Formed in 2003 by Irish composer Ed Bennett as a collective of performers and composers, Decibel explores experimental, energetic, extreme and unusual work which generally exists between, or outside the usual categories. They play contemporary music which combines a direct amplified instrumental ensemble sound with electronics, improvisation and in some cases theatrical elements.

Apart from premiering many works by Ed Bennett, Decibel has worked with a diverse range of subversive composers and artists including Louis Andriessen, Laurence Crane and Michael Finnissy, commissioning and premiering many new works. The group has also collaborated with artists from different disciplines including video artists and choreographers.

Since Decibel's first concert in Belfast in 2003 it has performed in concert halls, libraries, fields, sculptures, schools and art galleries throughout the UK and Ireland, to enthusiastic audiences and critical acclaim.


Rowland Sutherland     flute/ piccolo
Maria Insua Cao     clarinet/ bass clarinet
Neil McGovern         saxophone
Murphy McCaleb         trombone
Alan Thomas         electric guitar
Fumiko Miyachi         piano
Damien Harron         percussion
Barbara Lueneburg     violin
Ulrich Mertin         viola
Clare O'Connell     cello
Richard Pryce         double bass
Daniele Rosina         conductor

Fidelio Trio

Fidelio Trio

The …virtuosic Fidelio Trio… (Sunday Times) are Darragh Morgan, violin, Adi Tal, cello and Mary Dullea, piano.  Shortlisted for the 2016 Royal Philharmonic Society Music Awards, the Fidelio Trio are enthusiastic champions of the piano trio genre, performing the widest possible range of repertoire on concert stages across the world; they are broadcast regularly on BBC Radio 3, RTÉ Lyric FM, WNYC, NPR and featured on Sky Arts documentaries; they have an impressive list of commissions and first performances from the leading and newest composers and have a large discography of highly acclaimed recordings. 

Since their debut at London’s Southbank Centre, they have appeared at the Wigmore Hall and Kings Place, at festivals from Brighton and Cheltenham to St. Magnus, and from Gregynog to Huddersfield. They regularly perform across the Irish Sea at the National Concert Hall, Dublin, Kilkenny Festival and Belfast Festival at Queens as well as overseas in Shanghai, Porto, Paris, Venice, Florence, Johannesburg, New York City, Princeton, San Francisco and Boston.

Their extensive discography includes Ravel and Saint-Saëns for Resonus Classics; Philip Glass Head On; Korngold and Schoenberg (Verklärte Nacht arr. Steuermann) for Naxos; the complete Michael Nyman Piano Trios for MN Records; multiple releases on NMC, Delphian Records including portrait CDs for composers such as Luke Bedford and Michael Zev Gordon. Their recent release of French Piano Trios for Resonus was a Gramophone Magazine Critic’s Choice.

Keen to ensure the future development of the piano trio, The Fidelio Trio work closely with composition and performance students at institutions across the UK and all over the world including the Peabody Conservatory, Curtis Institute, NYU, NAFA Singapore, and Stellenbosch Conservatorium South Africa. They have been artists-in-residence at St. Patrick’s College Dublin City University, University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, and the State University of New York, SUNY.

The Fidelio Trio are constantly commissioning new works, giving first performances, and importantly, further performances to introduce them into the repertory. Composers that the Trio have worked closely with include Toshio Hosokawa, Charles Wuorinen, Johannes Maria Staud, Michael Nyman, Gerald Barry, Donnacha Dennehy, Joe Cutler, Evan Ziporyn, Simon Bainbridge, Judith Weir… to name but few.

Inspirational musicians The Fidelio Trio have collaborated with include Nicholas Daniel (oboe), Richard Watkins (horn), Joan Rodgers and Patricia Rozario (soprano), Rachel Roberts (viola), and with spoken word, author Alexander McCall Smith and T.S. Eliot prizewinning poet Sinéad Morrissey.
2017 saw tours of USA, South Africa, Zimbabwe and China, many festival appearances including a Schubert cycle at Kilkenny Arts Festival. Collaborations included new piano trio commissions from Kevin Volans and Alexander Goehr and a world premiere recording of two works by Philip Glass for his label Orange Mountain. This year they continue their residency at the National Concert Hall in Dublin; a further tour of China and recordings of Gerald Barry’s Chamber Music for Mode Records and a second instalment of French Piano Trios (Chausson, Fauré and Satie) for Resonus Classics.
They are Artistic Directors of their annual Winter Chamber Music Festival at Belvedere House, Dublin City University and continue to be passionate in their advocacy for the piano trio across the world.


Image Credit: 
Hugo Glendinning

ConTempo Quartet

ConTempo Quartet
String Quartet

Bogdan Sofei, violin
Ingrid Nicola, violin
Andreea Banciu, viola
Adrian Mantu, cello

Formed in 1995 when its members were students at the Music University in Bucharest, Romania, the ConTempo String Quartet has toured the world extensively and has won a record 14 international prizes in competitions including the London String Quartet Competition, in Rome, Munich, Graz, Berlin, Prague and Hamburg.

In 1999 the quartet took up a Fellowship at the Royal Academy of Music where they taught chamber music classes and had the chance to meet and work with world-famous quartets such as the Amadeus, Alban Berg, Hagen, Tokyo and Emerson. Since 2003, the ConTempo has been Quartet in Residence on the West Coast of Ireland.

Image Credit: 

Knox, Garth

viola d'amore

The Irish-Scottish viola player Garth Knox is one of today's most exciting and original string players. After seven years as a member of the Pierre Boulez's Ensemble InterContemporain in Paris, and seven years as violist of the Arditti String Quartet, Garth Knox now concentrates on his solo career. He has given premieres by Ligeti, Stockhausen, Boulez, Berio, Ferneyhough and Henze, as well as collaborating with younger composers and playing in improvisational projects.

Garth Knox now lives in Paris, where he enjoys a full time solo career, recording and giving concerts all over Europe, the USA and Japan

Roe, Paul

bass clarinet

Paul Roe is a one of Ireland's most creative and versatile musicians. He was Associate-Principal Clarinet of the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland from 1987-2000. Since then he has focussed on solo and ensemble repertoire performing throughout Europe, Asia and North America. He teaches clarinet at The Royal Irish Academy of Music, Dublin-Ireland and is a member of Concorde - Contemporary Music Ensemble. Paul has a PhD in Music (Performance Practice) from the University of York. His latest CD - Between-Solos and Duos - is available on the Diatribe label.


Morgan, Darragh


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.

Image Credit: 
Frances Marshall
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Ed Bennett's music - described as 'anarchic' (Irish Times), 'manic' (Classical Music) and 'brutal' (The Guardian) - is performed by Decibel, the ensemble he founded: the haunting My Broken Machines  evokes an abandoned fairground, while other works explore the manic enegy of cartoons - Cartoon Music - or the atmosphere of an empty building - Ghosts, for amplified viola d'amore.




'Macho, cock-rock guitar fuzz' Gramophone


'Music for piano trio never sounded like this before...thrilling' Gramophone


'Powerful ... highly recommended' Musical Criticism


'Intriguing and compelling ... Bennett is a man with his own mind' Musical Pointers


"This is a fine collection of pieces by a composer with a clear vision and a healthy dose of talent. All of the performances and recordings are excellent." MusicWeb International


'This new NMC portrait disc confims Bennett as composer laureate of the surreal and the embellished'


'The music of Ed Bennett makes strong statements about taking on, and overcoming, our contemporary challenges.'



This recording has been produced with substantial support from Birmingham Conservatoire.


Stop-Motion Music, Cartoon Music and My Broken Machines were recorded in the Adrian Boult Hall, Birmingham Conservatoire on 28-29 July 2010.
Engineer/ Editor     SIMON HALL
Assistant engineers    ANDREW MAWSON, KARL BANWELL
Producers         SIMON HALL, ED BENNETT

Slow Down was recorded at the Forge, Camden, London on 2 December 2010.
Engineer          ADAM CAIRD
Editor             SIMON HALL
Producers         SIMON HALL, ED BENNETT

for JF was recorded at the Aula Maxima, NUI, Galway, Ireland on 26 July 2010.
Engineer         DARBY CARROLL
Editor            SIMON HALL
Producers        SIMON HALL, ED BENNETT

Monster was recorded at SERC, Bangor, Co. Down, Northern Ireland in April 2006.
Engineer/ Editor/ Producer     ED BENNETT

Ghosts was recorded at EMPAC, Troy, New York, USA on 15 November 2009.
Engineer/ Editor     TODD VOSS
Producers        SIMON HALL, ED BENNETT

Mastering     SIMON HALL
Executive Producer for NMC     COLIN MATTHEWS

Ed Bennett's music is published by the Contemporary Music Centre, Ireland.

Cover image     DANIEL KLUGE, My Broken Machines
Graphic design     FRANCOIS HALL


(C) 2011 NMC Recordings Ltd

(P) 2011 NMC Recordings Ltd

Catalogue number:
NMC D169
Release Date:
13 June 2011