This Is About –
Andy Ingamells + Séan Clancy

This Is About is a 45-minute music-theatre performance about Hurling. Seán Clancy is Irish yet cannot play Hurling. Andy Ingamells is a recent English immigrant to Ireland and took up Hurling as a way to integrate. Seán recently became a father and hoped to learn Hurling so that he could play it with his son in the future. As musicians both Andy and Seán wanted to find a distinctly musical way to approach the game.

During the piece the two performers struggle to overcome their lack of Hurling skills, whilst an emerging spoken narrative interspersed at key points displays their struggle against their demons as they adapt to the changing circumstances in their lives. These changing circumstances are things audiences can relate to: the birth of a child; moving to an unfamiliar place; trying to fit in; choosing between work and family; facing up to your own limitations. The piece features sumptuous synth music, playful and unconventional approaches to playing the piano, detailed field recordings and harmonious vocals juxtaposed with sports chants. The musical and physical action fully immerses the audience in the sound world.

Andy Ingamells is an experimental musician who develops unusual methods of composition that blur the line between composer and performer. He has filled taxis with recorder players reading traffic lights as notation, played gold-painted pianos overflowing with buckets of red wallpaper paste, invented the game of violin cricket, and been tickled by improvisers playing his ticklish body as a musical instrument. His work is rooted in traditional elements of music making and Western classical concert conventions, but implemented in a different way.  His work has been performed in the National Portrait Gallery, the Handel & Hendrix House Museum and Café Oto in London, the Orgelpark and Muziekgebouw in Amsterdam, the Lapidarium of Kings in Copenhagen, Walled City Festival in Derry, Birmingham International Dance Festival, and Cheltenham Music Festival. 

Seán Clancy is an experimental composer and performer from Ireland. He writes music for electronic instruments, acoustic instruments, environmental sounds, and people doing things in performance not involving any instruments at all. For the most part, his practice is involved with the act of translating non-musical things into music. He works with conventional notation, graphic notation, and text notation. Recently he is particularly interested in collaborations and music as a devised process. His music is often long, repetitive, and contains sustained drones, but it can also be short and fragmented. His music has been performed by lots of nice people as far west as Denver, Colorado, and as far east as Beijing, China. He also has a performance duo with Andy Ingamells (who is a very nice person), and so far they have written three pieces together. Seán is a senior lecturer in music, and BMus composition coordinator at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire in the UK.

“Bringing this is about to biosphere will show that experimental and difficult-to-define work has value, and that it is able to grow and develop with the right resources and care. the piece is specifically designed to adapt to different performance situations, and is a timely example of cross-border collaboration. we are keen to use the story of the piece and its unconventional and humorous approach, to pique the interest of non-specialist audiences.”