David Bremner

(b. 1977)
Mihai Cucu

“I'm drawn to paradox, understatement...moments of intense lyricism appearing in unlikely contexts, structures in which the focal points are where the material is reduced to its most bare and formulaic.”

David Bremner is a composer and pianist/organist based in Dublin. Operating in an idiom that is both minimalist in texture and harmonically complex, his current work has involved creating fabrics made from atonal drone textures, and algorithmic composition. With soprano Elizabeth Hilliard he runs the music/text production company Béal (www.bealfestival.com). In 2013 he completed a PhD, supervised by Prof. Gráinne Mulvey, at TU Dublin Conservatoire, where he now lectures in composition, teaching as part of the undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, and coordinating a composition seminar series and composition workshops with resident ensemble Concorde.

His portrait double-album Mixed Circuits, featuring Hilliard, Andreea Banciu, Izumi Kimura and Paul Roe, was released on Farpoint Recordings in December 2022. Other recent projects include a chamber opera, Slow Recognition, developed in collaboration with dramaturg and director Hélène Montague and designer John Comiskey and featuring singers Elizabeth Hilliard, Naomi Louisa O’Connell and Rory Musgrave, which was produced to acclaim in July 2022, supported by Arts Council Bursary and Project funding. An ongoing collaboration with the violinist Larissa O’Grady led to a concert-length programme, shadow once complete, featuring algorithmic text, and commissions from writers Joanna Walsh and Kit Fryatt; it toured Ireland in 2022. A new commission for O’Grady premiered in 2023.

Other performances have included You window-pierc'd facades by Lina Andonovska (fl) and Elizabeth Hilliard (sop) at the Hugh Lane Sundays @ Noon series (December 2019), Permanent Ritornello by Crash Ensemble in New Music Dublin (March 2019), and Themework by RETRO DISCO in Music Current (April 2019). He often works with poet Billy Mills, most recently on a 2-hour-long cantata performed in 2018, Four, for Baroque instruments, voices and electronics.

With the piper Mark Redmond, David in 2014 released the CD l'air du temps/the spirit of the times; a track was selected by the Contemporary Music Centre to feature on their promotional CD New Music:New Ireland 2. Excerpts have been broadcast on Lyric FM, BBC Radio 3, and the European Broadcasting Network. Works of his also feature on CD releases by Anne-Marie O'Farrell and Elizabeth Hilliard (Métier/Divine Arts Records).

In addition, David has a busy career as a performer; he was Assistant Organist at Christ Church Cathedral Dublin 2010-2019, and has played with ensembles such as the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra and Crash Ensemble.