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Sound Design & Composition

Photography by Mark Iondolo

Feet Pics Aren't Free by Gráinne Holmes Blumenthal
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A comedic show about the artist finding pictures of her feet uploaded to a fetish website, and about women's control over their own images online spaces.

- Smock Alley Boy's School, as part of Dublin Fringe Festival, 2023.

I composed two original tracks with writer-performer Gráinne Blumenthal for the play - one conventional show tune-style musical number, and one much more thoughtful and interior moment of repose.

In addition to these, I recorded a number of vocal soundscapes with Gráinne that I edited together to form fun and lighthearted background sound for a number of scenes - a soundscape of New York City, a train running down the tracks, and a nightclub in Greece. These were super fun and added even more personality to a play that was already full of laughs. I also voice acted for the play.

Praise for sound design:

"Singing show tunes to the hilt of absurdity, [...] Blumenthal is made for the stage."

- The Irish Times ★★★★


Foot Millionaire backing WITH VOCALJames Ireland and Gráinne Holmes Blumenthal
00:00 / 00:56
Decommissioned by Molly Anne Sweeney

A climate-focused piece set in a town in Wales set to be decommissioned.


- Pleasance, London, 2023


My design for the show was rooted in audio of natural soundscapes, with a focus on ever-present water to constantly remind us of the threat of the rising sea in the play. I used audio from mountain streams, rivers, rain, and ocean waves to achieve this. In key moments I created heightened, distorted versions of the audio using reverb, distortion, and filter sweeps to further drive this home.

In addition to this, I composed some short musical interludes for transitions and the buildup to the climactic scene of the play. These were predominantly quite sparsely composed piano pieces, but I did use other instruments and some light effects to begin to fill out the sound as the tension in the play increased.

TransitionsJames Ireland
00:00 / 01:00
My Lover was a Salmon in the Climate Apocalypse by Bradán
Image of award-winning gig theatre show My Lover Was a Salmon in the Climate Apocalypse by Bradán, as performed in VAULT Festival London 2023. Written by James Ireland and directed by Kate Bauer, featuring the actor musicians Elisabeth Flett, Rory Gradon, and Elinor Peregrin.

Award-winning ecological gig theatre about industrial fishing and climate collapse.

- Pleasance Courtyard, as part of Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2022

- VOILA! Festival of European Theatre, London, 2022

- VAULT Festival, London, 2023.

The cast and crew collaboratively composed a number of original trad/folk songs and live soundscapes for the show. I composed playback soundscapes for the climax of the show, as well as being the sound tech for the live sound for the performances.

The Salmon Break FreeBradán
00:00 / 02:40
Three Things That Are Never Seen by Charlotte O'Reilly
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An ethereal show about the magpie in Irish mythology with live trad music.

- The Space Theatre, London, 2023.


I composed and played live music for the show, and built upon a playback soundscape that had been composed by designer Richard Durning for an earlier work-in-progress version of the project.

Instruments included fiddle, harmonium, low whistle, loop pedal, and acoustic guitar. For the playback compositions I used samples of acoustic and trad instruments, predominantly cello, uilleann pipes, and processed woodwinds from Spitfire Labs.

Praise for live music:

"Accompanied by live music across a wide array of instruments [...] each note fleshing out an atmosphere that is far more intimate than a normal stage performance, as if the audience is crouching over the same campfires that have kept these stories alive for millennia.



The haunting music always played expertly by Ireland ensures that each scne's emotion is conveyed regardless of what's being said."

- London Pub Theatres - ★★★★1/2


"Deftly blends folklore with riveting live music [...] invites us into a multi-sensory dreamscape"

- Fringebiscuit - ★★★★

"Lovingly told with a luscious musical underscore, Three Things That Are Never Seen is a still and magical piece"

- Everything Theatre

One night as I lay sleepingCharlotte O'Reilly and James Ireland
00:00 / 01:30
And What Comes After by Aoife Meagher
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A short play where a looming breakup slowly dissolves two videogame-obsessed characters' universes.

- Token, Dublin, as part of Plays Full of SHITE, 2023.


For this show, we had 10 hours to create a play in a day from Aoife Meagher's script. I live-scored the piece with a post-rock style electric guitar with heavy reverb and delay, and then additionally processed the signal with distortions and downsampling to echo their retro videogame world and drive the inevitable sense of aching hollow cataclysm as the play builds.

A bedroom demo of the composition is recorded below, which would be played underneath the soaringly beautiful dialogue of the characters' universes falling apart.

Ambient PostrockJames Ireland
00:00 / 06:48
Cooking the Vegan Salmon of Knowledge by Bradán
Poster for the experimental live cooking theatre show Cooking the Vegan Salmon of Knowledge by Bradán at Dublin Fringe Festival, supported by PAN PAN Platform, and winner of the Axis Green Arts Award. Written and performed by James Ireland and directed by Kate Bauer.

An award-winning live cooking performance for our future.

- The New Theatre, Dublin, as part of Dublin Fringe Festival 2022

- FeastFest, London, 2023.


The design for this show included composing a song to play live at the climax of the piece, and gathering recorded audio from the Wicklow Mountains in Ireland to form a soundscape underneath the main body of the show.

Praise for sound design:

"Ireland beautifully rounds this bite-sized, 30-minute piece with a blessing over the Vegan Salmon of Knowledge before we indulge. Their dulcet melodies are a rich complement to the food, grounding, memorialising, and lending a sense of hope that humankind might find a way through environmental catastrophe after all."

- Fringebiscuit - ★★★★

The Mountains are Changing Shape (demo)James Ireland
00:00 / 06:30
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