Philip Fogarty is a composer, performer and sound artist. He has toured his work with live ensembles in various configurations both in Ireland and abroad. His output ranges from his roots in Irish traditional to rock, electronica and contemporary, and embraces forms from conventional live performance to audience-interactive participatory formats and multimedia.

Recent commissions and awards include Longford Lights Festival – Still Spinning Rainbows (2024), Cavan Arts/Townhall Cavan – Pulse Music (2024), Music for Galway / Galway 2020 / Irish National Opera – I Claim Sanctuary (2022)

Beginning in the Irish scene as a session musician and vocalist before embarking as a solo artist with his own ensemble, in the nineties and early 2000s he played nationwide and toured in Europe and the United States, appearing in billings alongside The Frames and the Cowboy Junkies in the wake of the release of 1999’s critically-acclaimed Endangered Breed, and also participated in media hookups for the U.S. cable networks.

Further touring followed Songs for Animals (2001), Lambs (2004) and Short Stories (2004), as well as tours in tandem with the digital releases of his recordings from 2006 onwards. Though Philip had hitherto been known for large soundscapes and high-end production, these performances focused on a more intimate approach in smaller venues, with a shift away from heavy sequencing towards a sparser, more organic style.

More recent years have seen Philip engaged in various side-projects, from instrument conception to multimedia installations to straight funded research. He holds a PhD in ethnomusicology and has studied under the auspices of renowned sean-nós singer Lillis Ó Laoire at University of Galway.

Recent mainstream projects, meanwhile, have been the staging of audience participation piece Three Dream Echo, first performed as a flagship event for Galway Culture Night 2020, and the afore-mentioned I Claim Sanctuary, an interactive sound installation in conjunction with Paper Boat, an opera presented by Music for Galway and Galway 2020 in association with Irish National Opera. He continues to work on the development of further live projects, and is the Galway City recipient of the inaugural PLATFORM 31 nationwide artist development bursary developed by the 31 Local Authority Arts Offices, in collaboration with the Arts Council.

Irish critics have lauded Philip Fogarty as a truly innovative but still quintessentially Irish artist, his output featuring many undercurrents from his varied musical background. His work has earned him praise as ‘an extraordinary musical talent who has been working over many years … on projects that recruit science, original composition, soundscapes, visuals and performance into a sequence of brilliant enquiries into the nature of humanity in the age of technology’ ( – Galway City Tribune, 19 March 2021).

Images: Philip Fogarty at Interface; Pulse Music (2024); Three Dream Echo (2020)

Philip Fogarty