Peter Moran - Mamuska Background


Peter Moran - Composer

Gamelan workshops for schools, universities and families are taking place regularly in the National Concert Hall Gamelan Room. E-mail for details.

The performing ensemble also run day-time workshops at festivals and other events when bringing the instruments on tour. To book the ensemble directly, e-mail
Gamelan Workshop

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.

For 2019-21, I will be working in local schools under Fingal County Council's Musician-in-Residence Scheme. I will be visiting with the students of Rush and Lusk Educate Together (RALET) and St. Cronan's Junior National School over the next two years. In St. Cronan's I will be working with five classes who are progressing from 1st to 2nd class. Meanwhile in RALET, I will be working with every class in the school, from Junior Infants up to 6th Class, with a particular focus on the 3rd, 4th and 5th classes over the two years.

In both schools I will be teaching songs and percussion traditions from many different cultures around the world, including Javanese gamelan, Balinese kecak, Brazilian Samba and South Indian konnokol.
In 2017 I was invited by the Irish Composers Collective to be the featured composer in one of the 'In Dialogue' concerts. This involved giving talks, workshops and mentoring developing composers in how to write for gamelan. Their completed compositions were then performed alongside my 'Bonang Quartet No.1' in a showcase concert in the National Concert Hall.

Gamelan Composers
This year in St. Molaga's National School we returned to the technique of composing 'Themes and Variations'. The students created their rhythms and melodies, later arranging them for different instruments including percussion, chime bars, piano and organ.

Peter Moran St. Mologa's
In 2015 I delivered a 6-week programme for second and third level students, called New Music New Methods, on composing avant-garde music for gamelan. The students' compositions were performed as part of Dublin's contemporary music festival that year, What?...Wow! David Lang's Festival of Music.

This year in St. Molaga's National School we have been composing 'Theme and Variations'. Once the students had composed their themes, they then explored a variety of classic compositional techniques including retrograde, augmentation, oblique motion and even orchestration, using voices, chime bars, percussion, harpsichord and organ in their compositions.

Peter Moran St. Mologa's
In 2014, the organisers of the cultural programme for Derry's year as Eurpoean City of Culture invited me to run a weekend-long workshop teaching Derry's Gifted and Talented youth how to use audio editing software to compose music to accompany a modern dance performance.

We began by searching the school for interesting "found sounds" which we could record and take back to the classroom. Back at their desks, the students downloaded a Reaper project template which I had prepared as part of my New Music Alive workbooks, and set about creating "soundscapes" by stretching out their recorded sounds and running them through a variety of processes (delay effects, reversing the wave form, etc).

Our second exercise was to work with strict tempos and click tracks. Each student recorded a short rhythmic phrase of their own devising and matched it to an agreed tempo of 220bpm. These phrases were looped for sixty seconds and each student was given a copy of all the other students' drum loops. They now each composed another sixty-second drum loop, drawing on the various combinations of all five existing loops.

The final exercise I set the students was multi-tracking. We began with a short exercise in improvisation, deriving a sequence of notes from the initials of the students' own names. This provided the melodic and harmonic material for a short composition, which we recorded, one instrument as a time, layered on top of our earlier drum tracks.

In the dance collaboration on Sunday, the dancers listened through the students' compositions and selected the material that appealed the most to them. To this the students added their choice of drum loops and instrumental tracks which they had recorded the previous day. They also added live instrumental parts on top of that. At the high point of the piece, all the instrumental parts and drum loops dropped out, leaving only the overlapping vocal tracks playing out for the final minute of the piece.
Peter Moran Derry City
This year in St. Molaga's National School we explored ideas of orchestration. After composing a our initial rhythms, we assigned different instruments to each phrase within the rhythm. Later we assigned pitches to each part of the rhythm and selected different instruments to play them on, including chime bars, melodicas and piano keyboards.

Peter Moran St. Mologa's
Over three years, I served on several of the Association of Irish Composers' mentoring schemes, known as "Open Music" and “Project Evolution”, guiding young composers through the stages of creating a major new work, from concept and development, to notation and rehearsal, to a professional concert performance.
Peter Moran AIC Mentoring
In St. Molaga's Arts Week this year we explored audio processing and movie soundtracks - a tall order for a one-hour workshop! With a halloween theme in mind, each group created their own interpretation of an old silent cartoon about a scary snowman...!

Peter Moran St. Mologa's
CMC Article on my year as Composer-in-Residence in Caragh National School

[Read Article]
Peter Moran Caragh NS
Gamelan Residency with the Halle
From 2012-13 I was invited to work with the Halle's Gamelan Orchestra for a short residency running workshops and performances with local primary and secondary school children and special needs groups.

Halle Gamelan Workshops
I returned to St. Molaga's National School in Balbriggan for this year's Arts Week. The five 6th-class groups each had just one hour to compose and rehearse their own original composition before giving a final performance in the school hall. The students chose all their own rhythms and pitches and devised their own structures for the finished compositions.

Peter Moran St. Mologa's
In 2012, I was invited to deliver a lecture and a practical demonstration on composing in the classroom to the music teachers of the Kodaly Society of Ireland in their 2012 Conference in St. Patrick's College, Drumcondra (now DCU).

I was delighted to be a visiting composer with the Frederic Chopin Conservatoire in Paris for their Clavier Contemporain Weekend in February 2012. I first visited the conservatoire in December 2011 to run a week of composition workshops with the students.

As well as working with individual students, I took one class of young solfege (music theory) students for a group composition workshop. Using a few exercises from a composition workbook I had produced especially for the conservatoire, the class worked together to create their very first compositions.
Peter Moran - Composer
Over two years, I worked with Common Ground and Fatima Youth Initiative to facilitate various music composition projects with disadvantaged children and families.

This was my first year working in St. Molaga's National School in Balbriggan for their annual Arts Week activities. In amongst story telling and art classes, I was working with the four 6th-class groups to help them create their own original compositions.

Each class explored a different composition technique to create a wide variety of pieces, including a vocal composition, a musical collage, a percussion piece based on the rhythms of their favourite words, and an additive piece where layers of sounds were added and then removed one by one.

Peter Moran St. Mologa's
In 2010, I delivered a series of composition workshops with Kildare primary students to create original music based on the work of the renowned Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki, who was visiting for the Castletown Concerts festival in his honour.

In 2010, I delivered a 5-month residency, under the Creative Partnerships scheme, to bring music from around the world to a disadvantaged primary school in Hull, teaching the students to sing song in different languages, build drums from different cultures, and stage their own Javanese shadow-puppet play with gamelan accompaniment.

Peter Moran Wheeler School
New Music Alive! was a ground-breaking series of workshops and workbooks, delivered over three years, bringing acoustic and electronic composition into primary schools across the country, commissioned and published by Dublin City Council and the Contemporary Music Centre.

New Music Alive! Book 1 introduces creative acoustic composition, focussing on graphic scores and exploring the voice.

New Music Alive! Book 2introduces electronic composition using free and easy-to-use software.
New Music Alive
While earning my Masters and PhD from York University in England, I spent many years working with schools, youth organisations, cultural organisations and county councils across the region to deliver a wide range of workshops including composition, gamelan, world music, song-writing, group performance, studio recording, and movie soundtracks.

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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