Sixth Piece: Paul Dunlea

IMC and Triskel Arts Centre have come together to host a weekly sequence of online performance called Piece By Piece featuring leading Irish improvisers, which kicked off on Friday 10th April

Each artist’s input performance will influence the next performance in this musical chain. Piece by piece, artists will create new improvised work, based on the preceding work. Improvising musicians are uniquely skilled at interpretation and spontaneous creation allowing for fresh creation of the highest calibre and a unique 'live art' experience for the Piece By Piece online audience.

The 6th piece in the sequence comes from virtuoso trombonist, composer, and arranger Paul Dunlea, who is in demand across genres. His original music builds on his gift for strongly flowing melodies with a tight sense of groove, and an ability to paint evocative pictures in sound. Paul talked to us about his experience of improvising and the Piece by Piece project ahead of his performance on Friday 15th May, 20:00 GMT+1.

Q 1. What does improvisation mean to you?

Personally it’s a mixture of a lot of things. Sure, there’s the complete freedom to express yourself and react in realtime to what’s going on around you but lots of other things come into play too. I’ve been doing it so long that I never really think about it, I’m not sure if that’s good or bad!

Q 2. How do you think about engaging with material or ideas from another artist when improvising?

For me, it was a very new experience. As improvising musicians, we are used to reacting in realtime to every nuance and inflection from bandmates, especially in smaller group live settings, but to have a week to think about it all was a strange place to be! Don’t get me wrong, as I’m sure the other artists in the chain will agree, there’s a whole lot of work in this project and the week evaporates fairly quickly! Over all though, a really rewarding and enjoyable experience.

Q 3. How do you think the world of music is changing or will change as result of the COVID-19 crisis?

I’m not really sure to be honest. The music world had been under digital attack for years and the only real revenue stream for artists has been live performance and now that’s all up in the air too. Interesting times indeed.


Catch the premiere of Paul's piece on Friday 15th May at 20:00hrs GMT+1 by subscribing to IMC's YouTube channel or Triskel's Facebook.

Read more about the Piece by Piece series HERE

Piece by Piece 1 Shane Latimer: Hear Shane's piece HERE, and read his reflections HERE

Piece by Piece 2 Nick Roth & Olesya Zdorovetska: Hear Nick & Olesya's piece HERE, and read their reflections HERE

Piece by Piece 3 Seán Mac Erlaine: Hear Seán's piece HERE, and read his reflections HERE

Piece by Piece 4 Cormac McCarthy: Hear Cormac's piece HERE, and read his reflections HERE

Piece by Piece 5 Cora Venus Lunny: Hear Cora's piece HERE and read her reflections HERE

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