Peter Moran - Mamuska Background

Composer | Dublin, Ireland

Composer, Performer, Musical Director National Concert Hall Gamelan and UCD Gamelan Orchestra

Gamelan CD Release with Byron Wallen


June 2024

The NCH Gamelan Orchestra is proud to release their debut album featuring the renowned jazz trumpeter Byron Wallen.

This release celebrates the 10th Anniversary since the Sultan of Yogyakarta presented this unique collection of Indonesian gamelan instruments as a gift to the Irish people in 2014.

The music on this album represents a variety of the traditional gamelan styles and techniques unique to the region of Yogyakarta, including a number of musical features taught to the NCH ensemble specifically by visiting artists from Java, including the sultan's personal Royal Palace Musicians.

The record also includes a special field recording of a gamelan gong being built in Java in 2013, recorded by ensemble director Dr. Peter Moran.

Byron Wallen features on an original composition by Peter Moran entitled "Embat", which was inspired by the sounds of the gamelan being built. Originally written for the ensemble's inaugural concert during the sultan's 2014 visit, it is rearranged here for Byron Wallen especially for this release.

The album download includes a pdf of a 44-page commemorative booklet detailing the remarkable story of these instruments. The booklet gives an account of how the instruments were built, and the sultan's royal visit to Dublin; it tells the stories of the orchestra's concerts in Ireland and in Java, and the Indonesian reaction to those concerts, with photos documenting the whole journey.

A limited-edition 10th-Anniversary Commemorative CD is also available from Bandcamp in a beautiful sliding matchbox-style presentation box containing a full-colour print of the booklet.

Makers and Creators Podcast

In Spring 2024 I appeared on the Creative Futures Academy's Makers and Creators Podcast to talk about teaching songwriting, my most memorable performances, and my own creative journey.

UCD-CFA Composer-in-Residence

I was delighted to be appointed Composer-in-Residence for the Creative Futures Academy and UCD's College of Arts and Humanities. The role involved writing newly-commissioned works for the UCD Philharmonic Choir, as well as teaching two composition modules in the UCD School of Music and delivering a number of public seminars on my work.

In addition, especially for the Creative Futures Academy, I have developed a new inter-disciplinary module to be delivered through both the School of Music and the School of English, analysing the Techniques of Songwriting.

Choral Sketches with Chamber Choir Ireland

I was delighted to be participating in two fantastic initiatives organised by Ireland's Contemporary Music Centre.

The Choral Sketches project was an exclusive opportunity for three selected composers to develop their choral writing skills by working with Paul Hillier and Chamber Choir Ireland. For my participation, I composed a new work called Mantra, which came out of my own meditation practise, and which received a beautiful performnce by CCI at the New Music Dublin Festival in April.

I discussed the work and its performance on the CMC's podcast, Amplify, which you can listen to here (from 6'30-12'00").

New Works for Liz Hilliard, and Beth McNinch

Another CMC initiative, the CMC Colleagues Programme is a new collaboration initiative in which 40 Irish composers have been teamed up with 40 performers to create new music. I will be writing two new works for this project. The first is for voice and tape, for the fabulous soprano Elizabeth Hilliard, setting poems written by the American painter Ron Switzer. The second is for viola and tape, for the amazing violist and director of Musici Ireland, Beth McNinch, using samples of string harmonics which Beth will record especially for the work.

Arts Council Funding for Microtonal Music Ensemble

This year I will be launching a new microtonal music ensemble with Mike Nielsen (microtonal guitar), Ellen Demos (voice) and Shane O'Donovan (percussion, electronics).

Combining elements of Javanese gamelan music with free jazz and electro-acoustic composition, the ensemble will collaborate together over the next few months to produce a programme of all original music which will be showcased in the autumn.

As part of this project we will also be producing a documentary film with videographer Kris Manulak. This film will chart the creation of the new work, and tell the story of our instruments, from Mike's custom-made microtonal guitar, to the National Concert Hall gamelan instruments, which were received as a gift from His Royal Highness the Sultan of Yogyakarta.

New Single Out Now!

The NCH Gamelan Orchestra has released its debut single online. I composed Embat in 2014 to commemorate the gift of the NCH gamelan instruments from the Sultan of Yogyakarta. The piece was premiered in Ireland's National Concert Hall for the gamelan's inaugural naming ceremony during the sultan's royal visit in September of that year. Over the years it has been performed at music festivals across Ireland and Java.

The composition was inspired by the sounds of gamelan craftsmen forging a new gong. The word "embat" is a Javanese word referring to the characteristic tuning differences which make each gamelan unique. The composition uses traditional Yogykarta playing techniques to highlight the key features of the gamelan's tuning.

'Embat' is available now for streaming and download from Bandcamp , Spotify, and iTunes.

Songwriting Workshops with Dublin's Homeless

In March 2019, I began a series of songwriting workshops with the Dublin Simon Community. After visiting numerous homeless services around the city, bringing together poets, musicians and singers, we organised weekly sessions where all the participants met to write, rehearse and record their original songs.

Over the course of the project, a core group came together to form a band, calling themselves The Social Misfits, and the series culminated in a CD launch and a concert performance of all the songs in Dublin Castle. You can read our story in this article from the Irish Sun newspaper, featuring interviews with some of the band members, or click on the picture below.

New Release on Farpoint Recordings

Two of my compositions for guitar and electronics are featured on the new CD/DVD release Knowing/Unknowing from Ben Dwyer on Farpoint Recordings.

Anois 's Aris (2009), which was originally written, in collaboration with Judith Ring, for the delicate medieval psaltery, has been tranformed in Ben's hands into a dramatic performance piece.

My more recent work Enharmonic Harmonics (2016), written especially for Ben, is an exploration of the "enharmonic genus", the remarkable microtonal tuning system of ancient Greece.

The Dublin Miniatures Postcard Collection

The Dublin Miniatures are now available as a collection of 22 unique postcards. Each postcard features an original composition (including a short programme note) and a photograph of the location where the music was composed. Taken together, the cards can also be read as a piano book which can be performed in concert or played at home. These compositions are aimed at all levels and abilities, from amateurs to professionals.

The complete set includes a specially-designed cover card which features a map of the city pointing to the locations where each composition was written. The full set is available now for the special launch price of E20 (includes P&P to anywhere in the world).

Javanese Gamelan in Dublin

After receiving the gift of a complete bronze gamelan orchestra from the Sultan of Yogyakarta in Java, there are now five different gamelan ensembles all rehearsing and performing in Dublin.

Peter Moran - Composer - Paris workshops

NCH Gamelan Performs in Indonesia

In August 2018, the NCH Gamelan represented Ireland at the International Gamelan Festival in Indonesia. The week-long festival took place in venues all across the city of Surakarta in Central Java. We put together a specially-prepared programme for the festival to showcase the different gamelan styles and techniques we have developed in the five years since we began playing together. The programme included a selection of popular Javanese folk songs and original compositions, including my own work Embat, alongside several core works from the classical Javanese repertoire.

We performed before a huge audience in the festival's outdoor arena, and the whole performance was extremely well received. The event was covered by national media, including BBC Indonesia. Indonesia's national weekly magazine, Tempo, described how the group "truly captured the audience's attention", while one festival organiser cited this ensemble as a great example of how the foreign gamelan orchestras at the festival were able to "mesmerise" audiences with their "competent and holistic understanding of gamelan". But the greatest appreciation was reserved for our rendition of the popular Javanese song Prau Layar, which closed the set with the festival audience enthusiastically cheering and singing

At the festival's closing ceremony I was delighted to be presented with the surprise gift of a specially-designed lamp bearing the image of Javanese deity Wuku Sungsang, who is symbolically associated with the date of my birth.

Upcoming Events

May 28th, 29th, 30th, 2024, 7pm

Event: NCH Gamelan 10th Anniversary Celebration (with special guest Byron Wallen)
Performers: NCH Gamelan Orchestra
Venue: National Concert Hall, Dublin

June 16th, 2024, 12pm

Event: Hugh Lane Gallery Sundays@Noon
Performers: NCH Gamelan Orchestra
Venue: Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin

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