Simon Quigley is a composer, arranger and pianist was born in Dublin. His work is in varied fields that include, modern classical, electronica and elements of Jazz.
Because the work is in different musical forms, it means he works with many distinctive artists. He’s composed music for TV and documentary series, for Irish broadcaster RTÉ. His musical influences range from Rufus Wainwright, Kraftwerk, to Steve Reich. Among others are Esbjön Svensson, John Grant, as well as Nico Muhly and Philip Glass.
He has released several EP’s, “Ireland is” and “The Human Tide”.”Crimson Gown” was a collaboration with singer song writers, Miriam Ingram and Fiach Moriarty. Among other artists are Irish poet and spoken word artist Colm Keegan.
Highlights include performing at National Concert Hall in April 2016 with his ensemble and Skerries Soundwaves 2017 Festival. His work has garnered airplay from RTE and other broadcasters. He has composed soundtracks for visual artist Alan Phelan “Fragile Absolutes 3”. Also a short film by writer Dan Finn, “Davy Jones Locker”.
Simon’s modern opera “Ones without Zeros” a work in progress, was shown in Wexford Arts Centre in 2019. A collaboration with filmmaker Christian O’Brien, the full project will be completed soon. In 2022, he had a filmed performance screened in the National Opera House, that was shot in Peter Square bandstand in Wexford town called ,”The Purlieus of Peter Street” .
The Purlieus of Peter Street
The Purlieus of Peter Street is a filmed performance of Simon’s work, in collaboration with filmmaker Christian O’Brien. It was conceptualised by Katherine Atkinson and filmed on location in Peter Square, Wexford town. The film is trying to capture the essence of both the people and place. A new composition also entitled “The Purlieus of Peter Street” is also featured as part of the performance.
He launched an evening titled “Your-self made super human”, that was based around Artificial Intelligence. It featured a work in progress techno drama / modern opera called “Ones Without Zeros”. Simon teamed up with TV director Chris O’Brien to provide the multimedia visuals.
A modern opera, “Ones Without Zeros” explores the glorification of technology. Also how social media and dataism are distorting our world. This will of course will ultimately create a new reality.
The advent of deep learning can create machines more intelligent than humans. How will the result could reshape our future? The piece featured soprano Maria Hughes and Tenor Martin McCann. On the night, two live performance artists added their take on AI. This still below was a scene from the performance and took place in The Wexford Arts Centre.
As pianist and keyboard player, Simon played on two Dave Couse solo albums. The first solo record, produced by Edwyn Collins was “Genes”. “The World Should Know”, the 2nd release saw Couse nominated for best Irish Solo Artist and for best Irish Album, at the Choice Music awards.
As pianist and arranger with ballad singer Brian Brody, on his EP “Charting Maps for New Horizons”. The follow up “Cupid’s Sense of Humour” was released in 2020.
For solo projects he works with accomplished string players as part of his ensemble. Siubhan Ni Ghriofa, Maria Mason and Michelle Mason, as well as Eimear O’Grady, Lioba Petrie are some that have featured. His singers sopranos Maria Hughes and Clare Kavanagh and Martin McCann.
The Simon Quigley Ensemble, will perform more dates this year with new material.
In 2011 Simon released his first solo EP ‘Ireland Is’. This involved the poet Colm Keegan and singer songwriter Mark Cullen. Apart from developing, writing and producing, he released a solo EP called ‘The Human Tide’ in 2016.
He showcased this in the National Concert Hall in April 2016 as part of performance titled, “A Night by The Ocean”. It included “Human Frailty”, a response to the migrant crisis and how the political and media classes reacted to the events as they unfolded.
Thomas Ryan, a farmer from Askeaton, took part in a class action suit against the White Star Line. During the 3rd enquiry into the sinking of the Titanic, he won compensation for the death of his son Patrick. He was one of 1500 people who drowned on the ship.
The White Star Line, the owners of the Titanic, refused to admit liability for passengers that travelled in steerage. He won a landmark case which then became case law. The verdict changed the terms and conditions for people travelling in steerage.
In August 2017 he released a single Crimson Gown, featuring Fiach Moriarty and Miriam Ingram on vocals. The single was co-written with Fiach also included “Insieme”, a cinematic piano instrumental piece.
Woffington had with relationship David Garrick, a renowned actor of his time. Her protege was George Anne Bellamy. So the story goes they came to blows over the Garrick and had a professional rivalry.
Simon was a member of the band Sack from Dublin. The band released three albums ‘You Are What You Eat’ ‘Butterfly Effect’ and ‘Adventura Majestica’. Sacks’ first single, “What Did The Christians Ever Do For Us” received single of the week in both the NME and Melody Maker.
Most notably, the band supported Morrissey on tours of Europe, the UK and the United States. Their song “Laughter Lines”, was a single featured on the film soundtrack, “Carrie 2 The Rage”.
To quote from the singer Morrissey, “it is a song that should be number one forever”.
Simon composed the soundtrack to the Alan Phelan film “Fragile Absolutes 3”. He documented the making of “Ryan v The White Star Line”, in a short film titled 41° 46′ North. The documentary film explores the story and the thinking behind the piece. Directed by an award winning Irish film maker Kilian Waters , it was first shown in 2016 at the National Concert Hall Dublin.
Davy Jones Locker is a short film by writer Dan Finn, which he scored the soundtrack. This premiered at the Dublin Bowie festival and been show at various film festivals.