Frank Lyons

(b. 1964)

I am preoccupied with the task of forging an incredibly diverse set of influences into a musical language that is identifiably my own. Jazz, rock, pop, avant-garde, minimalism: elements from all of these inform my style. I also want my music to convey a sense of fun, a quality that is too often lost in the oh-so-serious world of contemporary music.

Frank Lyons was born in Lisburn, Co. Antrim, and studied electric guitar in his early teens. At the University of Ulster he gained a BMus degree in music and composition in 1995 and a PhD in composition in 1999.

Since then, Frank Lyons has developed an international profile as a composer and researcher with many of his works being performed worldwide, by artists such as violinist Darragh Morgan, guitarists Carlos Bonell and Alan Banks, pianist Mary Dullea, countertenor Mark Chambers, the Ulster Orchestra and Ensemble Noszferatu. His works have been broadcast on BBC, RTÉ and ABC Classic FM. Frank Lyons has lectured extensively on contemporary composition and has been invited as composer-in-residence at Share Music Summer School in Hjo, Sweden and the Shell Darwin International Guitar Festival in Darwin, Australia.

A groundbreaking piece, ‘Rush’, for violin and live electronics featuring the Wired Ensemble and Darragh Morgan, premiered in 2004 at the Sonorities Festival, was shortlisted for a British Composer Award. In 2005 Alan Banks released a CD which included Mnemonics for solo guitar and in 2008 a CD was released featuring ‘Blitzed’, ‘Dazed by the Haze’ and ‘Rush’, all for violin and electronics, performed by Darragh Morgan and the composer.

In addition to composition, Frank Lyons is Head of Music at the University of Ulster.