David Harmax: On the Edge of Darkness world premiere at Beara Arts Festival

David Harmax

David Harmax’s On the Edge of Darkness, a 30-minute composition for piano, strings and electronics, is to have its world premiere at Beara Arts Festival.

The piece will be performed at the High Tide Club at the Sarah Walker Gallery, Castletownbere at 8pm on August 5th.

On the Edge of Darkness is inspired by the various wrecks of boats and ships that have floundered around the Beara peninsula. Rather than focus on any one of these wrecks, Harmax has chosen to embrace their collective history of loss.

“I was asked to create a work that took inspiration from the landscape of Beara,” he says, “ and I immediately felt drawn to the underwater world around its coast. I have always felt a strong bond with the sea, and it seemed like the perfect project with which to make that connection.”

Harmax cites the minimalist composers John Adams and Arvo Part as two of the major influences on his work. “The way the live musical elements interact with the electronic designs is also reflective of contemporary artists like Nils Frahm.”

Harmax will be joined for the premiere of On the Edge of Darkness by Susan McManamon on piano; Katy Salvidge on violin; Tess Leak and Diana Llewelyn on cellos; and Ian Geraghty on electronics. “Most of the musicians are members of the Vespertine Quartet, and are based in West Cork. We’ve already rehearsed the piece twice, and I’m confident they will bring a lovely musicality and enthusiasm to the performance.”

The Sarah Walker Gallery is a converted fisheries warehouse that overlooks the harbour in Castletownbere, and was Harmax’s first choice of venue for his performance. “The kind of music I create is best experienced in a live setting, and the building’s maritime association appeals to me as much as its beautiful acoustics.”

Harmax trained as a classical musician before moving into film music, gaining an MA in Scoring for Film and Visual Media at Pulse College and Dublin Institute of Technology, based in the iconic Windmill Lane Recording Studios, Dublin. There, he studied under prominent international composer Christopher Young (Drag Me To Hell/Spiderman 3/Hellraiser), orchestrator Conrad Pope (The Hobbit/Harry Potter/Jurassic Park), games composer Garry Schyman (BioShock/Dante’s Inferno), tutors Richard Bellis and Andy Hill; and Irish composers Gregory Magee and Derek Gleeson.

Harmax’s credits include his scores for the feature film Point of No Return (2017) and the animated short, City of Roses (2015), as well as Curse of Kings, recorded with a 110-piece orchestra at BNR National Recording Studio in Sofia, Bulgaria in 2015, and Below the Surface, a piece for piano recorded with the Fidelio Trio in 2013.

On the Edge of Darkness

A work for piano, strings and electronics by David Harmax.

Venue: The High Tide Club, Sarah Walker Gallery, Castletownbere

Time & date: 8pm, Saturday July 5th

Tickets: €15 (available from: http://sarahwalkergallery.com/events/buy-tickets-online)