Sarah O’Halloran is a composer from Ireland, who currently lives in the Washington, D.C. area. In 2015 she completed her Ph.D. in Composition and Computer Technology at the McIntire Department of Music, U.Va. Before attending U.Va., Sarah received an M.A. in Sonic Arts from Queens University Belfast. Sarah also has a B.A. in Music and English and an M.Phil. in Musicology from University College Cork. She has studied with composers including Matthew Burtner, Judith Shatin, Ted Coffey, Michael Alcorn, and Ron Quivila. Sarah has attended master classes and residencies with composers including Alvin Lucier, Louis Andriessen, Christian Wolff, Kaja Saariaho, Petr Kotik, and Mark Applebaum. She has also studied Deep Listening with Pauline Oliveros.
Sarah’s music has been performed at international events including MATA Interval (New York), the International Computer Music Festival (New York 2010, Ljubljana 2012, Perth 2013), Gaudeamus (Netherlands), Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival (UK), Ostrava Days (Czech Republic), and Sonic Circuits (Silverspring, MD). Her work has been played by ensembles including Dither, VERGE, Ensemble MAE, SEM Ensemble, orkest de ereprijs, Princeton Laptop Orchestra, and the New York Miniaturist Ensemble. In 2013/2014 Sarah was an artist in residence at GWU's Department of Music. Sarah also creates original music and sound design for theater, she has worked with companies including Olney Theatre Center, 1st Stage, Rep Stage, Chesapeake Shakespeare, Mosaic Theater Company of D.C., Forum Theatre, American University, and Brave Spirits.
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Sarah writes both electronic and acoustic music. She is particularly interested in relationships between music, drama, and storytelling. Recent pieces have explored themes including Irish maritime folklore, the boundary between real and imagined sensation, and the whimsy and darkness of children’s stories.
Sarah loves collaborating with other artists and scholars. She has a longstanding collaboration with the composer/performer/media artist Margaret Schedel, they compose and perform together as kite•string. In 2014 Sarah composed Stitching a piece for the stage with music, drama, and multimedia. It was created in collaboration with Edinburgh-based playwright Colin Stanley Bell and work-shopped at GWU in Washington D.C.
Sarah’s Ph.D. research was focused on Experimental Music that makes highly innovative uses of language. Previous projects have examined Gerald Barry’s operas, and the work of avante garde vocalist Tanya Tagaq. She has presented her research at conferences held by the International Alliance of Women in Music, the Society for Musicology in Ireland, the College Music Association, the Royal Musical Association, and the International Musicological Society.