Conall Gleeson is a composer, performer and academic leader.
His compositions for electronics and live instrumentation have been performed internationally. Conall is also director of the ensemble Scratch the Surface, who produce interdisciplinary, performance based works. Through practice projects he develops academic interests in the nature of performance and relationships between performer, composer and audience.
Gleeson studied viola and piano at the College of Music, Dublin. He lectures in contemporary music and fine art, leading the fine art performance strands at the University of Brighton.
Composer and performer Conall Gleeson's work for electronics and live instrumentation have been performed internationally. He leads Performance & Visual Art at Brighton, is director of the ensemble Scratch the Surface and explores the relationships between performer, composer and audience which underpin contemporary performance practices.
Conall Gleeson leads the strand of fine art performance at Brighton and is researching the role of music and sound in the workplace. He is particularly interested in investigating the mechanisation of labour through song. He is working alongside Amy Cunningham and Claudia Kappenberg as part of The Oolith Project in preparation for a publication in partnership with Portland Sculpture Quarry Trust.
Conall studied viola and piano at the College of Music, Dublin. Whilst reading English Literature and Psychology at Trinity College, Dublin, he undertook private composition lessons with Dr Joseph Groocock and later continued studies in viola performance at the Royal Northern College of Music.
He has worked as a freelance musician performing with various music ensembles throughout Ireland including the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, the RTE concert orchestra, the Dublin Silver Screen Orchestra, The Dublin Philharmonic Orchestra and the Orlando Chamber Orchestra. He later undertook postgraduate studies in electro acoustic composition with composers Donnacha Dennehy and Roger Doyle at the centre for Music and Media Technologies, Trinity College. Gleeson's compositions for electronics and live instrumentation have been performed in Ireland, USA, Taiwan and England.
I meet students with a wide range of interests and approaches to making artwork. Whilst embracing this diversity, I always encourage them to question how our lives, communities and societies have been influenced by the art we make and in particular, by the ways we produce sound, listen to music and engage with the auditory environments which surrounds us.
I work with students from several art related courses, in each instance I encourage and support them to find in their practice, a place for music, sound and listening. Students learn that making sound, musical or otherwise profoundly impacts on the way we communicate with one another, and how we live our lives. Music and sound are modes of cultural experience and understanding. They organize our subjectivities, articulate and give shape to our inner lives.
In my teaching students learn to understand that matters of history, including the history of art, can be explored and understood through the sounds that inhabited particular historical moments. Students learn to understand that the challenges of our society, environment, politics and lifestyles can be addressed through art, and that sound brings its own particular sensibility to the articulation of ‘visual‘ art practice.
In my work across the art related disciplines I introduce students to the practices of sound art and the contemporary practices in which sound is presented in gallery spaces. Students begin to ask questions such as ‘why exhibit sound?’ ‘how does the exhibition of sound differentiate itself from the act of listening to sound ’, ‘how does the agency of sound structure the way we look and see?’ ‘in what ways have our institutions, technologies and lifestyles given rise the variety of cultures of listening that pervade our lives.’
I find learning is most effective when the curriculum is alert to the interests and ambitions of students. Consequently, I structure and exercise my teaching in ways that encourage the active participation of students, and that is responsive to the diversity of histories, experiences and skills of the students I work alongside.
As good teaching responds to the individuality of students, good universities, such as the University of Brighton, reflect and constructively respond to the changes and needs of society.
The university experience has dramatically changed in recent years. The student body has become more diverse, which means students enter Higher Education for a greater variety of reasons. The introduction of fees has meant that students and parents are more concerned about employment prospects than has heretofore been the case. I believe the university should occupy a very special place in our society, a place that designs and practices new models of social inclusion and that facilitates an open approach to learning. We learn the craft and knowledge of our subject specialisms. We also learn of the world around us, when we begin to question the social, political and historical spheres in which our subjects reside.
Universities are places where students are expected to develop an informed interest in their specific field of study. Universities are also places where notions of active citizenship and social justice are questioned and explored. This is reflected in the ways we teach, the ways we operate as an institution and in the expectations we place on students.
When I arrive at work each day, I am mindful of the enormous pleasure it is to be part of a university, where I have the opportunity to work with enquiring minds and talented artists. I am also mindful of the responsibility of working in an environment whose mission is to facilitate a transformative learning experience for students so that we can build on our past and inspire better futures.
Conall Gleeson and Jean Martin curate a retrospective exhibition of the sound sculptor, the first Vogel exhibition in the UK.
Scratch the Surface curated a performance which explored through sound and movement questions of hybrid practices in gallery spaces
A collaborative project between four researchers at the University of Brighton Faculty of Arts and held at the Musée des Beaux Arts, Nimes in 2008
Gleeson, Conall (2015) Sound and the urban environment [Exhibition]
Gleeson, Conall (2013) Bell Jar Orchestra UNSPECIFIED.
Martin, Jean and Gleeson, Conall (2011) The sound of shadows: Peter Vogel [Exhibition]
Martin, Jean and Gleeson, Conall (2011) Peter Vogel: The Sound of Shadows. A documentary by Jean Martin and Conall Gleeson [Digital and visual media]
Gleeson, Conall (2010) Love Songs for Broken Machines [Performance]
Gleeson, Conall (2009) Untitled in COF minor [Musical composition/Choreography/Art direction ]
Gleeson, Conall (2008) Invisible targets [Performance]
Martin, Jean and Gleeson, Conall (2008) Sounding out the museum II Francis Bacon Studio [Performance]
Schlepper- Connolly, Benedict and Gleeson, Conall (2008) Eketase V [Musical composition/Choreography/Art direction ] (Unpublished)
Buckley, Linda and Gleeson, Conall (2008) Nikuda [Musical composition/Choreography/Art direction ] (Unpublished)
Karikis, Mikhail, Martin, Jean, Gleeson, Conall and Cunningham, Amy (2008) Sounding out the museum: tête-à-tête [Performance]
2014 - 2016