Often artist websites have an overwhelming amount of content, and you've
probably already battled through quite a lot of my content just
to get to here.
I thought I'd direct you to the work which I think has the most of me in it... that might be a good place to start...
The frame accounts for everything. That fine line around the edge of the picture: a digital horizon dividing what is seen from what is not. The edges are the walls between us | the thousands of miles that separate—but then annex us temporarily in a video call. They are vast distances, but a handful of pixels. Containing everything and nothing.
This piece is not complicated—it is inspired by our rectangular frames…
by zoom conversations and multitracked performances
by a child’s drawing of a window—and the logo of Windows 8;
by the ending of Love Actually and the split-screen scene of Mean Girls;
by computers and shoeboxes and the tables in the RNCM refectory.
by a single jumbled face on a Rubiks cube—
…it is about the presentation of performance, and it raises the question:
Is one person who is filmed from 4 different angles really one person?
(audio sample of piece)
"When I was young, I remember once coming home from school, perhaps on a Tuesday, or Wednesday, and after I'd had tea and probably begrudgingly done some spelling homework (look, cover, write, check), after that I remember walking into the lounge, where the TV was quietly unattended, accidentally left switched on. I was momentarily transfixed by the screen and watched for a short while.
I couldn't tell you what the program was called, or even what it was about, and thinking back on it the colouring of the video and the costumes seemed completely at odds with the dated vocabulary and set. For one reason or another, the whole incident has stayed with me. The most tangible thing that I can remember about it was one line (which appears in the title of this piece), but which seemed to have neither exposition nor any connection with anything else happening in the shot.
After a few seconds I left the room, or the telly was switched off, and never found out any more. So the rest of the story is up to us now."
There is a lot that I could say about this piece but it might be better left in your imagination.
Performed by the Idesta Duo
"Not only are we passionate about food, but we are passionate about your experience of our food. We hope that our guests will have the best possible time here, and if you have any concerns about this or you seem to be having a less-than-perfect time, you will be kindly asked to leave..."
In a way this piece is not located in the sounds and actions that are communicated to the audience, but in the physical menu which only the performers see. The act of performing the piece is merely a strategy for communicating the physical score, which could even be considered a piece of concrete poetry and not performed at all.
Trapped in a bizarre world under the surreal glare of the Face. Why are we here? And how do we get out?
Composer: Fraz Ireland
Librettist: Gareth Mattey
Musical Director: Otis Enokido-Lineham
Director: Morgan Richards
Presented by Manchester Youth Chamber Opera.
Performed September 2019 at the Dancehouse Theatre, Manchester.
The idea behind this opera came to me whilst on an aeroplane in Easter when I was travelling home from a short trip to Canada. I wanted to combine two of my oldest loves – music, and external staircases on large buildings. In the end due to weather restrictions and health and safety regulations I ended up having to cut the music part out of the piece, so ended up just walking up some stairs. Whilst walking up the stairs I thought to myself, perhaps I should write a short opera. I wrote the text for this piece in about an hour last Sunday afternoon when I was visiting my brother and had just remembered that I was meant to be writing a piece. I had a lovely view of the city and an inquisitive sparrow hopped around just outside the window. The characters in the opera are loosely based around some people I knew when I was growing up – a cat owner and amateur painter who used to live next door to my family and brought us homemade bread without fail every year on the 4th of November until she moved to Belgium; a lifeguard who worked in the swimming pool on the opposite side of town from the house in which I spent my 7th and 8th years; and the inquisitive pet rabbit I had when I was 12 who we acquired from a disgraced magician and whose name was really Rousseau but we all called him Colin.
The piece is in 3 sections – it begins with a meeting between two retired scientists. There is then an aria sung from the point of view of one of the character’s pet fish, and it rounds off with the discovery of a letter.
Please enjoy. Some of the above is not true.
This video includes both the main video that is projected up during performance and the smaller video which audience members access on their phones
This was created in 2019 in collaboration with Angela Roussel, who wrote the text for the work.
Fraz Ireland is one of the most contemporary composers around today. They are based in Manchester. Fraz’s work often incorporates text and video elements and can sometimes be found lurking in the corridors between liminal spaces. Fraz spent the majority of the later part of 2020 touring their semi-imaginary solo show “hello again, it’s me, Fraz” to all the major theatres and concert halls of Europe and the USA, receiving immediate critical acclaim, viral recognition, and several awards.
This section contains bits of things that I have made and written over the past few years. No categorisation is perfect but it is probably more useful for this to divide them by ensemble size.
Contact me for scores and for recordings where these are unavailable here (some recordings are secret).
(Things that don't really fit into the other categories that I've got below)
Or if you would prefer you can just email me, My email address is fraz [dot] ireland [at] gmail [dot] com