Crash Ensemble is Ireland’s leading new music ensemble; a group of world-class musicians who play the most adventurous, ground-breaking music of today.
Crash Ensemble, an Irish new-music collective with international cachet and considerable chops. -The Washington Post
Founded in 1997 by composer Donnacha Dennehy, some of the most distinctive living composers have written for the group, including Terry Riley, David Lang, Michael Gordon, Louis Andriessen, Arnold Dreyblatt, Kevin Volans, Glen Branca, Nico Muhly and Gerald Barry.
Many well-known artists from diverse musical backgrounds have performed with the ensemble; Gavin Friday, Dawn Upshaw, Julie Feeney, Lisa Hannigan, Íarla Ó Lionáird (The Gloaming), Bryce Dessner (The National), Richard Reed Parry (Arcade Fire), Sam Amidon and Beth Orton.
Crash have recordings on NMC, Cantaloupe, Nonesuch and the Bedroom Community labels.
As well as performing throughout Ireland, Crash regularly perform internationally, with appearances in the last few years at the Edinburgh International Festival, The Royal Opera House (London), The Barbican (London), Carnegie Hall (NYC) The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (Washington DC), Virginia Tech (Virginia), GAIDA Festival (Lithuania) and residencies at The Huddersfield Contemporary Music festival (UK) and Princeton University (NJ).
Crash Ensemble are adventurous, innovative and ambitious.
Violinist with Fidelio Trio, Darragh Morgan has performed extensively throughout Europe, USA, Africa and Asia. He has performed concertos with orchestras including European Union Chamber Orchestra, Istanbul Symphony, Cyprus Chamber Orchestra, Johannesburg Philharmonic, National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, Ulster Orchestra, RTE Concert Orchestra, and Kolner Kammerorchester.
As a highly active and renowned interpreter of contemporary music, Darragh Morgan has worked with and premiered the music of many of the most important composers of our time, including Arvo Part, Philip Glass, John Tavener, Kevin Volans, Michael Nyman, Gerald Barry and Michael Finnissy. He regularly leads London Sinfonietta, and has also guest led Ensemble Modern, Musik Fabrik, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, Remix Ensemble (Porto) and Athlesas Sinfonietta (Copenhagen ). Darragh was violinist with the acclaimed Smith Quartet from 2005-2011 and previously Artistic Director of Barqoue 2000 in South Africa. From 2009-19 he was on the violin faculty at Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and has given masterclasses at Curtis Institute, Peabody Conservatory, Central Conservatory Beijing and YST Singapore. Darragh has recorded over 50 albums for Naxos, Resonus, NMC, Metier, Delphian and Signum. He plays an 1848 Giuseppe Rocca violin, generously on loan from The Morgan-Rocca Instrument Trust which is administered by The Royal Society of Musicians and a fine bow made by Alfred Lamy.
The RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, one of two orchestras belonging to Raidió Teilifís Éireann (RTÉ), Ireland’s National Public Service Broadcaster, is a primary force in Irish musical life through year-long programmes of live performances of music ranging from symphonic, choral and operatic to film and popular music, contemporary traditional and contemporary classical; schools and educational projects; a mentoring scheme for young musicians; broadcasts on RTE and internationally through the European Broadcasting Union; recordings and new commissions. The orchestra has been critically acclaimed for its recordings on the Marco Polo, Naxos, Claves and RTE lyric fm labels. The orchestra’s Chief Conductor is Jaime Martín.
Dennehy has written, “There is a whiff of high-class vandalism about my work” – an opinion borne out by this disc, which collects works from his early, uproarious Junk Box Fraud - for two increasingly smutty vocalists and strident ensemble – and pAt, for piano and taped "shipping forecast" – to the recent lyrical violin concerto, Elastic Harmonic, with soloist Darragh Morgan.
"Giddy, visceral urban techno avant-gardism" Gramophone
"The performances are fresh, furious and frenetic ... The essence of his [Dennehy's] style embraces obvious aspects of minimalism – feisty and explosive in the crazed electro-acoustic idiom of Junk Box Fraud ... mesmerising and liquid in the newest work featured, Dennehy's 2005 Elastic Harmonic for violin and orchestra." Scotsman
"Dennehy likes to imbue his pieces with an urban energy and drive them with the punchy impact of a rock band. He also likes and air of derangement, as if to suggest both a breaching of conventional boundaries and Jean Tinguely-like disintegration" Irish Times
‘The performances are all topnotch … Koleva and MacGregor are both outstanding in precision and vitality.’ Fanfare
'This is the collection of early works that marked Dennehy's arrival as a composer, marrying downtown attitude, classical discipline and surreal humour.' Gramophone
Contemporary Music Centre, Ireland
Glamour Sleeper was recorded in Illingen, Germany in May 2003.
Recorded by SAARLÄNDISCHER RUNDFUNK Saarbrücken.
Producer: WOLFGANG KORB for for Saarländischer Rundfunk.
Editor: MARKO CICILIANI
Paddy was recorded in Harlem, The Netherlands in 2003.
Engineer: GUIDO TICHELMAN
Producer: RUTGER VAN OTTERLOO
Junk Box Fraud was recorded at Pulse Studios, Dublin in 2000, and Streetwalker at Westland Studios, Dublin in 2004.
Producer: DONNACHA DENNEHY
Editors KIERAN LYNCH and DONNACHA DENNEHY
Elastic Harmonic was recorded in the National Concert Hall, Dublin on 30 January 2007.
Engineer: ANTON TIMONEY
Producer: DONNACHA DENNEHY
Supported by RTÉ
pAt was recorded at RTÉ Studios, Dublin in 2001, with the kind assistance of Lyric FM.
Producer & editor: DONNACHA DENNEHY
Executive Producer: COLIN MATTHEWS
Cover photo: SOPHIE ELBRICK DENNEHY
Design: FRANCOIS HALL
Elastic Harmonic (P) 2007 RTÉ
Glamour Sleeper (P) 2007 SAARLÄNDISCHER RUNDFUNK Saarbrücken.
All other works (P) 2007 NMC Recordings Ltd.