtesy of the RTÉ archive.

Orchestrion featured on Treasure Ireland (1993)

Orchestrion featured on Treasure Ireland (1993)

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New album release

It’s finally here!

madtheory-electrickery I’m very pleased to get this released. It’s been a long time brewing. Many thanks to my friends who helped with feedback and encouragement:


Aidan O’Driscoll
Brian Dunlea
Dominic Murphy
Eoin O’Sullivan
Enda Grennan
Gary McKee
Mike Gavin
Mike Lyons
Michael O’Sullivan
Ralf Kleeman
Ronan O’Dea
Rupert MacCarthy-Morrogh

And my lovely wife Sally O’Reilly for encouragement both musical and emotional 🙂

Some of these ideas go back to 1990 when I first started to compose. I think it’s important to keep an archive of ideas and stuff to play with- play being the key word. I really enjoyed the process, with all the help and support. I hope you all can feel the same joy I felt in making this music. 🙂



[bandcamp width=350 height=786 album=519834530 size=large bgcol=ffffff linkcol=0687f5]

Also available on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify etc. etc.