Preview: Donnacha Dennehy: Composing With Frequency

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Donnacha Dennehy is an Irish composer who thought he was going to study with spectral icon Gerard Grisey in Paris. When he showed up, however, it was immediately apparent that Grisey had accepted him into his study under the mistaken notion that he was not, in fact, a gentleman but a lady.

A bit put off by Grisey's visible disappointment with his gender, as well as the strikingly uninteresting uniformity in the style of his students work, Donnacha headed to Amsterdam, where he met Louis Andriessen, who changed his life. Donnacha's music fuses the old (sean-nós and other Irish styles) and the new (just intonation, pulse-based textures) to create something all his own. It's a music that is at once satisfying and supremely strange.

Episode Three of Meet the Composer, 'Donnacha Dennehy: Composing With Frequency,' comes out August 26 on iTunes and at q2music.org.