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Ruaidhri Mannion (b.1985) is an Irish composer and sonic artist living in London. He is a Royal College of Music Scholar, currently studying towards his Doctorate under the supervision of Dr. Jonathan Cole and Gilbert Nouno (IRCAM), and generously supported by the Soirée d'Or Award. He previously graduated from the Royal College of Music with an MMus in Advanced Composition, achieving distinction, and studying with renowned British composer, Kenneth Hesketh. He first read his BMus at Queen's University in Belfast, training as a classical violinist and beginning his composition studies with Piers Hellawell.
Combining immersive electronic sounds with classical instruments and multimedia, his music is evocative and sometimes surreal, reflecting his unique perspective of classical music, modern electronica, alternative rock and ambient genres. He is interested in collaborating with film, television & theatre directors, choreographers & dancers, and musicians of myriad styles on interdisciplinary projects and live multimedia events. His doctoral research is focussed on interdisciplinary practice, collaborative methods and the phenomenology of multimedia arts. His doctoral research encompasses phenomenologies of immersive and meditative listening, the impact of collaborative and improvisatory practice and new approaches to performing and composing with music technologies.
Performed extensively in the UK, Ireland and mainland Europe, his music has been played by renowned soloists and ensembles at venues such as the Tate Modern, Whitecube Gallery, Kings Place, Cadogan Hall, National Portrait Gallery, Café OTO, Sonic Arts Research Centre (N. Ireland), HEMU (Lausanne), Konservatorium Bern (Switzerland), Die Orgelfabrik (Germany), Blumenthal Centre (Israel). Most recently he has been commissioned by the Nouvel Ensemble Contemporain to compose Mise en Abyme, an immersive multimedia creation co-authored with the Swiss composer, Benoit Moreau, that premiered in May 2017 at the Maison du Concert in Neuchatel. It will shortly receive its Irish premiere in October 2017 at Belfast International Arts Festival.
Previous commissions include Occupy the Pianos for two pianos and electronics, funded by the Association du Concours Nicati and premiered at the Bern Biennale by the award-winning Francoise-Green Piano Duo. The piece later received its UK premiere as the finale-work to the Occupy the Pianos Festival curated by pianist and composer, Rolf Hind at St John's Smith Square in London. He was commissioned by Cully Classique Festival in Lavaux, Switzerland to write (W)Edge for piano and live electronics, and was under the mentorship of renowned Austrian composer, Beat Furrer. He was selected for PRSF New Music Incubator project, collaborating with other leading musicians and participating in artistic residencies and festival performances in the UK and Sweden. Ruaidhri was also a featured composer in the Soundings Festival at the Austrian Cultural Forum in London, curated by Mary Dullea of the Fidelio Trio, for which he wrote Scail Cruach, for mixed wind, brass, strings and live electronics.
Through his doctoral research at the Royal College of Music he has been exploring the role of multimedia and collaboration in contemporary composition practice, developing a portfolio of intermedia works. He has composed an audiovisual music theatre work exploring modern surveillance culture London 1:14 with pianist Gwenaelle Rouger (Soundinitiative) and Sara Hibbert (Royal College of Art); was commissioned by the Royal Academy of Art to compose Scáth, a saxophone sextet for their critically acclaimed Sensing Spaces: Architecture Reimagined exhibition; and he collaborated with the award-winning Mercury Quartet to create an interactive electroacoustic performance at the Tate Modern's critically acclaimed Matisse: The Cut-Outs exhibition. As a Masters student he won the Royal College of Music Concerto Competition for his work He Broke From Them and was selected as a Rising Star for his piece Jigsaws & Jitters. Throughout his studies he has had lessons and public masterclasses world-renowned composers and ensembles including Mark André, Beat Furrer, Hanspeter Kyburtz, Tansy Davies, Jean-Luc Darbellay, Frederic Rzewski, Simon Holt, Fabio Nieder, Daniel Péter Biro, Detlef Heusinger, Mark-Anthony Turnage, Fidelio Trio, Composers Ensemble and the London Contemporary Orchestra.
He is sought after as an electronic music performer and improviser, collaborating with leading classical musicians and augmenting the possibilities of these virtuosos with his distinctive ambient electronica style. He has performed extensively with Partial Gathering, the cello and live electronics duo with Corentin Chassard (Octandre Ensemble), who made their debut at the National Portrait Gallery (London) and have performed live at venues and festivals such as Sonorities Festival (SARC), Alphaville Festival (Whitechapel Gallery) and Drift Urban Sound (Old Vic Tunnels). He performs with Australian pianist, Zubin Kanga (Ensemble Offspring), most recently as the multimedia performer on the European-leg of Zubin's Cyborg Hand tour. He also works extensively with the renowned Swiss pianist, Antoine Francoise (Nikel Ensemble), with whom he has released the LP Hommage Without Permission; performing in London, Israel and Ireland and featured on BBC Radio 3 contemporary music programme, Hear and Now. He releases experimental pop-electronica EPs under the alias ‘iaMrhinoandRuin’ which have been broadcast on NTS Radio, BBC Radio 3 and Rinse FM/LuckyMe Records.