"Ben McHugh's The Forest explores a stilled and pared-back aesthetic,
with scattered and abbreviated gestures creating a soundscape that is as much about silence as sound.
McHugh's sonic palette takes in not only the sounds of the instrument but also the player, who makes hissing or sshh noises,
and later hums and sings sustained notes, whilst holding her line with the bow, creating simple chords."
"Ben McHugh's Ag, by contrast, sustained a more modern angularity throughout,
spiced as this was with some quasi-tonal splashes and octaves which kept the listener
- and perhaps the composer as well - on edge."
"Ben McHugh's piece Eto likewise plays with tradition,
this time in the form of a Russian folk song.
He plays us a recording of the original first
- before Bremner at the organ proceeds to deconstruct and then reassemble elements of the tune."
Ben McHugh (b. 1989) is an Irish composer, researcher and sound engineer currently based in Stockholm, Sweden.
He is interested in the intersections of sound, time, imagination and technology.
He has studied music and composition at Maynooth University with Jesse Ronneau and Martin O'Leary and with Vít Zouhar
at Palacky University, Czechia. He has participated in master classes and workshops with Peter Ablinger, Kevin Volans,
Seppo Gründler & Laurent Pottier from Ircam both at home and abroad.
He has worked with the internationally renowned bassoonist Pascal Gallois, Irish virtuoso clarinetist Paul Roe,
the RTÉ quartet in residence ConTempo, the violinist Cora Venus Lunny, ChristChurch organist David Bremner
and the award-winning percussionist Alex Petcu amongst others.
He is represented by the Irish contemporary music centre (CMC), is a member of the Irish composers collective (ICC)
and works as a sound engineer at the Swedish public radio broadcaster and the electronic music studio (EMS) in Stockholm, Sweden.
His music also appears on the Belgian netlabel TapeSafe.
He has had performances around the island of Ireland in places such as The National Concert Hall, Christ-Church Cathedral, Hilltown New Music Festival,
SAW festival, on RTÉ Lyric FM and in various galleries and spaces around Dublin including the Back Loft & the Oonagh Young Gallery,
DIT Rathmines, Trinity College, Maynooth University, St. Finn Barre's cathedral, Cork, University of Ulster, Derry and the Crescent Arts Centre in Belfast.
He has written for many varied ensembles from solo and chamber to orchestral works including electronics
(DSP, audio synthesis and spatial audio for fixed and live media).
As an improviser he has performed in Ireland and Czech Republic with artists and composers such as Jesse Ronneau, Han-Earl Park,
Seppo Gründler, The Quiet Club, Fuaim Maynooth, Susan Geaney, Eoin Smith, Piaras Hoban and JinSun Lim.
Ben is currently pursuing a Master's in Philosophical Aesthetics at Uppsala University
researching the aesthetics of timbre through the lenses of value, phenomenology, time and technology.