‘Composing makes me happy… that’s why I do it so much’: Roger Doyle Honoured by President Higgins

President Michael D. Higgins and composer Roger Doyle

‘Composing makes me happy… that’s why I do it so much’: Roger Doyle Honoured by President Higgins

President marks Doyle's election as Saoi of the artists' academy Aosdána.

Following the news in May that composer Roger Doyle has been elected  a Saoi of Aosdána, the Arts Council hosted a ceremony last Friday (16 August) to mark his election. The honour of Saoi is given to just seven members from the 250-member Irish artists’ academy for ‘singular and sustained distinction in the arts’.

President Michael D. Higgins presided at the ceremony and presented Doyle with the symbol of the office, a gold torc.

In his speech, Doyle said:

I’m now composing more than ever… trusting the intuitive or instinctive side of composing… trusting that more and more…. Often I will be so surprised by the result, I roar in the studio with delight… Composing makes me happy… that’s why I do it so much.

Reflecting on his work over five decades, Doyle told the Journal of Music that he is particularly proud of the works Rapid Eye Movements (1981), which he composed in his twenties; ‘The Room of Rhetoric’ from the larger work Babel (1999), ‘where each track corresponds to a room or place within a giant tower city… a celebration of the multiplicity of musical language’; and the 67-minute Ninth Set (2007), which won the Magisterium Award at the Bourges International Electro-acoustic Music Competition.

‘I couldn’t have done what I have done if it hadn’t been for Aosdána,’ he said. ‘I was elected young enough so it had a major impact on my life… I was able to think big because I had the support of Aosdána.’

Doyle’s most recent release, issued this year, is The Electrification of Night

At the ceremony, Doyle thanked composer Fergus Johnston who nominated him for Saoi, the members of Aosdána, and his wife Mary.

Listen to Doyle’s full speech below. For more, visit http://rogerdoyle.com

Published on 20 August 2019

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