Artists and Writers In Their Own Words: Gareth Quinn Redmond

Artists and Writers In Their Own Words: Gareth Quinn Redmond

Immensely talented Irish composer and musician Gareth Quinn Redmond reinterprets and pays homage to Japanese Environmental Music or Kankyō Ongaku in his music. A genre inspired by the conceptual genius of Erik Satie’s Furniture music, which then found fertile growth in Japan in the 1970s and 80’s.

[Kankyō Ongaku] leads the listener into another world, it should drift like smoke and become part of the environment surrounding the listener’s activity.” This is how composer and minimalist Satoshi Ashikawa describes ‘kankyō ongaku’ – the umbrella term for a particularly deft form of Japanese music deemed ‘environmental’, or composed for specific environments.

~The Vinyl Factory

The first few years of my 20’s can really be broken down into before and after I discovered Satoshi Ashikawa and Japanese Environmental Music

As a teen I was playing rock music in Dublin. Then in my early 20s I discovered the album Still Way by Satoshi Ashikawa At the time I was recording short instrumental pieces at home. Yet I didn’t have any plans for these pieces until I discovered Still Way.

It felt as though I had been offered a whole new way of expressing myself musically and found the confidence in myself to take those short instrumental pieces and breathe further life ( and length ) into them. I’m intrigued to see what my late 20’s brings!

In my album Céim·eanna, I was trying to develop Environmental Music with modern listening habits in mind

I’m very proud of how that album turned out both musically and even in regards to how I mixed it. It was the final installment in a three part series. In many respects, I pushed the music beyond the conceptual framework of what Ashikawa had set. This is what I was trying to achieve from the offset. The hope is that the listener would be so engaged with their environment by the time the music gained dynamics that the bond between them and their surroundings would only be heightened further.

One of my pieces Tar Éis

Was turned into a short film by my friend Luke Brabazon

My first three albums hold a really special place in my heart

In hindsight it feels like I did a lot of growing up while writing and recording them. Funnily enough, I’m currently remixing the second album in that series Gluaiseacht. It’s gratifying to hear the growth in my mixing skills while I’ve been working on it.

The albums that I find myself constantly returning to are…

Bo Hansson’s Music Inspired by Lord of the Rings, Satoshi Ashikawa’s Still Way and Hiroshi Yoshimura’s Music for Nine Postcards. As well, I’m a huge fan of Claude Debussy, Erik Satie and Edward Elgar (specifically the third movement of his 1st Symphony).

Music inspires me to create

My latest release, An Fhuaim is Caoine, was inspired by an album by Hiroshi Yoshimura, Soft Wave for Automatic Music Box and Still Space by Satoshi Ashikawa. The hope was to try find a music that lay right bang in the middle of these two pallets of sound.

I would love to write music for Dublin’s Botanical Gardens

Can you imagine having subtle sounds infusing the surroundings with added hues of clarity and detail?

Having spent so much time writing Environmental Music, space has become a great source of inspiration for me. At the moment, I’m trying to convince the National Gallery of Ireland to let me write Environmental Music for the courtyard space, which acts almost like a heart for the entire building.

The courtyard of the National Gallery of Ireland
The courtyard of the National Gallery of Ireland

I am honoured to collaborate with many dear friends who are incredible artists

I’ve worked closely with Barry Gibbons, the artist behind the cover of Laistigh den Ghleo, Gluaiseacht and An Fhuaim is Caoine. He has always supported me over the years and his guidance and counsel is invaluable to me.

More recently, I’ve begun working with Conor Campbell with whom I released an E.P last year titled Monachopsis. I wrote four pieces inspired by four of his artworks, we are both planning to develop this idea further and write an album together with the same concept.

Recently, I had the pleasure of working with my friend Ronan who performs under the name, Junior Brother. What he has achieved on his latest album has inspired me to begin writing an album of Irish traditional ambient music.

If I could give some advice to my younger self- it would be to keep working hard. The harder you work the luckier you get

I’m currently working on my next album, which I believe will be called Torann na Seimhe. It is a collection of pieces comprising both solo piano and synth led tracks. I’ve already recorded it so the rest of the year will be spent mixing it to completion and then having my friend Ben Rawlins master it. I hope to have it released in the first half of 2021 but there really isn’t a rush to have it just yet.

You can buy my music on We Release Whatever the Fuck We Want Records on Bandcamp

WRWTFWW Records is very happy to announce the release of Irish ambient/minimalist producer Gareth Quinn Redmond’s Laistigh den Ghleo, a companion album to Satoshi Ashikawa’s Still Way (Wave Notation 2). The album, available on vinyl and digipack CD for the first time, comes with liner notes by Midori Takada and Gareth Quinn Redmond. Vinyl and CDs are still available but get in quick!

10 thoughts on “Artists and Writers In Their Own Words: Gareth Quinn Redmond

    1. Thank you for reading Wayne and glad you enjoyed it. Yes it’s very interesting music, nice and reflective background music for creative work I would say 🙂

  1. The first short clip, Tar Eis, was great. Love the space around the piano…enjoyed this one.
    Hearing him talk about environment was interesting. I completely get what he means and it really made sense. Seems like a great bloke…I stuck around and watched his studio tour. Loved how flat his piano is lol. Share a lot of his musical interests as well. Thanks for sharing this!

    1. I know! He is such an interesting and cool guy and the ideas around the environmental music and space definitely make sense. I think he would be a great person to meet in real life and share a coffee with. Glad you found his music and you like it! 😊

      1. Yes, the ideas of environmental music are so incredible, so simple and the music just fits in with the environment. Very inspiring. Can pass on his email if you would like to talk to him about a creative collaboration or have more questions. Or you can reach him on his band camp I think.

      2. Yes, for each of them I reached out and connected with them over email first, as they seem like a good match for my blog and also their stuff just resonates with me deeply, and hopefully this same art or music will resonate with others on here…it seems like we are all on the same wavelength which is really cool! More to come as well and I am looking for more people to profile too. 🙂

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