Karen Power; Rehearing the Score


11/12/2019 - 11/12/2019


1:00PM - 2:00PM


Old McMordie Hall, Music Building, University Road, BT71NN


Free Everyone Welcome

Karen Power (Queen's University Belfast) - Rehearing the Score

This talk/listening session I will focus on my current body of work, which brings field recordings and musicians together in such a way as to open a 3rd listening space that is shared by all present. I will address how through this artistic ambition I have increasingly questioned the role of a musical score and ultimately a 5 year journey in developing alternative aural-based scores and parts that combine fixed and open materials.
My work is a continual search for new methods of communicating musical ideas and concepts to musicians and audiences that ultimately encourage a shared musical experience within any performance space. This is and perhaps forever will be an on-going process, but in this talk I look forward to sharing the journey through my most recent large-scale piece Invitation to Wander, which exhibits some results thus far.


Karen Power is an active composer, improvisor + educator. Her compositions utilise two primary sources; acoustic instruments and everyday sounds, spaces and soundscapes. Everyday environments and how we hear everyday sounds lies at the core of Karen Power’s practice with a continued interest in blurring the distinction between what most of us call ‘music’ and all other sound. She has found inspiration in the natural world and how we respond to spaces we occupy. She continually utilises our inherent familiarity with such sounds and spaces as a means of engaging with audiences. Resulting works challenge the listeners memory of hearing while simultaneously shifting focus and presenting new contexts for such sounds. Karen’s current practice revolves around her development of aural scores + parts as alternate methods of communication with performers.

Karen has been a featured composer @ RTÉ Horizons concert series with the Irish National Symphony Orchestra. She was composer in residence for Galway Music Residency, The Arctic Circle and in 2015 was awarded a DAAD Artist-in-Berlin Residency Award. Recent commissions and festival performances include: Sonar Quartet, Thomas Buckner, Ensemble Mosaik, Retro Disco, ConTempo, Isabelle O’ Connell, Bozzini Quartet, RTÉ Lyric fm, Ultraschall, CTM, MikroMusik, MEN Festival and CorkMidSummer. Karen’s improvisatory work has resulted in performances with Pauline Oliveros, David Toop, The Quiet Club, John Godfrey, Ute Wassermann, Mazen Kerbaj and many others. She also continues to perform as a solo soundscape improvisator around the world.

Karen’s installation work and her recent interest in field recordings has taken her music across many genres and art mediums including: video, dance, film, painting, sculpture and glass. This cross-arts approach has enabled some of her more open-time music to be presented in spaces like galleries, parks, warehouses and houses, which offer audiences choice in how and when we listen. In 2017, Karen became founding chair of Sounding the Feminists, a collective seeking equality in music across Ireland. Currently, Karen is a lecturer in composition @ Queen’s University Belfast.

Karen’s First solo CD ‘is it raining while you listen’ is released with Farpoint Recordings:

For more information contact;


Amanda Kirkpatrick

Music, Events & Performance Officer

School of AEL

Queen's University Belfast

T: 028 9097 5227